A spa facial is a relaxing experience as well as an amazing way to pamper the skin. Unfortunately, a typical facial performed by a licensed esthetician costs upwards of $50 an hour, making it a rare luxury for most people. With a few supplies and a little time, anyone can replicate this treatment at home for just a few pennies.
- Any spa experience begins with setting the atmosphere, so the environment is key to reducing stress. Light calming candles: lavender, vanilla, chamomile are all soothing scents, but personal preference is what matters most. Dim the lights if possible, but if not unscrew a couple of bulbs from the light fixture (BEFORE it is turned on; they get hot!). Play relaxing music or white noise soundtracks like rainstorms or crickets chirping.
- Cleanse the skin in preparation for treatment. Remove all eye makeup first, then the rest of the face using face towelettes or baby wipes. This prevents any makeup from being rubbed around and pressed into the skin during the next step.
- Use a gentle cleanser and massage it over the face in circular motions for several minutes. This not only removes any traces of makeup as well as surface oils, but the movement relaxes the skin and facial muscles. Rather than splashing water on the face to rinse off the cleanser, use a wet washcloth or sponge and wipe the cleanser away, rinsing and repeating several times with fresh water to remove it all. This is far more relaxing than throwing water on the face and makes it feel like a special experience.
- Apply an exfoliant and repeat the circular massaging motions used when cleansing. Continue this step for a few minutes; one or two for sensitive skin, three or four for normal skin. Do not press hard or “scrub;” this must be done slowly and gently. When finished exfoliating, run a washcloth or tea towel under very warm water and lay it over the face (be sure it is not too hot). Leave it on not more than one minute, then use the warm towel to remove the exfoliant.
- If there are black or whiteheads on the skin, extractions can be performed as the steam from the towel opened the pores. It is crucial to sanitize everything used during extractions because if any bacteria is introduced into the pores it will cause breakouts. Also, it is important to be very careful with the skin so it is not damaged. This means absolutely no squeezing, and under no circumstances should an extractor tool be used as most people press too hard and it can either leave a small abrasion or force sebum and bacteria deeper into the pores and aggravate acne. The safe way to remove black or whiteheads is to cover the index fingers with tissue and press with the fingertips around any affected areas. If they do not pop out, do not force them by pressing harder or squeezing; it will only cause redness and inflammation. Lay a warm towel over the face again, this time for only about 30 seconds then wipe the skin clean of any sebum that was left from extractions.
- Apply a face mask: moisturizing cream for dry skin, clay for oily skin. For a homemade mask use some oatmeal and mix it with honey or yogurt for dry skin or for oily skin mix it with citrus juice or pureed berries. After the mask is applied, set a timer for 10 minutes. Cover the eyelids with moist chamomile tea bags and relax. After 10 minutes, use a warm washcloth to remove the mask. Rinse it several times and repeat to be sure all the mask is removed.
- Use a cotton round or square and wipe a toner over the skin to remove any remaining impurities.
- Massage an anti-aging serum or cream into the eye area, then a moisturizer over the entire face.