So, you’re finally sticking to a daily skin care regimen — washing, toning, treating, and moisturizing
— but what about a more intensive skin care treatment? How often do you get a facial? For some, a monthly spa facial is a necessity, and I fully support that. However, if forking out $50 to $100 is not in the budget, you can still give your skin the intensive attention it deserves with a do-it-yourself facial.
What’s so special about a facial? A facial includes a more thorough cleanse than you usually do, followed by facial steaming and then specific skin treatments. When you’re doing your own facial, it’s important to decide what skin care issue you would like to target. Acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dryness? Make sure that each of the products you use in your facial are formulated for your skin type and skin concern. And then follow these steps.
1. Cleansing: It’s time to get a deep down clean, but that doesn’t mean you need to use something harsh. A gentle cleanser is sufficient, but you may also choose to use one with ingredients that improve specific skin conditions. Dampen your face with warm water, then apply the cleanser in circular upward motions. Avoid the eye area. Use a wet washcloth to gently remove the cleanser. Make sure the cleanser is fully removed.
2. Facial Steaming: There’s nothing like a nice steam, and you don’t need a professional spa facial steamer. Simply heat up water in a bowl in the microwave, lean over the bowl, drape a towel over your head and allow the steam to absorb for 5 minutes. Steaming helps the pores to open and release impurities while also hydrating the skin.
3. Toning: There are so many different toners on the market, that you can find one for every skin type. Toning helps to remove any additional dirt, oil or cleansing agents left of the skin, as well as prepares the skin for the treatments that will follow. Apply your toner with a clean cotton ball or cotton pad. Make sure to apply under the chin and on the neck as well.
4. Facial Mask: A facial mask can be applied weekly, and is often used to moisturize, enrich or purify the skin. There are several pre-prepared masks you can use or you can make your own facial mask. Follow instructions carefully. Some masks need to be removed with water; others can be left on the skin.
Facial Peel: When I give myself facials, I like to alternate each time between a mask and a peel. Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid peels are available for purchase for at-home use. These contain the same ingredients professionals use, however, at much lower concentrations, making it safe for you to apply without worry. If you prefer a natural option, you can make your own facial peel.
5. Moisturize: Since you just added a treatment to your skin with the mask or peel, it’s not necessary to apply another one. However, it’s ok if your moisturizer has a treatment mixed in (like AHAs or antioxidants). Apply the moisturizer to dry skin.
6. Sunscreen: If your moisturizer has sunscreen, then there’s no need to add additional sunscreen. Although if you are going outside for a prolonged period of time, you may want to add some extra protection. If your moisturizer is sunscreen free, then make sure to apply at least SPF 30 to your face and neck.