“Treat. Yo. Self.” Aside from Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle on a shopping spree on “Parks and Recreation,” what does the phrase bring to mind?
You might picture yourself swathed in a silk kimono, kicked back, enjoying the best facial of your life. But this is real life, and booking a spa appointment every time you feel like you need some self-care is not exactly feasible for most of us.
The solution: take the words “treat yourself” more literally and stage a DIY spa facial at home. Here’s how to do it in seven steps, on the cheap, with all-natural ingredients.
This is the first step to any pro treatment. Steam softens the sebum and dead skin cells that clog pores, making them much easier to deep clean. It also opens up pores to better absorb the products you’ll apply next.
Boil some water and transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl. Then, hold your face about six to eight inches above the water, with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam. Try any of these luxurious herb or essential oil combos based on skin type.
You need just two ingredients to make a lovely softening facial cleanser that won’t strip beneficial oils from the skin like conventional face washes can. Add a couple drops jojoba oil to a small, palm-sized amount of raw honey (an antimicrobial), and massage onto your face in small, circular motions. Leave it on 5 to 10 minutes to let the skin soak up the honey’s enzymes, or rinse off right away with warm water and a washcloth, then pat dry.
Follow that up with an exfoliating scrub to remove any excess dead skin cells. Our recommendation: EO’s Moroccan Lava Clay With Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes, which comes in the form of powdered, mineral-rich lava clay. Just add water (or oil) and apply to dry face in gentle, circular motions. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes to reap the benefits—the formula doubles as a cell-regenerative mask. Rinse off with warm water.
According to the Ayurvedic practice of skin mapping, every area of the face is a essentially a different ecosystem. That means applying a medley of masks, each specifically formulated to address various skin issues, is a more effective and efficient approach than using a one-size-fits-all treatment. Read more here to learn about the best DIY formulas to spot-treat everything from acne to dryness to dullness to dark under-eye circles.
Leave your patchwork facial on for about 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Here’s the part that people either love or loathe about getting a facial: extractions! This is when the aesthetician removes blackheads and whiteheads—by hand or with a tool. The process tends to hurt a little, but you can do it yourself with a skin care tool known as a comedone extractor. After all, nobody knows your pain threshold better than you.
One end of the tool is made for pulling out blackheads, and the other, whiteheads (this is noted on the package). Sanitize it, and place it on the skin so that the blemish is centered in the appropriate loop. Rock the tool from side to side with gentle pressure. (Be very careful—apply too much force and you may end up with broken capillaries or scarring.) The blackhead or whitehead should dislodge, releasing oil from the pore along with it. If any bleeding occurs, just pat the skin with a clean tissue—it should stop within a few moments.
Perk up the complexion with a few spritzes of rosewater. This also also primes skin for the last step: a major moisture boost.
Now the best part—let your skin drink up a replenishing concoction of moisturizer and oil. Nourish Organic’s Ultra-Hydrating Face Cream is already infused with moisturizing argan oil and antioxidant-rich, anti-aging pomegranate and acai—but adding a drop or two of skin-balancing rosehip seed oil is a real treat. Just a dollop of this mix will make treating yourself to a facial massage nice and smooth—the perfect way to finish up.
Illustration by Jamie Levine