How to give yourself a relaxing at home facial

facial-maskIf you are like me, you’re probably feeling the economic crunch in a big way and have been looking at your budget every month trying to figure out what things you can really do without. For many of us women, it becomes very difficult to compromise on our beauty regimen especially when it’s taken so long to find those great products that work so well on our skin. Well, the good news is you don’t have to compromise. You can still get that weekly, bi-weekly or monthly facial by learning how to do it yourself at home. It’s a very simple process and with a few tries, you will be well on your way to becoming your own beauty expert. In addition you will save yourself a good amount of cash and numerous trips to the beauty salon.

What You Need:

  • Cucumber slices or tea bags for your eyes
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Facial cleanser
  • Facial Exfoliator
  • Facial mask
  • Facial moisturizer
  • To give yourself a relaxing spa atmosphere you need:
  • A relaxing place to lie down
  • Aromatherapy spray
  • Relaxing music

Get prepared: Gather everything together so you won’t need to go looking for something you need later on.

STEAM: Before cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser, it is wise to give yourself a light steam treatment to open your pores and prepare your face for cleaning. To do this, simply bring 3 cups of water to a boil and pour into a bowl. Drape a towel over your head and the bowl. Let the steam envelope you for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse your face with cool water.

CLEANSE: Clean your face using your basic facial cleanser and warm water to remove any grime or dirt. If you have eye makeup on, gently remove it with eye makeup remover. Wash your hands to avoid transferring bacteria or dirt to your face. Then warm the cleanser by working it between your palms. Gently massage the cleanser into your skin, distributing evenly. Use upward, circular movements of the fingertips to gently stimulate the skin and help lift surface debris and excess oil. Rinse your face clean and gently pat excess moisture from face with a soft towel. If you wear heavy make-up, you might wish to repeat the cleansing process.

TONE: The toning process is optional. In fact, toners of any kind do not close pores, they do not deep-clean pores, and they do not reduce oil production. What a well-formulated toner can do is help reduce inflammation, add antioxidants, sooth the skin after cleansing, help remove any last traces of makeup, and impart some lightweight moisturizing ingredients to skin.Toners will have maximum benefit to those people who have extremely oily skin or who use heavy make up. However if you are like me and cannot do without a toner, be sure to use one that is irritant free. In other words, it should not irritate your skin or leave it feeling dry. Apply the toner with a soft cotton pad, but do not rub the skin. Rather, saturate the pad and pat the toner over the face and neck area. Do not pat skin dry. Avoid eye area when using a toner.

EXFOLIATE: Exfoliation is the key to smooth healthy skin. Dead cells, which clog pores and flake, can make skin look dull and patchy. Dampen your skin. Apply exfoliator to your face and gently exfoliate your skin, being careful not to get it too close to your eyes. Using your fingers, rub in a circular motion on your face. Concentrate on the areas around your nose and forehead or if you have combination skin, work harder on the areas that tend to be ‘greasy.’ Rinse your face well since exfoliating scrubs tend to be drying. Don’t forget to pay attention to your neck and chest, because these areas show skin blemishes and aging just as much as your face does. Repeat only once or twice a month, and don’t exfoliate if your skin is irritated or broken out.

MASK: Masks serve multiple purposes in a comprehensive facial. They deep-clean, stimulate circulation, remove dead skin and hydrate. Use a mask best suited for your skin type. For oily skin, use a clay-based face mask. For dry skin, go for a hydrating gel or cream mask. Apply a good amount of mask to all areas of your face, neck and chest, but avoid the eyes. Keep it on for 10-20 minutes (or, according to the directions on the product). You can use this time to treat your eyes. Lie down in a comfortable spot and place your cucumber slices or tea bags on your eyes. Turn on some soft music and relax. Using a warm wet towel, wipe off your mask making sure you pay special attention the areas around your nose and your hair line, to ensure no mask is left behind.

MOISTURIZE: The final step is to apply your moisturizer. Put a generous amount on your hands and work them together to warm up the cream. Feel free to give yourself a slight massage while applying, concentrating on your temples. Concentrate also on areas where muscles are overworked like cheeks, mouth, forehead and around the eyes. Once the lotion is completely absorbed and it becomes more difficult for the fingertips to slip across the skin, blot off any excess with a tissue, and you’re done.

(Photo courtesy of chrisgusen on Flickr)

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Prisca Mwangi is a Beauty Consultant at The Color Palette Company. She can be reached at