I once had an esthetician give me a facial.
It was at a med spa.
It was lovely.
It made me realize that heaven must be a place where you are constantly pampered and massaged (the extraction part of the facial could stay on earth).
However, that was a long time and a lot of disposable income ago, and unfortunately a facial is not high on my “to buy” list.
Fortunately, it’s simple and fun to DIY your own facial that will leave your skin feeling renewed and refreshed in a matter of minutes.
First things first – what is your skin type? Are you oily? Dry? Normal? You’ll want to choose a mask that best corresponds to your skin type and skin needs.
Since I am oily, I am using a clay mask that draws out the gunk that tends to accumulate in my pores. For normal to dry skin, I recommend using moisturizing masks to help replenish and nourish your skin.
My favorite at-home mask for normal-to-dry skin is none other than a light layer of honey. Honey has moisturizing AND antibiotic properties and it is not a pain to remove if you don’t glob it on your face. Trust!
Another great nourishing mask to try is mashed up avocado. I’ve never been good at the avocado mask, because I tend to want to eat it more than wear it on my face, you know?
How often should you do a facial? Some say once or twice a week, I tend to indulge once a month or so. If you overindulge and give yourself a facial more than once or twice a week, you run the risk of irritating your skin, so beware. Also, don’t give yourself a facial right before an important event – give your face at least three days to “recover”.
Now let’s get down to business!
Step 1: Make sure your face is cleansed and your hair is pulled back. Exfoliate your skin by using your preferred method of exfoliation. I use a Claroderm cloth, but if you want a guaranteed gentle method, use a bit of baking powder mixed in with your cleanser. And you can thank Paula Begoun for that little tip.
Step 2: Next we move on to opening your pores steaming your face. I use my at-home facial days as a way to hard boil some eggs (or is it the other way around?), that way I don’t feel guilty for using up water unnecessarily.
Once the water has reached a rolling boil, remove from heat source, place it in a location where it won’t fall or injure anyone, and put your face over the steam for a couple of minutes with a towel over your head. Some people will recommend up to 20 minutes, but that’s just too long for me.
In the event you want to remove the risk of burns, I recommend investing in one of these doodads. They are awesome and pretty much fool proof.
Step 3: Apply your mask of choice, sit down with a book, tv show, or your favorite blog (ahem, ahem) for ten to fifteen minutes. You’ll know you’re ready to go wash your face when you can’t blink or talk anymore. For reals.
Here’s a tangential tutorial for the Aztec Secret - Indian Healing Clay mask, which is a huge steal at around $5 for a 1 pound jar that will last you forever, and is most commonly found at health food or vitamin stores.
This stuff is INTENSE, just warning you in advance. The manufacturer recommends mixing the clay with raw apple cider vinegar for maximum benefits, but if you have sensitive skin or don’t like torturing yourself, I recommend using water.
Like the label says, the mask will make your skin pulsate towards the end, and you feel that big time when you use the vinegar.
a) Measure out equal amounts of clay and vinegar, or water. If you’re using vinegar, shake up the bottle before using so the “mother” part of the vinegar, aka the most nutrient-rich part of it, is incorporated. One tablespoon of each is PLENTY for one face.
b) The mixture bubbles up immediately, so make sure to mix it well.
c) Apply to your face and make sure you get a nice even layer of the mask, concentrating in your trouble areas, like your t-zone.
I have a confession to make – I was planning a color cosmetic tutorial, but my recent cold has positively ravaged my skin. I resemble Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I realize that posting the following pictures of me with a mask on may render me dateless for the foreseeable future, but I’m willing to take
d) Mask about halfway in, at the moment when I realize these photos may render me dateless for the foreseeable future.
e) At the ten minute mark. Could set for a little longer, but at this point I can’t take it anymore and call it day.
Step 4: Extraction time. I can’t bring myself to use one of those metal extractors, so here’s a helpful way to get out any glaring blemishes without risking too much pain. Use two q-tips – one in each hand – to push out the offending pimple or blackhead. Works like a charm.
Step 5: Tone your face with your toner of choice. Witch hazel is a cheap and effective option from the drugstore.
Step 6: Moisturize with your moisturizer of choice.
And that’s how you get your glow on!
Tell me, what’s your skin type and what are your favorite masks? Have you DIY’d a facial before?