In a perfect world, we would have luxurious spa treatments penciled in at least once a week, scheduled as far out as our desk calendars will go. Because when life feels overwhelming, nothing beats a professional spa treatment to leave us feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
However, if you’ve ever footed the bill for said luxurious spa treatment, you know regular pampering might not fit into the budget. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your indulgent dreams just yet: it’s time to master the art of the at-home facial, Womanistas.
The next time you’re gearing up for a big night out, set aside a little time to give your skin a little TLC. Before you start, it’s important to keep a few things in mind for a successful treatment. First, at-home facials are not a one-size-fits-all experience, so get to know your own skin before doing anything by patch-testing anything you plan to use on a small part of your skin. Another tip is to do your facial at night instead of in the morning; that way, you can tap into your skin’s repair mode while you sleep. Also, always use lukewarm water; hot and cold water is much too harsh on your skin, and make sure you’re being consistent and performing your facials once a week for best results.
Lastly, don’t forget to change out your pillow case on a regular basis—experts recommend a clean, fresh case about every three days to cut back on oil and bacteria making their way to your clean face.
Ready to dive in? Follow this step-by-step guide below and your skin will swear it’s right back in your esthitician’s office!
1. Ditch the makeup
Use a natural oil like coconut or avocado, which is perfect for all skin types, to gently remove makeup, dirt and other pollution from the day while nourishing your skin in the process.
2. Cleanse and exfoliate
After your makeup is gone, including all stubborn eye makeup, use a gentle scrub to deep clean your skin while sloughing off dead skin cells simultaneously. Removing all surface debris allows for your skin to be penetrable and for the following treatments to be well-received.
3. Steam clean
No professional skin steamer? No problem; simply run a washcloth under warm water, wring it out and then drape it over your face. Let the hot cloth sit there for a couple minutes to really open up your pores, allowing them to be more receptive to treatment.
4. Cue the clay mask
A clay mask, like Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay, cleans your pores while removing impurities from the skin and tightening. Let it set for 15 minutes before removing for maximum results. Take this time to lay back and relax as the mask gets to work; light candles, turn on your diffuser filled with lavender oil or sip hot tea—whatever works for you.
5. Add in the eye mask
Immediately after applying your face mask, apply a mask created specially for the area around your eyes, like Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Smoothing Eye Mask. The skin there is extremely delicate and very sensitive, and if it’s even the slightest bit dehydrated it can make your entire face appear exhausted and worn-down. Rinse it off when you rinse off the face mask.
6. Show your lips some love
While your mask is setting, give your lips some love with a lip scrub to combat those pesky dry, chapped lips. If you want to forego the store-bought version, make your own at home by mixing a tablespoon of brown sugar with a little bit of olive oil, then rubbing virgorously on your lips and letting it sit for one minute before wiping off with a damp cloth.
7. Channel some major moisture
After removing your masks, seal your skin first with a serum like Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C, followed by your favorite moisturizer. The key here is how you do it: take your time and really massage the product into your face (and neck!) by constantly moving your hands up, never down, because you don’t want to pull at the skin. Focus your relaxing massage on wrinkle-prone areas like eyes and forehead, and don’t be afraid to mix in a few drops of Argan, jojoba or almond oil for a dewy finish. Try to wait as long as possible before putting makeup on again; let your refreshed skin breathe!