It’s unfortunate that the majority of Americans don’t receive facials on a regular basis—only approximately 2.82 million individuals get a treatment four or more times in a six month period—because the benefits that come from consistent care like an anti-aging facial can have a tremendous impact on the health of your skin later on on life.
Look at it this way: you go to the dentist regularly for a deep cleaning, the gynecologist for an annual exam, and your doctor when you’re not feeling well, so why wouldn’t you treat your skin (aka the largest organ of the body) with the same respect?
If cost is one of the main factors, you’re in luck, because we’re presenting you with an 7 step DIY anti-aging facial that you can afford to execute on a monthly basis.
Benefits of an anti-aging facial
Before we get into exactly what an anti-aging facial treatment consists of, let’s take a look at some of the scientifically backed benefits—especially if you’re lacking motivation—that indicate facials are so much more than simply a pampering treatment alone.
1. Less breakouts
While over-washing your face or going overboard with products can actually cause your skin to become more broken out, regular facials can help control an acne-prone complexion. Proper exfoliation and products can help make extractions easier (best done by a pro, but can be handled on your own with care) and aid in the absorption of treatment products.
At-home spot treatments can help with the look of scaring, whereas glycolic peels help reduce the appearance of large pores. You can consider investing in an a-home infrared light device to help keep breakouts at bay, but keep in mind that involves a daily commitment.
2. Increased circulation
When circulation is sluggish, the skin can appear to look dull, pale, and, lackluster.
Evidence suggests that massage can improve vascular function and blood circulation, thus promoting a healthy, glowing complexion.
3. Supported cell communication
Exfoliation should be a part of your weekly routine, but your monthly facial is a good opportunity to try a gentle, at-home peel or exfoliating mask in an effort to reawaken the skin and bring radiance to your look.
As with massage, stimulating the lymphatic system via a technique known as lymphatic drainage can help remove impurities, deliver a brighter look to the eye area, and firm and tighten your look.
In order to be effective, you have to execute the technique correctly, so make sure you educate yourself before trying it out on your own.
5. Increased absorption of products
Daily home care is the key to maintenance, but a thorough deep clean once a month can help with the absorption of all your products.
This allows you to achieve your skin care goals more effectively, whether that means increased hydration, a more even skin tone, rejuvenated skin, a smoother and calmer complexion, eliminating dullness, minimizing pores, promoting ageless beauty, or a combination thereof.
DIY anti-aging facial steps
This is not a one-size-fits-all facial, so make sure you’re choosing the proper products (natural when possible) for your skin type, keeping in mind that you should also include anti-aging ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinol, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, tea and plant extracts, and niacinamide, too.
Take care of all prep work before beginning so the experience feels relaxed, not disorganized. Set out all your products in order and fill a bowl with warm water with a few drops of essential oils.
This is a more spa-like way to remove excess product (sponges are best) versus simply splashing water on your face. Up the ante by preparing a batch of hot towels. After wetting the washcloths, add a few drops of EO’s of your choice, roll and keep warm in Ziplock baggies until ready for use. Create ambiance by lighting a few candles, dimming the lights, and turning on some soft, relaxing music.
Clean your skin the professional way by doing a double cleanse. Take your time and gently massage the cleanser into your skin for approximately two minutes each pass. Remove the product with a warm towel.
It’s important to make sure you have thoroughly cleansed skin before moving on to the next steps so that you get the maximum benefit from the treatment.
The goal of an anti-aging facial is to do something a little bit different than what you do on the daily. With that in mind, you may want to opt to exfoliate with an at-home peel (think alpha and/or beta hydroxy acids) versus a mechanical (granular) exfoliant—providing you have the type of skin that can tolerate it.
As they are stronger in strength peels typically exfoliate on a deeper level. If you’ve never tried one before, make sure you do a patch test first.
Since it’s unlikely that you have a pro steamer apparatus at your home, create a DIY steam bath instead. Keep in mind that if you choose to do a peel versus a scrub, you’ll want to do this step during the masking process instead, because the heat can sensitize your skin.
If you have visible capillaries and/or overly sensitive skin, you may want to skip this step all together. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add in a few drops of essential oils and/or herbs, and hold your face over the water with a towel draped over your head to capture the steam.
Don’t forget to take a few deep breaths so you can reap the relaxing benefits as well.
This step may or may not be necessary, but it should absolutely be done with care. Forgo the use of dangerous comedone extractors as they can cause scarring if not used properly.
The same can happen if you force an extraction, so execute caution. Extraction removal include blackheads, whiteheads, or a pustule that’s ready to pop—hands off if you have deep, red, inflamed breakouts as you run the risk of spreading bacteria and worsening the condition.
With your index fingers covered with tissues, gauze, or cotton squares for sanitation purposes, tackle each area with a scoop and roll motion—the roll is what’s bringing the impurity to the surface.
A white head should pop while the compaction from a blackhead should easily come to the surface. If you’re not getting a result, leave it alone as it’s not ready to be extracted yet. Immediately swipe an antiseptic toner over the treated area to prevent the spreading of bacteria.
There are many ways to have fun with the massage phase! Along with traditional facial massage, you can try your hand at lymphatic drainage, or use a tool such as a jade roller or gua sha stone.
When done properly, these techniques can firm and tighten your look, encourage revitalized skin, deliver a brighter look to the eye area, reduce the appearance of dullness, and give your face a glowing look.
Knowledge is power, so take the time to watch a video tutorial or read up on your massage of choice—there’s a lot of information out there that’s geared towards consumers, so don’t be intimidated.
Masks have the power to remove impurities, minimize the appearance of large pores, replenish moisture, bring a radiance to your look, reduce dullness, even the look of your skin tone, clarify and balance your skin, and more.
Choose the proper formula for your skin type and either opt to steam at this time, or take 15-20 minutes to lay down and relax with a cold compress across your eyes. Remove the product with a warm towel.
7. Treat and moisturize
After toning, apply treatment products such as eye cream/gel, serum, and spot treatment before your moisturizer.
Ideally, you did your facial before going to sleep, so your skin will have ample time to reap the benefits of the treatment while you snooze.
Lastly, the remember that the key to maintaining your results is daily home care.
“U.S. population: How many times have you used facials in the last six months,” Statista, 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/276868/us-households-professional-personal-care-services-used–facials/
“11 Science-Backed Benefits of Facials,” Well-Being Secrets, August 2018, https://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-facials/
“Do You Really Need A Skin Care Routine?,” Northwestern Medicine, https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/do-you-really-need-a-skin-care-routine
Rebecca Taras has over ten years of editorial and copywriting experience, including serving as an editor for hot digital spaces like Refinery29, PopSugar, Forbes Travel Guides, and Bustle. Along with contributing to print and digital outlets, she currently handles copywriting for some of the biggest brands in the beauty and travel industries.
A Chicagoland native, Taras began her career catering to celebrity clientele as an esthetician at the Peninsula Chicago Hotel before launching her own line of bath and body care products with her previous bath and body care company, Cleansing Queen. Rebecca also created custom in-room amenities for the Sofitel Hotel Chicago, including items featured in a special presentation for the president of AccorHotels upon his visit from France to Chicago. Her efforts were recognized by the Chicago Fashion Foundation, and she received the Style Maker and Rule Breaker award in the Beauty category.
Ultimately, Rebecca’s initiatives evolved into the co-founding of Terminal Getaway airport spas, now located at Seattle-Tacoma International, Tampa International, Orlando International, and Chicago O’Hare International airports. Though she is no longer involved with Terminal Getaway, her passion for beauty and travel not only persisted over the years but grew.
As Rebecca continued to refine her skincare knowledge, she spent a considerable amount of time as a journalist covering beauty and other topics. Rebecca’s diverse body of knowledge, experience, and an insatiable curiosity for faraway places culminated in Well-Traveled Beauty, an upcoming skincare line and travel website. The company’s initial offerings will be a line of results-driven, travel-friendly beauty products that take the guesswork out of figuring out what to pack.
A global traveler with a passion for Paris, Taras finally decided to live the Parisian way of life on the daily and call the City of Light home.