An Aesthetician's Tips For a Perfect At-Home Facial
We know, we know: nothing beats the glow you get coming fresh from a spa treatment. Yet, treating your skin to a mini at-home facial can still work wonders (and feel great, too). Founder of the NYC-based Glowbar Rachel Liverman shares the six steps to follow for a seamless DIY.
Step 1: Cleanse Your Skin
Like a spa facial, the first step is to wash your face (Liverman recommends a cream cleanser for people with dry skin or anyone looking for a little extra moisture.) Then, to ensure you remove every last bit of dirt or makeup that your cleanser may have missed, follow with a gentle toner. "Just make sure the product is alcohol-free, so it doesn't dehydrate the skin."
Step 2: Exfoliate
According to Liverman, a postshower chemical exfoliation is a must at least once a week. This will help remove any dead skin and increase the penetration of skin-care products. A mask with lactic acid is a great option because it's hydrating, but also sloughs away dead cells for a brighter, more even-toned visage. "Once a week is enough for the majority of people — I don't want anyone overstripping their skin and hurting the skin barrier."
Step 3: Do a Hydrating Mask
In the colder months, or if you have especially dry skin, Liverman suggests you follow your exfoliating mask with a hydrating mask to ensure your freshly exfoliated skin gets the adequate moisture it needs to look glowing. (Just make sure it doesn't also have other exfoliating properties to avoid irritation.)
Step 4: Add Your Treatment of Choice
An important thing to keep in mind when giving yourself a facial at home is that you only want to do the treatments based on your specific skin concern. While chemical peels and extractions can make a huge difference, those are best left to the experts. For an easy treatment you can do at home, try an LED light therapy. "Red light can help fight acne and signs of aging, while blue light kills bacteria that causes acne," she said. "Red light also stimulates collagen production and helps speed the skin's natural healing process."
Step 5: Apply Your Serum and Moisturizer
Next, treat your skin with a serum based on your current skin concerns. If your skin is dry, reach for a superhydrating formula with hyaluronic acid. If you have decongested pores or acne, try a retinol product, which can help regulate sebum and speed up cellular turnover. Then follow with your favorite moisturizer and eye cream. (Pro tip: this is also a good time to get in that facial massage you love so much when you go to a spa.)
Step 6: Finish With SPF
Next up: sunscreen, which you should apply every single day — even if you spend most of your time indoors.