How to give yourself a facial from home

It has been almost eight months since I wrote my first blog post on how to take care of your skin during quarantine. So much has happened in relation to the pandemic around the world, and there is no sign of it ending it any time soon. The UK is in its second national lockdown, meaning myself and many other workers across different industries (not only beauty) are finding themselves shut inside, working, finding work, taking care of their families. Just as I cannot wait to book in a haircut, I am sure there are just as many out there dreaming of booking in a facial or other aesthetic treatment. So, I thought it would be great to put a post together to show you lovely readers how to do your own facial at home.

In this article I will cover:

  1. What basic items you will need to perform the perfect facial

  2. What benefits you may experience from regular DIY facials

  3. How to set the scene for the perfect selfcare experience

  4. A step-by-step facial routine you can follow

What is a facial?

A facial is a skin treatment that in its most basic form, involves cleansing the skin, some kind of exfoliation, massage, extraction and a face mask, usually finished with the application of serums and creams. 

What are the benefits of a facial?

Reduction in facial tension

Boosts blood circulation and lymphatic drainage

Motivates you to take care of your skin at home

An instant skin boost/glow

Helps to prevent breakouts

To find more reasons, read one of my most popular blog posts 13 Reasons why you should have a facial.

The first step: Collecting your facial essentials

Before any facial, a good aesthetician, therapist or facialist will have their skincare products, tools and treatment essentials laid out in an accessible order. Facials carried out at home should showcase the same organisation. Collect everything you need before you begin your facial, so that there is more time for relaxation and less time for rummaging through drawers for the next product. 

For an at-home facial you will need:

  • A cleanser (ideally 2 different ones, if one is slightly exfoliating even better!)

  • Facial exfoliator

  • Facial oil

  • Face mask

  • Serums/Moisturiser

  • SPF (if you’re performing this treatment during the day)

  • Something to remove your skincare products with (I love using these make-up remover cloths by The Vintage Cosmetic Company but [reusable] cotton pads, sponges particularly konjac, muslin clothes or soft gauze will work great too.

Extra pieces that will be nice to add, but not a necessity is:

  • Toner

  • Eye cream

  • Cold roller

  • Facial steamer

  • Brow shaping tool 

The second step: Setting the scene

Setting a relaxing environment for yourself before starting a facial is just as important as the products you use on your face. There is little chance of truly relaxing if your household is busy and noisy, or your phone is buzzing constantly, or even worse, the news is on the background. Eliminate all kinds of craziness, distraction and negativity from your surroundings before moving onto the next step.

My favourite time of the day to perform a facial treatment on myself is the evening so that I don’t have to attend any rigorous physical or mental activity after my selfcare session.

If you don’t live alone, choose a time and a day where you know you won’t be disturbed. What can you hear in the room, what can you smell? I love to play spa music and burn some of my favourite essential oils like Ylang Ylang and Lavender, but this I realise that this may not be for everyone. Play some music, light a candle, choose something that is best for you and is guaranteed to help make you relax.

Read this post on Incorporating sound healing in the home to help guide you and highlight the importance of setting a mindful environment.

The third step: Begin the facial routine

Once your surroundings reflect the energy of a modern-day spa and you begin to feel relaxed before you have even started, this is an indication that you can begin your relaxing facial routine.

Here are the basic steps to a perfect at-home facial.

1) Cleanse

Your first cleanser can be any you choose, but I recommend oil-based or micellar water for this first step of the facial.

Follow the manufacturers guidelines when it comes to deciding how much to use and whether and when to add water to the cleanser. 

I recommend spending at least 20 seconds, spreading the product around the face and neck, spending extra time around areas like the chin, nose and forehead, where bacteria and dead skin cells can often clog up.

Rinse the product, and use something like a cloth, sponge or pad to help you remove cleanser that often gathers around the hairline and down the neck. 

2) Cleanse again

Your second cleanser does not have to be anything fancy either, it can even be the same as your first cleanser if you only have one at hand. I favour foaming cleansers and exfoliating cleansers (by this I mean, a product containing AHAs, BHAs or enzymes).

If you have a cleansing tool like the Foreo silicone brush it would be good to use this on your second cleanse.

Spend at least 20 seconds cleansing, rinse, remove any excess cleanser with a cloth, pad or gauze and pat dry.

If you are using a facial steamer, I recommend using it in between my cleanse and exfoliation step to help soften superficial dead skin cells.

If you would like to incorporate a toner, I would recommend to apply the product to the skin after each cleansing step.

3) Exfoliate

How you exfoliate and the type of product you use depends on many things from your skin type, how compromised your skin barrier is, sensitivities and what you have access to.

Skin exfoliation can include a product such as a grainy scrub, scrubs containing enzymes, scrubs that use BHAs or AHAs to help aid the removal of surface dead skin cells. 

Apply the product, massage it into the surface of the skin and remove it in the same way you would a cleanser. Make sure to not use too firm a pressure, remembering that less is more when it comes to the exfoliation step. Deep fingertip pressure can be instead used on the next step of your relaxing home facial.

Following these first 3 steps, if you have any whiteheads or blackheads that need extracting, this is a good time to do so. I like to use my fingers for this, covered with tissue, or using two cotton buds to push gentle pressure around the breakout to extract the gunk inside. If the acne does not extract easily, don’t force it. It may need a day or two to surface before extraction is safe to carry out.

4) Massage

Self-massage is something I discuss a lot on the blog and with my clients. Massage is affordable and doesn’t have to be complicated; you can carry it out yourself and as well as providing a calming psychological benefit, this simple act of selfcare helps to boost circulation and lymphatic drainage. The result? A better frame of mind, more defined facial contours, reduction in facial puffiness and muscle tension. 

There are no rules when it comes to massage and you are free to use experts on social media or the internet to guide your first routine. I love @faceyogadaisy @faceyogamethod and @facegym on Instagram for cheek-sculpting tips.

It is entirely up to you whether you dedicate 5 minutes of 25 minutes to the massage part of your facial routine. Choose a facial oil that feels good, that you know works well for your skin and one that will give you some glide when working over your facial muscles.

If you have a cold roller at hand, it is great to use just after a massage, before cleansing your skin at the next step.

If you wish to use your brow shaping tool during your facial to remove any excess peach fuzz, lip hair or pesky brow hairs, this is a good time to do so. When the skin is nourished with a facial oil, it will be less prone to irritation and dryness post-shaving. Read more on facial shaving at home here.

5) Cleanse 

After massaging the face, cleanse the oil from your skin using a gentle wash/cleanser and pat dry, ready for the next step.

6) Mask

Face masks are fun, but most formulations are not entirely necessary when it comes to creating a life-changing skincare routine for yourself. However a face mask always finds its way into an aesthetician’s treatment routine, so it is only right that this type of product should finish your at-home facial routine.  

What type of face mask you use is all dependent on your skin type, what works for you? Clay masks and mud masks are most beneficial for oily and combination skin types, sheet, jelly, hydrating and hydrogel masks can be enjoyed by all skin types. Exfoliating and enzyme-based masks are usually suited to everyone, only for sensitive skin types the timing of application should be shorter.

Follow the instructions of the product your using, apply for as long as it tells you. Rinse the skin (if advised) and pat dry.

Whilst the mask is setting, I sometimes like to attend to other beauty tasks like starting a mani or pedi, plucking a few stray brow hairs or moisturising my body.

7) Serums/moisturiser

Your serums should be applied first to the skin, followed by a moisturiser to lock in all that dewy goodness. Make sure to apply a sunscreen to finish with, if you are performing this ritual during the day.

The fourth step: Post facial thoughts

By now, your skin should feel soft and nourished and your mind a calmer state. There are just a few simple things to note, advice that is ideal to follow post treatment. 

Immediately after the treatment, drink a glass of water or make yourself a refreshing herbal tea to aid lymphatic drainage and rehydrate the body.

Avoid wearing make-up, exercise or extremely humid environments for the remaining of the day.

Remember to leave your diary open for the remaining of your day if you can to extend that calming state of blissfulness.

We are taking bookings from December 3rd, which you can do so online via this link here.