Originally, I was going to title this post, “How to Give Yourself a Spa-Quality Facial at Home,” but then I thought about it, and really, you can’t. For one thing, at a spa you’re being taken care of by a professional esthetician, who as part of her training regimen, (hopefully) learned how to properly do extractions without harming your skin. For another thing, it’s infinitely better to have someone else massage your face and neck and shoulders than to do it yourself. So, I omitted the word “Quality” from my title because it would just set me up for failure. However, it IS possible to still give yourself a good facial at home if, like me, you just don’t have the time to go to the spa anymore because you have a little one.
First, let me share the protocol for a basic 60-minute facial at most spas:
- Steam (this step is to open up the pores) – sometimes, to heighten the impact of the cleanser and exfoliator, the esthetician will have the steamer on as soon as you get onto her table, and she’ll cleanse your skin with the steam on. At this point, the esthetician might lotion up your hands and put them in warm mittens for some heightened “pampering.”
- Extract impurities (blackheads, whiteheads, comedones).
- Masque. Usually, this is where you get your neck and shoulder massage too.
In a longer, more luxurious facial, the steps are just the same, except that there might be a second masque added as well as more finishing touches, such as lip balm, eye cream, maybe even a scalp massage. The important point here is, you can do all of these steps at home too, except for the extractions (unless you’re an esthetician).
Why You Can’t Do Your Own Extractions
Let me digress here for a second. You know how people always tell you not to pop your own pimples? Well, they’re right. Don’t pop your own pimples. Unless you’re specifically trained to do this, you should leave it to a professional (or risk inflammation, infection, scarring, and potentially even not extracting the entire comedone, leaving it to get even BIGGER). Take it from me – I’ve popped my own pimples and lived to regret it!
So. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
How to Give Yourself a Spa Facial At Home
Okay, this is how you can give yourself a facial at home. I would do this once a week (but I can’t lie – that’s ambitious for me, given that I have practically no free time).
- Give yourself a deep-cleanse. You can use the oil cleansing method with Castor Oil that I’ve described in the past.
- Next, prepare an essential oil facial steam.
- As the vapors are rising from the steam, put your face over the bowl and exfoliate your skin. I don’t know of any good home-based recipes for this, but I came across this blog post that tells you how to do it using ingredients already in your kitchen. Seems very interesting!
- After you’ve washed off the exfoliant, give yourself a couple spritzes of the essential oil toner you’ve made (or the hydrosol you’re using as a toner).
- Now, put on your own homemade Aromatherapy facial masque, and don’t forget to use the best-kept secret for how to get the most out of your masque! While masque-ing, you can either kick back and put your feet up, or you can continue to sit over the steam. You can even lie back while soaking in a bath…but whatever you do, don’t take off your masque before 10 minutes. Otherwise, you’re not giving it time to penetrate. Honestly, 20 minutes is best, if you can stand it.
- After you remove the masque (be sure to do it gently), put on your own Aromatherapy facial serum that you’ve blended for yourself.
- After the serum, you can moisturize and go on about your day. Or, you can skip moisturizer if you’re going to bed, to give the oils time to absorb. I don’t have any good suggestions myself for making your own Aromatherapy moisturizer, but other people do – I came across this useful post for how to make your own facial creams and I think it could work quite well.
- If you’re going to bed, then go to bed! If you’re going out for the day, then be sure to wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect against sun damage.
Well, there you have it – writing this has gotten me in the mood to do a facial for myself, so I’m off to go and whip up the ingredients. What do YOU do to give yourself a facial at home?