How to Give Yourself the *Ultimate* At-Home Facial, According to the Pros
Main image – Leandrocrespi Studio/Adobe
There’s nothing like a really relaxing spa facial. The twinkly background music, the spa-like aromas filling the room and someone’s soothing hands massaging pure skin goodness into your skin.
But did you know that it’s just as easy to create a facial at home? You might even be more likely to have one if it’s in the convenience of your own bathroom, meaning your skin will benefit (and your bank balance will too – phew).
But what difference to the skin does a facial actually make? And where do you begin with creating your very own facial, and home-spa for that matter?
We spoke to Sarah Tucker, owner and aesthetic consultant at Your Aesthetic Edit and Ian Michael Crumm, celebrity aesthetician to get a feel for how to facial from home.
Get ready to be your very own beauty therapist.
How to give yourself a pro-level facial, step-by-step
So, just like you probably wouldn’t go and have a facial every day, you’re not going to be incorporating things like a facial steam session into your daily skincare regime either. Are we right?
But a monthly appointment with yourself and your bathroom could be a good things. Here’s how to do it…
Step 1. Prep:
Shut the bathroom door, don a headband, light a scented candle and press play on chosen twinkly music. Assemble a cleanser, exfoliator, some clean, dry flannels, a towel, a bowl (for steaming your skin), a face mask, and a moisturiser or face oil.
Step 2. Cleanse:
“Wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and dirt,” says Crumm. Give yourself a second cleanse afterwards to really make sure you’ve removed everything.
Step 3. Exfoliate:
“Use a mild exfoliator suitable for your skin type to get rid of dead skin cells,” Crumm advises. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (£24 from Cult Beauty UK /$24 from Sephora US) always leaves me with an enviable glow.
Do this for longer than you would in your daily regime – about five minutes. And remember to move the product in slow, circular, upward motions, as if giving yourself a massage. This not only feels relaxing, but it makes for a really effective exfoliation.
Step 4. Steam:
Next, steam your skin. Crumm says, “hold your face over a bowl of hot water – not too close to avoid burns – or use a warm, damp cloth to soften the skin.” We think putting a towel over your head and bowl as you lean over it is extra effective to keep the steam in.
Alternatively, home facial steamers are available. The StylPro Facial Steamer (£34.99 from Feel Unique UK /$41.99 from Feel Unique US) geniously triples up as a facial steamer, flannel heater and aromatherapy diffuser.
Step 5. Mask:
‘Apply a facial mask that addresses your skin concerns and leave it on for the recommended time,” Crumm continues.
For acne sufferers, I rate 47 Skin Anti-Blemish And Scar Repair Intensive Treatment Silver Mask (£24 from 47 Skin UK /$36 from 47 Skin US). Leave it on for 25 minutes (you can lie down and have a nap) and you’ll notice brighter skin and a reduction in spot size within minutes of removing it.
Step 6. Massage and moisturise:
Yes, more relaxation. It’s a hard life. Crumm advises to “gently massage your face using upward strokes to improve circulation and relaxation.”
How can a facial really benefit your skin?
Ok, but what’s all this pampering going to do for your skin?
You might think that a facial is a glorified skincare regime. And, to be honest, it kind of is. But bear with us.
The reason a facial is beneficial and not a complete scam is because all the extra steps taken in a facial are ones that you wouldn’t have time for on a daily basis. And they just so happen to hugely benefit the health and look of your skin too.
This is why it’s seen as such a treat to book yourself in for a facial. Yes, it’s self-care but it’s more than that. It’s extra TLC for your skin.
Take facial steaming, for example. “It infuses hydration into the skin when steaming with distilled water,” explains Tucker. “It also opens up pores to make extractions easier and the products applied afterwards penetrate better.” *Buys home facial steamer immediately.*
Add to that, the power of massage. The benefit of which isn’t just relaxation, it improves circulation too and has even been shown to lift and tighten skin. Spending a bit more time working your products into your skin via massage is something we just don’t have time for in our daily regimes.
And don’t forget the benefits of a face mask. From sheet to clay to bubble, they’re designed to be left on for longer periods of time during a facial to give the skin that little extra fix of goodness.
Just be aware that you’ll need to time your facials carefully. One study found that while the benefits of a facial include tighter, more supple skin, around one third of patients will experience a breakout or irritation in the weeks after a facial.
That’s why many experts recommend booking a facial at least one week before a big event.
As much as we love the idea of popping to the spa and treating ourselves to a facial, sometimes (er, most of the time) life and lack of budget get in the way. This is why home facials are on the rise. And we hope you agree, they’re a lot simpler to put into practice than they sound.
The key to the perfect at-home facial is to first set aside some time every month, or week. Then build your facial kit. Collect the products that make you feel good and that work for your skin.
Next, set the scene. You wouldn’t want a spa to have strip lighting and the sound of cars rushing past outside. So, simple touches like dimming the lights and shutting the window will help you to relax.
Now, say ommmmm…
Meet the experts
Sarah Tucker is the owner and aesthetic consultant at Your Aesthetic Edit.
Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetician separating the facts from the fads, content creator, and co-host of @beautycuriouspod with Dr Elyse Love.