The cold winter months often signal dry, dehydrated skin due to the reduced humidity in the air and cold wind chill factor. This is why we like to treat ourselves to hydrating facials once a week, complete with deep cleansing, nourishing masks, and richer moisturisers than those we use in the summer months.
Below, we’re sharing a simple step-by-step tutorial to show you how to give yourself an ultra-nourishing facial in the comfort of your own home.
STEP 1: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
The first step in any facial—whether at the spa or at home—is cleansing. You'll want a clean canvas to ensure you get the best results from the skin care products you've chosen. Reach for a micellar water on a cleansing pad, and using circular motions swipe gently around your face, using up pads until the final one turns out clear and free from make up and residue.
Next, apply your favourite hydrating cleanser with fingertips, or using a supersonic, vibrating cleansing brush. Sonic cleansing devices can apparently cleanse the skin up to six times better than cleansing with hands alone, and if purchasing one be sure to look out for a silicon head for ease of cleaning.
STEP 2: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN…AGAIN
If you are cleansing with your hands alone, we recommend following up with another face wash to ensure all traces of dirt and impurities are effectively whisked away. Referred to as double-cleansing, this method was first popularised in South Korea and involves cleansing your skin twice—once with an oil-based cleanser and again with a water-based cleanser for that squeaky-clean feel.
STEP 3: EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN
The next step in your at-home facial is exfoliation. Just as you want a clean complexion, you also want one that’s not covered in dead skin cell buildup. One of our favourite ways to slough off dead skin cells lingering on skin’s surface is by using products with glycolic acid, which can be used daily to help to peel away a dull, uneven tone to reveal brighter-looking skin. If using a glycolic complex, be sure to also using a broad-spectrum SPF—something you should be doing every day regardless!
For skin prone to breakouts, consider using a product containing salicylic acid (BHA), which is an exfoliating ingredient which penetrates deep inside the skin's pores, helping to unclog any excess oil and impurities to prevent breakouts and blackheads. Salicylic acid skincare products are also anti-inflammatory, helping to calm and minimise redness.
You can also exfoliate your skin mechanically with a face scrub. The key is to make sure the formula is gentle and not formulated with harsh or abrasive beads or grains. It can help to remove dead skin cells build up for skin that’s smooth and purified. All you have to do is splash some water on your face, apply the scrub to wet skin, gently massage in circular motions, and rinse.
STEP 4: STEAM YOUR FACE
Steaming is an old-school beauty ritual that is best performed weekly. The best part about at-home facial steaming is that you can customise your water and a few drops of essential oils to your preferences and skincare concerns. For the most effective results, keep a towel over your head, so as much steam as possible is directed toward your face. You don't need a fancy spa steam machine to enjoy the benefits of steaming your face.
STEP 5: APPLY A FACE MASK
No facial is complete without face masks. For our at-home winter facial, we like to use eye patches or a heavy dose of eye cream together with sheet masks. Not only are these hydrating, but they also involve no cleanup, so instead of rinsing, rubbing, and potentially dehydrating your complexion, you can remove the sheets and then rub in the leftover serum for even more hydration.
But masks can do a lot more than just hydrate your skin. In fact, there are face masks out there geared towards a wide range of skin concerns. Plus, with the multi-masking trend in full effect, you can target different areas of your face for targeted results. Dealing with excess oil on your nose, dryness on your cheeks, and dullness on your forehead? You can address all of these concerns with different face masks. Talk about taking your masking session to the next level.
To start your multi-masking routine, here’s what you should do:
1. Cleanse Your Skin: You can do so with your favourite face cleanser. If you’d like to take a full shower to get clean, you can do so.
2. Exfoliate Your Skin: Remove dead skin cell buildup to promote adequate penetration of your face masks.
3. Pick Your Products: Take a look at your skin and assess its needs often. Pick the best masks to address these areas and concerns.
4. Apply Your Masks: Begin applying your face masks of choice to the areas of concern they can help address. For instance, apply a clarifying and mattifying mask to your shiny t-zone, a hydrating mask on your cheeks, and a clarifying or brightening mask onto your forehead. Pay attention to how long each mask needs to stay on your skin so you remove them at the right time. You don’t want to keep a face mask on longer than the instructions state.
STEP 6: SPOT TREAT BLEMISHES
After washing off your face mask(s), it’s time to address any existing blemishes with a spot treatment. Most spot treatments contain varying percentages of acne-fighting ingredients benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or witch hazel.
STEP 7: MOISTURISE YOUR SKIN
As a last step to your at-home facial, you'll want to lock in hydration. To do so, start with a serum and layer a moisturiser over top. After all your skin has been through during your at-home facial, it needs to be nourished with essential moisture. And whenever we think of hydration, our minds immediately travel to powerhouse hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid. Able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, hyaluronic acid is great addition to any serum or moisturiser in your arsenal.
Lastly, don't neglect your eyes! The skin around the eyes is the most delicate. Dab eye cream or a thicker moisturiser (that's basically what eye cream is) around the eyes lightly to seal in moisture and give your eyes a glowy look.
BONUS AT-HOME FACIAL TIPS:
- Drink water in the lead up, during and after the facial: Maximise the results of your facial by drinking a glass of water, channeling Cindy Crawford in the photo above.
- Set the Mood: Giving yourself an at-home facial is arguably more enjoyable when you take the time to set up your surroundings. Set the mood for your at-home spa ritual by lighting scented candles and dimming the lights.
- Bring Out Your Jade Roller: If you have a jade roller handy, whip it out during your facial to help de-puff puffy areas and assist with circulation. Store yours in the fridge for cooling benefits.
- Take a Bath: Once your at-home facial routine has wrapped up, hop into a warm bath. Add some hydrating bath oils for the ultimate aromatic experience. Follow with an application of scented body cream or butter onto damp skin.
- Wear a Robe: Who doesn't want to feel a little extra luxurious? During your at-home facial, cozy up in your favourite bathrobe as you go through all the aforementioned steps.
Above: Michelle A from the Lissom Team enjoys a nice glass of plonk in a petal-adorned bubble bath following her weekly at-home facial.