Wouldn't it be nice to head to the spa each week for a soothing, refreshing facial? While it is nice to dream about this luxury, few of us have the extra cash or the time to get professional attention for our skin. Luckily, there are some tricks you can steal from the pros to get your skin gleaming just as nicely at home.
Follow these steps with a few homemade concoctions, and your skin will feel better than ever – for a fraction of the price.
Cleanse. When you go to the spa, the first step in a facial is to cleanse the skin. While there are many fancy schmancy washes out there, you can make your own concoction to get a truly wholesome experience. Warm up a couple tablespoons of milk or Greek yogurt and mix with olive oil. The dairy will remove dirt or makeup and the oil will moisturize. Massage this into your skin gently, then remove with a damp washcloth.
Exfoliate. One of the most intense parts of a professional facial is the exfoliating process. You can use a store-bought scrub or make your own with dry oatmeal, sea salt, almond oil, mint and warm water. Don't exfoliate if your skin is irritated or broken out.
Tone. The toning step is important for removing cleanser residue and refreshing the skin. It is also important to use a toning treatment on your eyes. You can buy an alcohol-free toner, or you can make your own with green or chamomile tea. This will cleanse and tighten your pores, while also de-puffing your eyes.
Steam. You may not have a steam room in your home, but you can pretend by boiling a pot of water. Remove the water from heat, and cover your head with a towel while you stand over the steaming water. Stay there for five minutes to open your pores and prime your skin for deep cleaning. For an extra luxurious experience, infuse the water with your favorite herbs like lavender or chamomile. Simply wrap these herbs in cheesecloth, and place them in the pot for five minutes before you remove it from the heat. Applying almond or sesame oil to your face before steaming can protect it from the heat.
Mask. Masks are one of the most important steps in the facial. They can stimulate circulation, remove dead skin and hydrate. Make sure you leave it on for just about five to 10 minutes, then wipe off with a warm, damp cloth.
Depending on the ingredients, you can:
• Treat breakouts (try: lemon juice or egg yolk masks)
• Minimize wrinkles (try: honey or banana masks)
• Zap oil (try: strawberry or cucumber masks)
• Make your skin brighter (try: yogurt or orange juice masks).
Massage. Finish your facial with a relaxing massage. Apply a generous amount of your favorite moisturizer to your hands and rub them together to heat the cream. Rubbing up and down your face, focus on areas where the muscles are overworked – cheeks, mouth and forehead are good places to start. Blot off any extra lotion with a tissue, and bask in your rejuvenated skin for the rest of the day!
While it's nice to treat yourself to a professional facial every once in a while, you can pamper yourself more often if you know how to mimic the steps at home.