A Step By Step Guide For A DIY At-Home Facial (+ 3 Masks You Can Make With Pantry Items)

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A Step By Step Guide For A DIY At-Home Facial (+ 3 Masks You Can Make With Pantry Items)

Facials can be one of the most invigorating spa treatments we can receive, but amid COVID-19, we can't exactly run to our favorite spa for a weekend pick-me-up.

So, what does that mean? No facials until this whole horrible situation passes?

No, it means taking this time to take care of yourself, and learn how to do a facial at home!

An at-home facial will make your skin feel healthy and fresh, no spa visit required. You'll also save so money by doing it at home that you may not visit a true spa again.

Whether you're a beginniner or an expert at DIY facials, here's a step by step guide to invigorating your skin.

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1. Open your pores.

If you have a facial steamer, great! But if you don't, there's another way you can mimic a facial steamer.

Says Dr. Sarah Allen of The Skin Clique, “Bring a pot of water to a low boil, place a towel over your head, place your head over the pot of water, and relax over the steam for around 10 minutes.” You can take breaks if you need to.

2. Be careful when selecting DIY ingredients.

Allergies are a huge issue, and someone might not realize they’re allergic to something until they’ve plopped it on their eye or scrubbed it on their nose. That's why it's essential to be vigilant.

“I’m all about a fun at-home DIY facial, but as someone who studies ingredients and skin sensitivities constantly, I try to be cautious about advising certain things,” warns Camille Chulick, co-founder of Averr Aglow.  

3. Choose your aloe wisely.

Aloe can be great, but you need the good stuff for a DIY facial. Pure aloe has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, so if selected carefully it can be a great treatment for acne or an at-home spa facial.

Which ingredients should you choose, since not all aloe is created equal? 

“One ingredient I do really love in its natural state is aloe vera. It’s fantastic on burns, but many people have success with it as a spot treatment for acne. Of course, I always recommend anyone to do an allergy test and proceed with caution. Cosmetic grade aloe vera is often full of impurities and is far beyond natural,” advises Chulick.

If you do purchase aloe, make sure you choose pharmaceutical aloe certified by the International Aloe Science Council.

4. Cleanse your skin.

Before you begin, you have to give yourself a fresh canvas to work with.

“With your cleanser of choice, place a small amount in the palm of your hand and apply it to your face, neck, and décolleté,” says Isabella Koretz of Pearl Recovery Retreat and Ciel Spa. Then, gently rinse with warm water and pat — don’t rub! — your skin dry with a fresh towel.

5. Apply an exfoliator.

Toners are a great way to remove any remaining dirt or makeup left behind by your cleanser. An exfoliator, however, goes one step beyond what a toner can do.

Says Koretz, “Exfoliators (such as lactic acids,  AHAs, and BHAs) remove remaining impurities after cleansing. They help to restore your skin’s pH balance and exfoliate and purify the skin, preparing it for the steps that follow.”

6. Apply serums.

Here’s where you can customize your routine to your skin type.

“There’s a serum for almost any concern — acne, fine lines, dry skin, you name it! You can also combine multiple serums for a multi-targeted approach. Massage a few drops into your skin using ascending motions, and wait two minutes between each application so every layer can dry,” advises Koretz.

7. Moisturize!

Finish your at-home facial with a layer of moisturizer to seal in all your hard work.

“Dry skin can contribute to premature wrinkles, reduced elasticity, and acne breakouts. Keep dry skin at bay with a moisturizer of your choice. Just apply them directly to your face, neck, and low neck line, and give it a minute to set,” says Koretz.

RELATED: 21 Best Charcoal Masks For Flawless Skin

Now that you have the how-to on doing your own facial routine, check out these 3 DIY face scrubs and facials you can make at home!

Honey-Rose Facial

Licensed aesthetician and healthy skin expert, Rachael Pontillo's, has a signature DIY Honey-Rose Facial that delivers hydration, gentle exfoliation, antioxidant nutrition, and firming benefits. Best of all? All you need are easy-to-find ingredients (that you probably already have at home).

What you need:

  • Raw honey: Why use raw honey? Because it has all its enzymes and antioxidants intact, whereas pasteurized honey has had them "cooked out" and is less beneficial.

    Honey is a strong humectant that helps bring more hydration to the skin, contains natural enzymes that provide gentle exfoliation and pore refinement, antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage, and prebiotics/natural sugars that support a healthy skin microbiome.
  • Rosewater or rose petals: This is to make into rose tea. Rose contains Vitamin C (which helps support healthy collagen production), aromatherapeutic benefits that elevate mood, and is also a naturally astringent that tones, tightens, and firms skin naturally.

    Rosewater is available at many health food stores and drug stores (or online), but you can easily make rose tea. Steep 1 tablespoon of fresh, cut up rose petals (or 1 teaspoon of dried rose petals) into 8 oz of boiling water for 20 minutes, covered. Strain out the rose petals and let the tea cool to room temperature prior to use.
  • Rosehip seed oil: Rosehip seed oil is one of the best known oils to help support skin firmness and elasticity, as well as rejuvenation at the cellular level. It's packed with skin-healthy essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and E, and absorbs quickly.

How to make it:

1. Make sure your hair is either tied back or pulled off the face using a headband. Wet the skin with a warm washcloth, and massage a nickel-sized amount of the raw honey into the skin in circular motions, keeping out of the eyes.

2. Remove the honey with warm water and a soft cloth. Pat dry with a clean, soft cloth.

3. Apply a thick layer of the raw honey to the face and neck. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, until it becomes tacky.

4. Then, use fingertips to gently tap the skin all over the face and neck, focusing mostly on areas that tend to get clogged pores, and areas where fine lines and wrinkles are.

5. Remove the honey completely with warm water and a washcloth after 10 minutes. Pat dry with a soft cloth.

Note: The combination of the enzymes and stickiness of the honey effectively cleanse the pores, and gently slough off accumulated dead skin cells on the surface. The stickiness and tapping motion gently tones the fascia and muscles under the surface, and supports lymphatic flow — all of which produce firmer, more supple skin. 

6. Either sweep and saturate a cotton ball or pad, or spritz the face and neck liberally with rosewater or cool rose tea. Gently pat dry with a soft cloth to remove any excess honey. Reapply, and leave it on the skin.

7. While the skin is still damp with rosewater or rose tea, apply a dime-sized amount of rosehip oil to the palm of one hand. Rub the palms together gently, and pat the oil gently into the face and neck.

8. Gently massage the oil in, using upward strokes from the jaw up to the hairline, circular motions on the cheeks, around the eyes, and on the temples. Use gentle downward strokes on the neck. 

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Note: This can be done as a weekly self-care ritual once a week, but steps 1, 3, and 4 can be used twice daily as a regular skincare regimen.

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Sweet Oatmeal Facial Scrub

If you're not a fan of honey and rose, and prefer something different, this facial scrub is invigorating and smells yummy. Courtesy of Leticia Fernandez, Spa Director at Se Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort, it's another easy-to-make facial.

What you need: 

  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey
  • 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

How to make it:

1. Add oatmeal to a blender or processor, until it reaches a sand-like consistency.

2. Mix honey, half teaspoon of coconut oil, and milk into the oatmeal until it reaches a thick consistency

3. Wet face with warm water. Apply scrub with finger tips starting from neckline upward, with gentle circular movements until reaching the forehead. Give a double pass to the T-zone, known as one of the more oilier spots on the face.

4. Leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Note: The other half-teaspoon of coconut oil can be used if you prefer a thicker scrub. 

Coffee & Cocoa Facial Scrub

Another DIY facial via Fernandez, this scrub's smell alone is sure to wake you up!  

What you need: 

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa

How to make it:

1. Mix the coffee and the honey. Add the coconut oil, previously softened. Add the cocoa. Mix until well combined.

2. Rub the mixture, starting with face first. Do circular, gentle movements from neckline to forehead. Avoid the eye area.

3. Continue to apply scrub to the body, starting from the feet and go upward to the neckline. 

4. Leave the scrub on for 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly in the shower.

Note: Scrubs are recommended to be used once per week for the face and body.

RELATED: 5 Secrets Only People With The Most Beautiful Skin Know

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

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