Getting a professional facial is a delicacy. There’s nothing like being pampered in a cozy treatment room bed—the steam, the thorough pore cleaning, and we can’t forget the facial massage to rejuvenate the skin!
The only downside is that these facials are expensive. (That, and it can be hard to find spas that use pure and natural products.)
Experts recommend you get a facial every 4-6 weeks, but that can be hard to work into your budget. As an esthetician I gave facials to clients for years and absolutely loved it. I even gave myself facials in my treatment room in between clients.
empowering you to do it yourself!
Now, I spend time educating people on how they can give themselves facials. It’s an absolute dream job because I can share my knowledge of natural skin care in a really empowering way.
Facials are an essential key to healthy, glowing skin. By regularly performing at-home facials you can even out the look of your skin tone, enjoy deep cleansing benefits, and experience overall rejuvenation. Giving yourself a facial is a gorgeous form of self-love (and a great way to get to know your skin).
How to Do an At-Home Facial
Below is a step-by-step guide to how to do an at-home facial treatment. It's simple, effective, and super pampering. So grab your favorite robe, sit back, relax and feel beautiful.
The first step of your facial is the most important. Cleansing removes dirt, oil and makeup to give your skin a “clean slate.” This allows all other products to penetrate optimally into the deeper layers of the skin.
Technique: The way you wash your face matters. It’s common that after a long day you want to jet through the cleansing process and go to bed as soon as possible. I’m here to tell you that this step (especially during a facial treatment) should be emphasized and performed for at least a few minutes.
Start by rinsing your face with lukewarm water. Apply a dime-sized amount of cleanser most suitable for your skin type (like our Aloe-Herb Cleanser or Citrus Mint Cleanser) and begin manipulating the wash in upward, circular motions with your middle and ring fingers.
Medium pressure is good here, as this will help to stimulate and give your facial muscles a lifted and toned appearance. Rinse with lukewarm water and gently pat your skin dry with a washcloth. (Repeat if necessary when wearing heavy makeup.)
Now that your face is squeaky clean, it’s time to exfoliate. Exfoliating is imperative for creating a healthier, smoother appearance.
This not only helps with evening out the look of your skin tone, but also with refining the look of your pores, smoothing out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improving your skin's feel. Exfoliating also greatly increases product penetration.
Technique: Apply a dime-sized amount of scrub, such as our Kaolin Micro Exfoliant, to the skin and then use upward, circular motions with light pressure for 1-2 minutes. If you prefer, you can use a chemical or enzymatic exfoliation like a fruit acid peel. You can read more about methods of exfoliation here.
When steam enters the facial, this is when the home spa vibe really gets going. To me, steam is the most relaxing and cleansing part of a facial. It opens the skin follicles (pores).
How to steam: The easiest way to steam is to bring water to a boil in a large pot. Take a towel and drape it over your head and slowly lean your face over the pot so that your face is directly over the steam. (Be careful to not get too close!) It should feel warm, not hot.
Get creative with your steam—add rose petals, rosemary, thyme, or any other herbs. A few drops of essential oils are lovely, too!
Steam for 10-15 minutes, with intermittent breaks if you need. If you have sensitive skin or rosacea, steaming may not be ideal for your skin type.
I know it’s tempting to want to extract your blackheads, but as a licensed professional I recommend only getting extracted by one. I say this because extracting incorrectly can result in tearing and/or scarring the skin.
Note: Extractions should only be performed on blackheads, which are typically found in the T-zone area (forehead, nose, chin). Blackheads are oxidized sebum (oil) that show up as black “dots.” Blackheads are open comedones. Pimples, also known as whiteheads, are closed comedones, which you should never attempt to extract/squeeze as this could exacerbate inflammation, cause breakage in the skin, and result in scarring.
How a professional extracts blackheads: Extractions should only take place after steaming the skin because steam helps to open the follicles and soften the oxidized oil in them.
To extract, they wrap a tissue around each index finger and carefully place one finger on each side of the blackhead pushing down gently with a slight “squeeze.” The blackheads should come out easily. If they do not, leave them alone to avoid further irritating the skin. They may also use blackhead removal tools.
5. Treatment Mask
After all of those deep cleaning steps it’s time for some pampering. Now you can relax and give your skin some tender loving care! The treatment mask is the heart of any facial. This is when your skin is most ready to receive yummy nutrients since it’s just been cleansed, exfoliated and steamed.
Choose a mask most suitable for your skin type. Our Coconut Honey Mask is excellent for dry, mature and normal/sensitive skin types, while our Purifying Mud Mask is ideal for oily and normal/combination skin.
Apply your mask and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. (Now would be the time to place cucumber slices on the eyes if you really want to get into it!) Remove with a warm washcloth and splash skin with cold water.
6. Tone + Treat
Continue by applying the same steps you’d complete in your daily facial routine. Plug in your favorite toner such as our Neroli Toning Mist. Mist and let skin dry before applying your favorite serum.
I love the cooling feeling and deeply hydrating effects of our Anti-Aging Serum. When working in a spa before I was working for Annmarie Skin Care, I used to always use this serum on my clients after a facial as it helped to calm and soothe the appearance of the skin.
Let’s put some pep in this final step and seal in that bona fide beauty. Moisturizing is an essential step for the face and around the eyes, so pick your favorite oil or cream and massage deeply into the skin for 1-2 minutes. Facial massage is a great way to tone and lift the appearance of the skin, relieve tension, and drive the oils in deeper, giving your skin layers and layers of love. Finish with a spritz of toning mist, as this will also push the facial oils into the skin more effectively.
And there you are! You’ve just given your skin a beautiful at-home facial.
Abby Stoecker is a Licensed Esthetician with 9 years of experience in the beauty industry. Her journey has led her to experience first hand the entire cycle of the esthetics industry—first working as a practitioner, then as an Account Manager/ Brand Evangelist at a skin care product company (ASC), and previously as an Educator at Cinta Aveda Institute where she originally studied for her Esthetics License almost 10 years ago. Currently, she is freelancing with start up skin care brands in the green beauty space. Her objective is simple—spread awareness, educate and make people feel their best when it comes to the decisions they make for their wellness and beauty. Abby finds immense joy in navigating clients through the world of skin, helping each person craft their own at-home rituals to achieve balance, inside and out. You can find her on most mornings with a face mask on, coffee in hand, listening to “The Daily” podcast.