OK, let's get straight to the point - so do you need facials? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "No, you do not always need them". Let's break this down.
Any GOOD therapist's philosophy will be: if you look after your skin 365 days of the year, with carefully selected cosmedical home-care, you can achieve more than having a salon facial every month. In fact, in my last refresher class, we discussed that home-care (your skin regime at home) is about 90% of how your skin looks.
Skin care is sooo incredible these days. The ingredients, the technologies and the scientific proof we are now capable of giving, have completely changed the market. If you're still buying skincare from someone that tells you "you need to use a problem skin cleanser" because you have "problem skin", with no further explanation, you're both living in the Dark Ages. If they're not using words like "acid mantle", "cell membrane" and "essential fatty acid", I'd be changing therapist quickity splitz.
A good therapist will diagnose you from a thorough analysis of your lifestyle, including your sleep, stress, diet, how you move your body, fluid intake, medical history, allergies, supplementation, medication, skin care regime and current products. We aim to diagnose WHY your skin is performing the way it is, from the gut upwards, and FIX it from there. There's no point in just dealing with acne, lets work out why you're breaking out in the first instance???
In saying this, there are definitely reasons for having facials. Complaints I often treat are congestion, break-outs, scarring, ageing, pigmentation, redness, broken capillaries, thickened skin, dull skin and sometimes, we just want a pick-me-up. And I have a facial for every one of those complaints. Sometimes home-care alone, is not enough to get on top of these issues, but it doesn't mean you have them forever, just enough to get the problem under control.
But as I say to each and every one of my clients, unless you have a major skin concern, your money is better spent on carefully selected skin care, that you can use all year around, than a handful of facials each year. And if you can afford both, I promise you you skin will be ah-maze!