What The Heck Is A Back Facial Anyway?

After a lifelong struggle with back acne, I got my first professional back acne treatment.
Publish date:
October 20, 2014
bacne, acne treatments, skin care, whish body, back acne, back facial, glycolic peel

I’ve written about my struggles with body acne before, and though I’d like to say my skin has gotten better since, in reality it’s still a constant battle. Even if I can get the breakouts to calm down for a short amount of time, there’s not much I can do about the scarring and hyper-pigmentation.

Eliss, the owner of an adorable local spa called Saul’s, sent me an email after seeing some of my body acne stories and suggested I try a back facial. To be totally honest, I had no idea what she was talking about (isn’t a facial inherently for your face?) but since I’m a “try anything” kind of girl, I booked an appointment.

After the killer spray tan Saul’s gave me, I pretty much trust Eliss and her team completely, so I went in for my appointment without doing any research whatsoever. The first step was to fill out a form about my main back and arm skin concerns, the products I use, medications that I’m on, etc. After I’d spilled all of my worries and product details, I was led to a dark room and told to lay face down, top-half naked on a comfy warm bed, just like you would for a back massage. Next, Nikki, my lovely facialist (backialist?) examined my skin and proposed we do a glycolic peel to help with scarring. I told her to go ahead with whatever she felt was best and sunk my head into the face hole in the bed.

What A Back Facial Is Actually Like: A Slightly Tingly Massage

The whole experience of the back facial was quite mysterious and strange. All these different lotions and gels were applied to my skin, often followed by a nice hot towel rub. There was also plenty of massaging going on, a small amount of time where my whole back felt tingly (that must’ve been the peel), and a weird experience with a buzzing machine that almost felt like it was sending pleasant waves of electricity into my skin. It felt great, like a super deluxe massage, but for most of the 30 minutes I had absolutely no idea what was going on back there.

Afterward, Nikki gave me all the details about what went on while I was face down. She'd started out with a gel cleanser and floral tea tree toner to prep, then applied the glycolic peel and left it on for five minutes. After that, she did a bit of extracting, but my skin was mostly too dehydrated (one of my main issues according to Nikki), so she moved on to the high frequency machine (aka the electric shock feeling thing) to disinfect and speed up healing. Finally, she mixed up and applied a custom mask with all sorts magical of powders Saul’s has on hand, and finished off with serum, oil, moisturizer, and a spot treatment for redness.

How To Maintain The Results Of A Back Facial

Before I left the spa, Nikki made some great recommendations to help with my body breakouts. She suggested I switch to Whish’s Coconut Exfoliating Body Wash, a less harsh, less drying alternative to my current Mario Badescu cleanser, and moisturize daily with Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Soothing Body Lotion, a product with regenerating plant stem cells. Both products are great for issues with scarring, hyperpigmentation, and body breakouts, and they both smell so good!

The TLC I felt from my customized facial was so worth the trip, but I’ll admit I was pretty hesitant to expect any visible results. How much could one facial change my back, an area I’ve felt ashamed of my entire life? When I got home, I didn’t even look in the mirror right away, because I honestly didn’t expect much, but when I finally did I was blown away.

My back looked clearer, smoother, and softer than ever before, and save for a few blemishes that had scabbed previously from picking, there wasn’t a single sore red spot on my skin. Now I’m not one to go to the spa often, but I highly recommend going in to try one of these treatments out if you have body acne issues. Saul’s charges in time increments, not by service, and every facial is totally custom to the client, so whether you have chest acne or scarring on your shoulders, they can help!

Who knows, you might even find yourself feeling excited about a patch of skin you wrote off long ago.

  • Do you struggle with back acne?
  • Ever had a "back facial" like this one?
  • What products do you use to keep your back acne in check?