Tuesday, February 22, 2011

At-Home Facials—A DIY How-To

About this photo: Eat the kiwi slices—don’t put them on your face!
See A word about food as products.
I was wondering how I can give myself a facial at home. I have combination skin and usually break out on my chin. I don’t have much time to go and get a professional facial (I have two kids). 

An at-home facial incorporates exfoliating, using a clay mask, and relaxing. To accomplish this, you’ll need about 30 minutes or so. If you’re too busy to slow down completely, you can just exfoliate and mask, then be on your way. However, putting aside time for you gives you more energy to give to others. It’s a simple principle, although not always so easy to implement.

To begin your at-home facial:
  • First, thoroughly wash your face. Don’t skip this step! Getting your skin clean is the #1 thing to do first before doing anything else to your skin.
  • Next, use your exfoliator of choice. Be sure to take a little extra time and get all the nooks and crannies well exfoliated. Getting some of the dead skin off the surface of your face not only makes your skin feel smoother, there will be less of a barrier for the clay mask (next step) to do its job. 
  • Now, apply a clay mask. You’ll want to keep the clay moist the entire time it is on your face. You’ve probably always heard to leave the clay on and let it dry on your face, but clay doesn’t need to dry in order to draw impurities to itself. Letting the mask dry on your face just dries that surface skin out; that takes you one step forward (clean skin), two steps back (now, dehydrated skin). Leave the mask on 15-20 minutes. 
  • Have a spray bottle filled with clean, filtered water handy (or better yet: Yonka’s spray Lotion) and spray your face liberally when you first apply the mask, then spray intermittently during the time the clay stays on. As you may have heard me say, keeping the mask moist the entire time its on your face is imperative for the health of your skin.

Note: You don’t have to use a clay mask, you can use any type of mask. I prefer clay for all skin types because not only does it have a deep-cleaning action, it also helps stimulate circulation, and we can all use more of that for the health of our skin cells.

Last but not least, go to a peaceful place (either a quiet room in your home or a nice hot bathtub), and relax with the mask on. Breathe in calmness and exhale any stress you may be feeling. Deep breathing has a decidedly soothing effect. This step may seem inconsequential, but it truly is important.

When my clients come in for their facials, relaxation is an integral part of the procedure for the health of their skin. For some, the only peaceful place where they can relax—undisturbed—is in the facial room. Trying to replicate this type of environment at home is important to do if at all possible. Before starting your at-home facial, prearrange to have the kids taken care of (or whatever else) so you can just lie in the tub or on a couch, listen to some music, perhaps sip a nice glass of wineand  truly relax.

When its time to remove the mask, I recommend doing so at your sinknot with the bath water, which is either filled with bath products or simply too hot. Now youll be thankful you kept the mask moist. If not, you’d have to remoisten it with water in order to get it off, which even then can be difficult. (Letting the clay dry can also make any skin look red and feel sensitive.) Another alternative would be to shower after your bath and remove the mask that way.

Once the clay is rinsed off, apply your toner and moisturizer. Don’t forget eye cream as well. If you took a bath, be sure to moisturize your entire body afterward. Use this time to treat your whole body, not just your face.

Although it may seem impossible to take time out for yourself, once you do, you will see it is possible. At-home facials can benefit you on several levels just like a professional facial can. Enjoy your home treatment and know you are helping yourself in many ways, not just your skin.

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