‘Damn, this is how heaven probably feels like’.
That what I thought to myself a little over a year ago when I had the most amazing facial at Rescue Spa in NYC. Only to be brought back on Earth the moment I had to pay more than a month’s rent at the checkout – and it’s even without the tip. Brain quickly prompted a valid question: ‘Can I do a good facial at home?’
I know, getting a facial seems like such a luxurious and inconceivable thing right now in NYC when we’re being all stressed up. Nonetheless, such banality of everyday life like skincare – that’s what keeps me afloat when normal life with its little indulgences went out of the window.
You can say, I’ve been cheating a bit for a couple of years by doing simplified facials at home with products easily accessible from beauty stores. Of course, nothing will compare to the hands of a skilled esthetician and professional strength products. Yet with a few simple steps, you can give yourself a fabulous spa facial experience almost as good as a professional one.
All you need is to raid your beauty cabinet and kick it up a notch.
1. Be mindful and take time to prepare
Preparation is half of the successful ‘me’ time. Put time aside, about an hour or so, when preferably nobody would bother you. Don’t forget to put comfy clothes with a low cut neckline to give so much-needed love to the decolletage area. “Face ends when your nipples begin,” my sixty-something esthetician once told me. Then put everything within hands reach. To keep the amazing spa experience flowing, don’t you forget about the ambiance. Light deliciously fragrant bougie candle, queue your most hearted Spotify playlist, or prepare to meditate with your favorite app. You can do facial even in a bathtub doing the whole enchilada with hair masks, scrubs, and body wraps. Another crucial thing is massage. It’s that additional step that will give you a serious extra oomph in the end, make all the difference. If you don’t have any special rollers – don’t worry. Your hands are the best massage tool ever. Check Youtube for basic moves and just go for it. My personal favorite is a face lifting tutorial by Abigail James.
2. Commit to cleansing
Never underestimate the good old cleansing. Use your favorite cleanser, foam it up, and massage. I like to use my hands for this step, working thoroughly on my T-zone and cheekbones where I mostly get those pesky pimples and then slowly moving onto my chest. There’s no rush, go slowly and methodically. Rinse and put a warm towel over your face to open pores. I always double cleanse and start with an oil, then moving to a conventional cleanser. My picks today are Dermalogica Precleanse and Juice Beauty Brightening Gel Cleanser.
3. Exfoliate to reveal the glow
After we removed sebum on the surface of our skin, it’s time to go a little deeper. You can use physical exfoliators (scrubs) or chemical – it’s totally up to you. I prefer chemical peels. Usually, they are gentler on my sensitive rosacea-prone skin and I find them more effective. BHA is great for oily/combination skin and opt for AHA if you have more dry skin. In any case, follow the instructions and don’t overdo it. If the label says to leave the product for 10 minutes there’s no need to go above and beyond and do it for half an hour. There’s a possibility to do more harm than good. I absolutely love the Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Peel and Dr.Dennis Gross Apha Beta Extra Strength Peel. And of course, I can not mention loved by masses the Susanne Kaufmann Enzyme Peel and The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Solution. Personally, I haven’t tried either yet but they are both on my list. On the photo I mixed Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask with Glytone Rejuvenating Mini Peel Gel.
4. Make the most out of your mask
This is the step where you can experiment as much as you like! Choose a mask or even a couple of them according to your skin type and needs. Use clay purifying mask for a deep detox on blemish-prone skin. Or if your skin feels dry or tight, try moisturizing one. Or double mask – apply first mask on the t-zone and another on the cheeks at the same time. Lips and eyes also deserve some love treatment from you. Eye patches, lip scrubs, and masks – slap them on, girl! To bring masking on another level just add a serum of your choice “to” or “under” the mask. After you finished it’s a perfect time to bring into play beauty tools like a microcurrent device or LED light, if you have them, of course. Just limit yourself only to one device per facial. And don’t forget to do all of the above on your neck and chest. I absolutely adore masks Biologique Recherche Vivant and VIP O2, they work wonders for my dry skin. If you are looking for cleansing one – my recent faves are Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue and Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask.
5. Moisturize, nourish, and nurture
After using a mask – or even a couple of them – it’s time for a final step. Apply your favorite serum gently massaging it into your skin. Follow up with a cream focusing on replenishing and hydrating products and again – massage it in. If you want to take it one level further, seal off all that goodness with a few drops of face oil. Rub it in your palms and lightly press into the skin. Have you been sick of me saying massage yet? Yes? Then one last time – massage that oil in. I chose Biologique Recherche serums Placenta, Erithros and Amniotique, Belief Aqua Bomb Aloe Vera Cream and Herbivore Phoenix Oil.
And you’re done!
My last advice, use this guide and tweak to make it work specifically for you. Make it a family time with your kids or make a zoom call with your friends and make a Spa From Home event out of it. Pour a cup of tea and just have some fun for a change.
Sitting at home could be bad. Getting glowing skin while doing it – is so much better!