As part of my weekly self-care practice, I end my Sundays with an At-Home Facial. I’ve found that it’s one of the best ways to fit some me time into my weekend. If you know me (or if you’ve read any of my previous beauty posts) then you know I have been obsessed with my skin since teendom. So you can probably imagine how my life changed the first time I got a professional facial. It was at a hotel spa in Miami (a birthday weekend getaway trip), and the experience was phenomenal. I had never felt more relaxed, my pores had never felt as clean, and my skin had never felt as smooth or as “glowy,”…yep, I was pretty much hooked after that.
Of course the downside to becoming hooked on professional facials is that it’s a little heavy on the pockets. And although my skin responded to that first facial like a dream, there have been a few times when it has rebelled against unwanted extractions and certain spa products. The trick is to find an esthetician who not only understands your skin, but who is well trained in prepping skin for and performing extractions (always do your research). That being said, not everyone can afford a professional facial every month (myself included), so I’ve resorted to one every 3 months, with weekly at-home facials.
An at-home facial is a great way to take care of, and get to know your skin (see my regular skin care routine). It is also a great way to pamper yourself. Below is a step-by-step guide to putting your best face forward.
6 Step At-Home Facial
What you’ll need:
Facial Steamer or Washcloth
Step 1: Cleanse
Use a gentle cleanser for your skin type to remove any dirt, oil or makeup. Foaming cleansers are great for oily skin, creamy cleansers are more suitable for dry skin. Massage into face and neck using circular motions, then rinse with warm water.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Slough off dead skin cells using a facial scrub (see below for a simple DIY homemade scrub). Exfoliation gives skin a smoother, healthier appearance and prepares your skin for the next steps. Again, use circular motions, and pay close attention to any areas that are on the oilier side. Rinse with warm water.
Step 3: Steam
My Conair Facial Sauna is still one of the best skin care investments I ever made (and it’s extremely affordable). Steaming for 10-15 minutes opens up your pores and releases toxins. Sometimes I add essential oils for an even more soothing and beneficial experience. No facial steamer? No problem. Soak a washcloth in warm water and press it to your face for a few minutes then repeat.
Step 4: Apply a Facial Mask
Apply a face mask that suits your skin type. Clay masks are best for oily skin, while hydrating masks are better for dry skin (see below for a simple DIY homemade mask). Masks help to tighten and brighten the skin. Leave on for 10-20 minutes, this is the perfect time to just close your eyes and relax for a few. Rinse off with warm water or remove with a warm washcloth, then splash face with cold water.
Step 5: Tone
Mist with your favorite toner, or apply using cotton pads. Toner is the perfect prep for your moisturizer, it hydrates, plumps the skin and restores its pH balance.
Step 6: Moisturize
The final step is hydrating your perfectly cleansed skin with a serum and moisturizer. Pat on your favorite serum then follow with a nice thick moisturizer, massaging it into your face and neck for a few minutes to help promote circulation. And that’s it, your facial is complete.
I do at-home facials weekly, but how often you do it is completely up to you and your skin. Please do not attempt extractions on your own. Leave that to a well-trained esthetician or dermatologist. You can try experimenting with your own natural facial scrubs and masks using products already in the home (see two simple recipes below). And don’t forget to hydrate naturally by drinking enough water.
Coconut Oil/Baking Soda Scrub
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Rolled Oats
2 tablespoons Honey
1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice