Are you in need of some TLC? I know I am. During this wild, unpredictable time, I’ve managed to somewhat embrace the ebbs and flows of sheltering in place. I’ve gotten over my nails not being done (a miracle), I’m becoming a really great cook, and I’m slowly making my way through my massive stack of books.
But there are days when the anxiety (especially in the evenings for me) is pretty overwhelming. And that’s when I take a deep breath and decide to treat myself to a little luxury. Maybe it’s a dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or a long soak in the bathtub or now, a weekly at-home facial.
I LOVE facials. The serene spa music. The comfy robe they give you to wear at the spa. The gentle yet firm massages on your face. I am a notorious jaw clencher and even *thinking* about someone massaging my face makes me relaxed. So, I thought I’d come up with a nice little weekend at-home facial ritual that a) gives me something to look forward to each week, b) helps me relieve some anxiety, and c) gives me a nice li’l skin glow.
There are days when the anxiety is pretty overwhelming. And that’s when I take a deep breath and decide to treat myself to a little luxury: a weekly at-home facial.
If you’re curious, I encourage you to settle in, put on your comfiest robe, play some soothing spa music (my favorite playlist is here), and read my tips for how you can do your own spa-level at-home facial treatment.
Step 1: Gather Your “Ingredients”
Doing an at-home facial is a bit like cooking. You want to have your “mise en place” ready—all of the products and tools you need at the ready so you’re not walking around your house trying to find your favorite cleanser when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Think about the products you’ll need for the basic steps of a facial: cleanse, steam, exfoliate, mask, hydrate, moisturize. Pull out your favorite products or the ones you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Treat yourself!
Next, find an area of your home that is relaxing and calming. I like to do my facials going between my kitchen (access to a sink!) and the couch so I can lay down and relax while I’m masking. Also, make sure you have about an hour or more for your spa date. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Tools you’ll need:
- Towels (one large, one small)
- Cotton pads
- Oil cleanser
- Foaming cleanser
- Exfoliating product (can be chemical or physical, whatever your preference)
- Facial steamer or large pot
- Jade roller or gua sha (optional!)
- Sheet mask or any of your favorite wash-off masks
- Hydrating serum
Set these products up in your space in the correct order when you’ll need them.
Step 2: Cleanse
The foundation of any good facial is a deep, thorough cleanse. Remove any makeup, sunscreen, sweat, and dirt using your oil cleanser. Take your time here—massage the cleanser into your skin using gentle, circular, upward strokes. Breathe and focus on how your fingers feel against your skin, and release any tight facial muscles. Rinse and repeat with your foaming cleanser.
Step 3: Steam!
This is the step that sets apart a regular nighttime routine with a spa-level facial. Set up your personal steamer (this affordable one is a favorite of Nam Vo, aka the dewy dumpling goddess!). If you don’t have a steamer, you can heat up a large pot of water until boiling.
Grab the large towel and drape it over your head and around your shoulders, and move your face about 10 to 20 inches away from the pot. Adjust if it’s too hot! Steam your face for no longer than 10 minutes. Steaming is beneficial because it helps break up the gunk in your pores and softens your skin, so your next steps can penetrate easily.
Step 4: Exfoliate
Use your favorite chemical or physical exfoliant. If it’s something you need to leave on for a bit, apply it, put on your headphones, and relax for 10 minutes. Rinse if necessary.
Step 5: Mask
My favorite step! After you’re all nice and exfoliated, apply your favorite mask. I personally like sheet masks best because they don’t drip everywhere, but it’s up to you! Put on your headphones or ask Alexa or Google Home to play the spa playlist, and relax in bliss for 20 minutes.
I also like to do a body scan at this time to release any tension. Starting at my forehead, I breathe and send healing energy to each part of my body. Trust me when I say that this ritual really, really helps even the most terrible anxiety (I would know!).
Step 6: Hydrate
For the hydration step, I like to use a two-part method. First, I liberally mist my skin with a hydrating facial mist—something like the cult classic Caudalie Beauty Elixir is great.
Then, I like to follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum, something that’s going to plump up my skin and infuse it with tons of hydration. Make sure to apply using gentle, upward strokes and tap, tap, tap around your delicate eye area.
Step 7: Moisturize
Moisturizing is your final step! This is the step that seals in all of your precious hydration and imparts a dewy, covetable glow. I like to use a cocktail of moisturizers. First, I use a rich moisturizer—my current favorite is Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream—followed by their iconic Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask. Then finally, a few drops of argan oil, which is super rich and feels absolutely lush on the skin.
Be intentional as you apply each product. Breathe deeply and really focus on how your products feel on the skin. Massage your jaw one last time, and boom! You’re all done!