Article | Category: Glossary Terms

Back facials are, for the most part, a painless extraction process. The facial typically begins with a gentle steaming to open pores and lift impurities, followed by a deep cleansing and exfoliation. The facial for back concludes with a therapeutic mask; some spas also offer a relaxing neck, back, and shoulder massage. 




Other Names:

Back treatment, Bacial


Definition of Offering

Back facials are a skin care treatment focusing on the health and appearance of the back. Typical results are similar to that of a standard facial.


Description of Offering

A skin care treatment focused on the health and appearance of the back.


This offering is a modern creation (originated after 1800).


Creator of Offering (Nationality)



Brief History of the Offering

Back facials were created in response to skin issues such as back acne and dry skin.  Estheticians correctly implied that the face and back are not very different, and problems of the back were treatable with skin care tools and products already available.


Fun Fact

The products used in a back facial are almost identical to those used in a regular facial, but generally formulated slightly stronger, compensating for the fact that it must work through the skin of the back, which is thicker than facial skin.





Primary Benefit Received

Body maintenance


Other Benefits

Improve appearance


Research Publication

Complementary Therapies for Acne Vulgaris

Huijuan Cao, Guoyan Yang, Yuyi Wang, Caroline Smith

Cochrane Database Systematic Review (2015);jsessionid=C39CDD505D28F6F1CC7CFCE8ACC0B83D.f01t04


Comment about Research Selection

Research focused on skin care for acne.


Primary Findings of Research

This study found Tea Tree Oil and "pollen bee venom" to be effective in the treatment of acne on different parts of the body.




Typical Length of Offering

45 - 60 minutes


The offering is most often provided one guest at a time.


Offering is primarily suited for:

Day Spa (wellness focus), Day Spa (beauty focus), Resort/Hotel/Cruise Ship Spa, Destination Spa, Medical Clinic/Spa, Club Spa (day or residential).


How many treatment providers are needed to produce the offering?



Common License/Certification or Training necessary to provide the offering:

Esthetician (skin care specialist), Cosmetologist.


Information about the most often used offering protocol:

Back Treatment

Steve Capellini

The Complete Spa Book for Massage Therapists (2010), 425-427


Type of space/facility most often used for the offering:

Private Dry Treatment Room


Type of space/facility that can be use for the offering:

Private Wet Treatment Room (Vichy, baths, watsu pool, etc.)


How many towels are used?

3 - 8


Does the guest generally use a robe and/or a wrap for the offering?

Yes, robe only.


How many sheets are used?

2 - 3


Does the offering require the use of products (i.e. lotions, lacquers, scrubs, cleansers, etc.)?



How many different products are used?

3 - 6


Approximate product cost per treatment:

$5 USD


Products used:

Exfoliating body scrub, mud/clay/seaweed (optional), emollient lotion and serum, cleanser.


Does the require the use of disposable supplies (i.e. cotton squares, balls and swabs, lancets, etc.)?



How many different disposable supplies are used?

1 - 2


Describe/list the disposable supplies used:

Plastic sheet (optional), cotton squares.


Equipment and supplies needed to provide the offering:

Raised massage-style table, magnifying lamp, hot towel unit (cabinet), steamer unit, water source (sink or shower), hot product/tool warmer (typically for stones, wax, paraffin, etc.), technician chair, pillow(s)/bolster(s), mixing/product bowl(s).


Beyond labor, linens, disposable supplies and products, please list any other direct costs associated with the offering?



Including only the following items (products, disposable items, linen laundry, and other direct costs---not labor), what is the typical cost of the offering?

$3 - $15


Typical single session price of the offering.

$35 - $280


Comments about offering price.

Offering price varies on type of spa, length of service, amount of product used.




Publication used to prepare this submission.

Complete Spa Book for Massage Therapists

Steve Capellini

Esthetic Modalities for Spa Therapists (2010), 424-427


Complementary Therapies for Acne Vulgaris

Huijuan Cao, Guoyan Yang, Yuyi Wang, Caroline Smith (2015);jsessionid=C39CDD505D28F6F1CC7CFCE8ACC0B83D.f01t04


Back Facials

Karma Day Spa (2010)



Author Information

Andrew Walter

Florida Gulf Coast University


Author Biography

Andrew is a Resort and Hospitality Management major at Florida Gulf Coast University, focusing on the study of spa management and on the improvement of skin care techniques and protocols within the industry.


Editor Information:

Mary Wisnom

Professor, School of Resort & Hospitality Management, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA