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At-home facials

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.

At home facial mask

Cursive number 1

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.

Cursive number 2Start scrubbing.

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

Cursive number 3get Specialized.

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.

Cursive number 4finish flawlessly.

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.

What not to do

A salon professional may perform extractions during your facial to get rid of clogged pores and blackheads, but this isn’t something you should undertake at home. Squeezing blemishes can permanently widen pores and cause scarring, inflammation, uneven skin tone and dilated capillaries — not the look you want after getting a facial.

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