How To Do An At-Home Facial In 10 Easy & Relaxing Steps

Photo: Helgy via Canva
woman having an at home facial

Facials can be one of the most invigorating spa treatments to receive, but running to the spa every weekend can become quite expensive. How about saving your wallet and bank account by doing some self-care at home?

A DIY at-home facial will make your skin feel healthy and fresh — no spa visit required. You'll save so much money that you may not visit a true spa ever again.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, here's a step-by-step guide to invigorating your skin.

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How To Give Yourself A Facial

1. Creating a relaxing atmosphere.

The first thing to do when giving yourself a facial at home is to set up shop. That is, you should create a warm, relaxing environment to give you that spa feeling.

Light a candle or burn incense, dim the lights, and put on soothing music to really make the vibe facial-friendly.

2. 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.

Dr. Sarah Allen of The Skin Clique says, “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 even take breaks if you need to.

3. Be careful when selecting 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.

4. Choose your aloe wisely.

Aloe can be great, but you need the good stuff for a DIY at-home 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?

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

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

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5. 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 (neckline),” says Isabella Koretz of Ciel Spa. Then, gently rinse with warm water and pat — don’t rub! — your skin dry with a fresh towel.

6. 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.”

7. 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.

8. Tone.

Toning is such an important step in facial care that many forget to do. Adding in a toner to your skincare routine can be a game changer.

Toners remove the last traces of any dirt, dust, or grime from your face. They also dive deep into your pores to eliminate anything that may have gotten stuck after you have washed your face.

When used regularly, toners can improve the appearance and "tightness" of your pores.

9. 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 it directly to your face, neck, and low neckline, and give it a minute to set,” says Koretz.

10. Do not extract anything from your skin after the facial.

It may be tempting to start extracting and picking at flaws of your skin, but this is actually extremely dangerous to do on your own. You should always let a professional do extractions to avoid any infections.

Infection can happen so easily at home. So, be careful not to contaminate your pores with bacteria.

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3 DIY Facials & Face Scrubs

Honey-Rose Facial

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


  • raw honey
  • rosewater or rose petals
  • rosehip seed oil

Raw honey 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.

The rosewater or rose petals are to make rose tea. Rose contains Vitamin C (which helps support healthy collagen production), aromatherapeutic benefits that elevate mood, and is also a natural 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 yourself. 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 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.


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 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 cleanses the pores, and gently sloughs off accumulated dead skin cells on the surface. The stickiness and tapping motion gently tone 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.

(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 DIY facial.


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


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

2. Mix honey, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil, and milk into the oatmeal until it reaches a thick consistency.

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


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


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

2. Rub the mixture on the skin, starting with the 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 going 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.)

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.