Real talk: a facial isn't really a facial unless you're reclined, cocooned under a warm blanket and listening to the soft, soothing sounds of waves lapping against the shore while an esthetician massages your skin. But the next best thing is recreating the professional experience at home. Give your skin a beauty boost, your mind a rest and your bank account a break by pampering yourself with an at-home facial.
1. FRESH START
First, remove all traces of makeup, dirt and impurities from your face. If you have an oily complexion, use gel-based cleansers, which will balance out the skin’s natural oil. A gentle, creamy cleanser adds hydration to dry skin. For a spa-like experience, fill the sink with lukewarm water and add a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, rosewood or eucalyptus. Dip a cotton face cloth into the water, then wring out gently and press it soothingly on your face to further cleanse the skin. This second cleanse will help you unwind—and remove all residue without stripping away essential oils.
2. SLOUGH OFF
Next, choose a mild exfoliant, which will remove the surface layer of dead cells. If you frequently skip this step in your regular beauty regimen, it can cause your skin to have a dull and listless appearance–so get scrubbing! Depending on your preference, needs and skin sensitivity, you can either use a manual exfoliant with spherical beads that lift dead cells off the skin’s surface or a chemical exfoliant, which uses natural enzymes, like pineapple enzymes, that digest [or dissolve?] skin cells. Make sure skin is still moist before applying the exfoliant. Then, for a manual scrub, distribute the product around the face in a circular motion, using light pressure (avoid the eye area, as the skin is thin and can be damaged easily); rinse with tepid water. Slather on a chemical exfoliant, leave for a specified time and rinse with tepid water or micellar water. Your skin will instantly feel smoother and your complexion will look more radiant.
3. MIRACLE MASKS
Now it’s time to indulge in a refreshing, invigorating or soothing mask that’s designed to accomplish your skin care desires. Regrettably, there’s no such thing as a mask that can treat all of our skin care woes in a single application. That’s why treatment menus at spas include multiple facial options; each one targets a specific problem area. If your complexion is oily, use a clay mask. Natural clay masks are detoxifying treatments that help remove excess oil and cleanse pores deeply, which can help clear up pesky white and blackheads over time. If you have dry, dehydrated skin, opt for ultra-nourishing cream masks that add moisture and plump up the skin. These types of masks will likely be absorbed into the skin; however, they still require a final rinse. Women with combination skin can customize, by multi-masking, using a mixture of the different types. In oilier areas, such as the t-zone, try applying a clay mask, then apply a hydrating gel or cream mask to the rest of the face. When applying any kind of mask, ensure that it’s a safe distance away from the hairline, eye area and lips. After the specified time, use a clean, cotton face cloth drenched in lukewarm water to remove the mask.
4. ADD THE MOISTURE
Finally, it’s important to seal in all that hard work with your daily serum, eye cream and moisturizer. This also helps to rehydrate and calm the skin. Don’t forget your lips; apply a rich hydrating balm or treatment to get them looking just as radiant as the rest of your face. If you’re planning on stepping outside into sunlight after your facial, be sure to apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
SET THE MOOD
Get yourself in the mood for a relaxing in-house session with these suggestions.
- Be prepared: Before you get started, lay out everything you’ll need for the facial, as if you were at a spa. This will include the beauty products that you’ll use, plenty of towels — and a cosy bathrobe, of course!
- Light saver: Evoke your sense of smell by lighting your favourite scented candle.
- Easy listening: Press play on a spa-inspired instrumental CD for instant zen.
- Tea time: While waiting for the full effects of the treatments to soak in, sip a cup of herbal tea.