There’s nothing like that smooth, soft, luminous glow you get after a facial. Not all of us can afford the luxury of a spa facial, though, so here's how to recreate this sumptuous spa treatment at home.
Take it all off.
A spa facial is all about deep cleaning the skin, so start by removing all your makeup. The type of cleanser to use depends on your skin type: If your skin is oily, use a gel cleanser. If it tends to be dry, use a creamy product that won't strip skin of much-needed moisture. The trick to getting skin spa-quality clean is to cleanse twice. The first wash removes dirt and makeup sitting on the surface of the skin, while the second wash actually cleans the skin -- getting at impurities that were missed on the first go 'round. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap or face wash is left on your skin.
Exfoliating -- removing dead skin cells -- allows the creams, serums or other treatments you use later to penetrate more deeply and work better. The type of exfoliators you choose should be suited to your skin type.
- Scrubs contain grainy particles that physically remove dead skin cells as you move the product around your face. Skin type: Oily
- Chemical exfoliators contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) found in fruit to loosen and dissolve the dead skin cells rather than scrub them away.Skin type: Dry or mature
- Enzyme products dissolve dead skin cells with no scrubbing, making them suitable for anyone with sensitive skin or rosacea. Look for products that contain papaya or pineapple. Skin type: Sensitive or reactive
Once you've cleansed and scrubbed, target skin issues (dry patches, redness, acne) with a mask. For most people, one mask won't treat all skin problems, so double up with different masks. If you have combination skin, use a clay mask on your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), and then use a hydrating mask around your eyes and on your cheeks. If your skin is blemish prone, spot-treat breakouts with a product formulated to fight acne.
Most salon facials end with a serum, moisturizer and eye cream to leave you with smooth, hydrated skin. Serums are jam packed with concentrated skin-boosting ingredients that penetrate more deeply into skin than an ordinary moisturizer. Follow up your serum with a moisturizer suited to your skin type.