There’s no way around it. Getting a professional facial can be expensive, and while we’re firm believers in adopting a solid skincare routine (to include boosting collagen production, increasing skin elasticity, and reducing wrinkles from within by taking BioSil), sometimes you’ve got to take matters into your own hands with a DIY facial. Sure, you may not have fancy machines, pro-grade products, and an aesthetics license, but you can still execute a facial that delivers results — that is, as long as you’re willing to do a bit more than simply lather up and apply a moisturizer. Here’s how to give yourself an effective treatment without breaking the bank. After all, holiday shopping season is upon us.
PREP: Pull your hair back away from your face and slip into something more comfortable — yes, your pajamas, sweats, or a fluffy robe will do!
DOUBLE CLEANSE: Start by removing makeup with a micellar water and cotton rounds. Next, follow up with a gentle cleanser for your skin type — creamier if you’re more on the dry side, a gel if you’re more oily. Don’t rush this step. A clean face is the foundation for an effective facial.
EXFOLIATE: Like cleansing, this is a step that should not be rushed as all the products following this step won’t penetrate if dead skin cells are harboring on the surface. It’s important that you choose an exfoliant that caters to your skin type. For example, you wouldn’t want to use an abrasive mechanical exfoliant or gommage if you have sensitive skin or a condition such as rosacea. A chemical or enzymatic mask can be used in lieu of a “scrub,” if you want more of a professional result — just make sure to do a patch test first.
CONDUCT A DIY FACIAL MASSAGE: While this is often why you pay a pro the big bucks (there’s nothing like lymphatic drainage when it comes to a healthy, glowing complexion), you can still stimulate circulation on your own. Massage cheeks upward using a wide circular motion. Next, massage your forehead from the temples inward. Lastly, massage eye area from arch to outer corner, making your way under the eyes, up the nose, and back up to the brows. Conduct each movement for one minute.
STEAM YOUR FACE: Open your pores and purge impurities by steaming your face with an at-home steamer (there are several cost-effective tabletop options on the market) or by placing your face over a boiling pot of water that’s infused with a couple of herbal tea bags (think chamomile or mint) and a few drops of lavender and/or peppermint essential oil. Drape a towel over your head to increase the effect.
APPLY A FACE MASK: As with any other product, choose a mask that caters to your skin type — a clay-based mask that dries if you’re oily, a creamier more hydrating mask if you’re dry and/or irritated, a gel if you’ve spent too much time in the sun, etc. Leave on for at least 20-30 minutes. Take advantage of this time by laying down and addressing your eyes at the same time. Apply a peeper-friendly mask and cold pack (or cucumber slices) to reduce puffiness.
TONE: Toners have come a long way over the years and with the rise in popularity of the K-beauty essences, the Seabreeze of yesteryear is a distant memory. While this may seem like an extra and unnecessary step, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Product residue is removed, pores are refined, skin is softened, dead skin cells are dissolved, moisture is infused….need we say more?
TREAT WITH A SERUM: A serum is a highly concentrated product that’s light in nature, thus it should be applied before your moisturizer. But unlike its hydrating cousin, a serum also provides the skin with an abundance of benefits depending on the formula, whether that means fighting free radicals, fading fine lines, boosting moisture, banishing acne, delivering radiance, and more.
HYDRATE AND WAIT: The best time to execute a DIY facial is when you don’t have anywhere to go afterwards, so apply a generous dose of your go-to moisturizer (or night cream depending on the time of the day) to your face, neck, and decollete. Ditch the makeup and let your skin breathe.