Who doesn’t love getting a facial at a spa? You get pampered like a queen, and leave with better skin and a much better mood. But let’s face it (pun non intended): spas are expensive.
So why not save yourself a few bucks and give yourself a spa-quality facial at home? The best thing about it is you never need an appointment. You can do it whenever you want to, at a fraction of a cost.
1. Prepare your ‘spa basket.’
This saves you the trouble of running around the house looking for materials. Just get a small basket and fill it with small towels, a CD of relaxing music, a headband (if you have long hair), a robe, a gentle cleanser, an exfoliant, and a mask. Linen spray and aromatherapy oils are optional but really help set the ambience.
There, it’s all in one place. The only thing other thing you need to get before your actual facial is cucumber slices or freshly steeped tea bags.
2. Set the mood.
Prepare your bedroom (or wherever you’ll be lying down). Cue the music CD. Light the aromatherapy burner, and pour the essential oils. (It takes a while for the scent to get going, so the room will be perfect by the time you return.) Turn off the phone or any other possible distractions. Spritz the sheets with linen spray. Adjust the room temperature so you’ll be comfortable even if you’re just in a bathrobe.
You may also want to submerge your towels in hot water (add a few drops of aromatherapy oil). You’ll need this in step 5. (It’s these little touches that make the experience extra special.)
3. Get ready.
Change into a robe, and pull back any bangs or stray hair with your headband. Then, remove any traces of makeup and wash your face with warm water and your basic facial cleanser. To get all the grime off, gently rub your skin in small circles. Rinse off, and pat your face dry.
Exfoliation gets rid of the old, damaged surface skin cells and reveals newer, younger-looking skin. There are lots of exfoliating products on the market, but if you’ve run out, make your own with a little olive oil and sugar.
You don’t need that much exfoliant—just a nickel-sized drop and you’re good to go. Apply on your face (avoiding the area around the eyes) and very, very gently rub in small, circular motions. Apply some on your next and upper chest area too!
Rinse off with warm water.
5. Open your pores.
Now your face is clean and fresh. The next step is to open your pores, to prepare your skin for the deep treatment you get from a mask.
All you have to do is to get the hot, damp towels you prepared earlier. Wring out the water, and lie down. Place a towel on your forehead, and another on your chin and folded upwards on your cheeks. Only your nose should peek out.
Now, happily zone out for a few minutes to the calming music, your scented room and scented towels, while your pores open.
6. Apply the mask.
With a dry towel, gently dab away any moisture on your face. You’re ready for your mask. Apply liberally with fingers, or use a paint brush. Many commercial masks come with an applicator. Just do whatever works for you. (Run out of masks? Egg white is a great natural deep-cleanser. Just let it dry—it will harden—and wash off.)
Apply the mask on your face and neck, but steer clear of the eyes. It’s best to do this while sitting on your bed (or where you plan to lie down). You just need to check if you’ve got everything covered with a hand mirror, and keep the damp towels from step 5 next to you so you can wipe off excess product from your hands. Your cucumber slices and teabags should also be within reaching distance.
Then lie down, place the cucumber slices and teabags on your eyes, and let the beauty treatment do its work. Most masks need at least 10 minutes to work, but just in case, check the product instructions.
Rinse off the mask.
Apply moisturizer in gentle, small, circular motions. (If you want to, apply eyecream—patting the product into the skin with your pinky finger. The skin under the eyes is very fragile and harsh rubbing can cause wrinkles.)