Turning up the thermostat to accommodate the change in the seasons. Halloween makeup. A few too many cocktails. Sweaty long runs. Baking in the sun during last weekend's trip to Vegas. These are all crimes I have recently committed against my skin, and it's beginning to show. It's definitely time I do something nice for my face, but I'd like to do it without simultaneously doing something mean to my wallet. What I'm saying is, I think it's time for an at-home facial, people. While a DIY facial can't compare to the spa version in terms of pampering, it CAN have the same aesthetic benefits, for a lot less cash. So put on your robe, turn on some whale-sounds music, and dim the lights. It may not be a real spa experience, but it definitely beats an acne attack.
Here's what you need:
Your favorite cleanser
Warm water and a washcloth
Clay-based or cream facial mask (based on skin type)
Here's what you do:
1. Cleanse: Use a headband or wrap a towel around your head to keep your hair pushed away from your face. To get started, use your favorite facial cleanser to remove any grease or dirt from the surface of your face (see below for my picks). In case you have never seen a Clean N' Clear commercial, the proper way to wash your face is to first dampen it with warm water. Then rub a nickel-size dollop on cleanser between your fingers, and massage it into your face. To rinse it off, splash your face with warm water until all of the soap is removed. Pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Exfoliate: The next step is to remove and dead, dull skin cells. Dampen your face again, and massage a gentle exfoliator into your skin. Make sure you focus on the areas where you are prone to break-outs and blackheads (like your jawline, forehead and nose). Rinse and pat dry.
3. Tone: Toner is an oft-overlooked, but important facial product. The toner removes any cleanser residue, and really freshens the skin. You can use good old witch hazel, or one of my suggestions below. Pour the toner onto a clean cotton swab and rub over your face.
4. Steam: This is where you really sock it to any gunk that might be built up in your pores. Boil a pot of water over the stove. Add chamomile tea bags, if you like, and place your face over the pot, tenting with a towel, for about five minutes. Pat dry.
5. Mask: A clay-based mask will literally suck the dirt and grease out of your face. Apply liberally to the skin on your face and neck, but avoid your eye area. Try one of my faves below, or you can mix up a gentle mask in your kitchen using 3 tablespoons oatmeal, 1 egg white, and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Leave on for 10-20 minutes (you can put cucumber slices over your eyes and take a nap, if you want), then rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.
6. Moisturize: The last, but arguably most important step, is to apply your favorite moisturizer to your face and neck. Ahhh. You glow, girl.
My picks: Top row: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, $38; Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $11; St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $4; Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, $6; Burt's Bee's Garden Tomato Toner, $11; Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, $8.
Bottom Row: Lush Mask of Magnaminty, $11; Freeman's Purifying Facial Clay Masque, $4; Olay Total Effects moisturizer, $18; La Roche-Posay Toleriane moisturizer, $20.
6 hours ago