You don’t need to splurge at the spa to make your skin smoother, softer and get deep clean. With the right tools and a few minutes of “quiet” time, you can recreate a top-quality spa experience at home. This weekend, pour yourself some cucumber water and follow these five steps for some serious skin-pampering.
- A gentle makeup remover and daily cleanser
- An exfoliating facial scrub
- A clay or gel mask
- Your day/night moisturizer
STEP 1: CLEANSE
Start by removing makeup with gentle makeup remover and cleansing your face and neck completely with a cleanser. Coconut oil is a great natural makeup remover that also has antibacterial properties. By gently rubbing it on both the top and bottom lids with a cotton pad and you’ll feel the makeup melt away under your fingers.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
Exfoliate with a gentle facial scrub to remove dead skin and unclog the pores. Using your fingers, gently rub an exfoliating facial scrub in small circular motions all over your face and neck for 30 seconds to one minute. Leave the exfoliator on the skin and move onto step three.
STEP 3: STEAM
With the exfoliator still on the skin, run a washcloth under warm to hot water, wring out the excess water and drape it over your face. Let the cloth sit for about five minutes. The exfoliator and the steam will work together to loosen dirt and grime in the pores. Using the washcloth, gently wipe away the exfoliator and rinse the face again with warm water.
STEP 4: MASK
Apply a mask to suit your skin type. If you’ve got oily skin or acne-prone skin, use a clay mask. Clay removes dirt and grease from skin and stimulates blood flow.
For a clay mask: There are three stages to a clay mask. The damp phase, where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals. The beginning of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. Then the end of the dry phase, which draws out impurities from the surface of your skin, but may also cause dehydration to to already dry skin. To remove the clay mask, repeat the steaming-wash cloth routine from the step prior.
For a gel or cream mask: If you have dry or combination skin, choose a cream or gel mask that locks in moisture.
For a DIY mask: If you want to go the DIY mask route, you can easily make a mask to hydrate dry skin. Mix 1/4 cup of ground oatmeal (not instant) with 1/4 cup of water and two teaspoons of honey. Apply to the skin and leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
STEP 5: MOISTURIZE
After using a mask you’ll want to seal moisture into the skin. Use your day or night moisturizer (depending on when you do your facial) but take your time applying it—this is where the massage comes in. The key to massaging the face is to keep moving the hands up, never down, to help the skin better absorb the benefits of the cream or lotion. You never want to pull at the skin downwards, as that can cause weakening of elasticity.