When life gets a little chaotic, there are few self-care rituals that calm both our minds and our complexions as well as an at-home facial does. Especially when it feels almost as good as the real thing, thanks to a few choice tips we've picked up from the pros.
So queue up your "chillax" playlist (or Netflix), light a fancy candle, and prepare for some much-deserved R&R. Our go-to tricks will get you there—and your face will thank you.
1. Think Like a Facialist
Select your products like an editor, but put them into practice like a skin pro. Whenever we receive a professional beauty treatment (facial or otherwise), we're not just taking notes to relay to our dear readers—we're mentally filing them away for ourselves, too. Ask your esthetician questions about the products she's using, why she's using them, and what she recommends at home for your skin type.
This also means taking a multistep approach, rather than just slapping on a mask and calling it a day. It's your facialist's job to customize and kick the treatment up a notch according to your complexion and issues, but consider this your general roadmap:
Got it? Good.
2. Enlist in Some Power Tools
It's an easy (and fun) way to add a professional touch to your spa sesh—and you don't have to shell out big bucks to do it. Try a derma-roller to iron out acne scars and fine lines, or use a blackhead extractor to clear the gunk out of your pores. Feeling extravagant? Spring for the NuFace Trinity ($325), which tones and contours wrinkles, bags, and sagging skin.
3. Blow Off Some Steam
In addition to drawing dirt, oil, and grime out of pores, facial steam just feels so relaxing. It's easy to DIY, too: Heat some water over the stove, and add a mix of dried flowers or tea—plain lemon slices are fine, too. After letting it simmer and steep for a few minutes, pour the mixture into a large bowl, and drape a towel over your head and the bowl so the steam has no other place to escape. Stay put for about five minutes.
4. Refine Your Application Technique
Facial massage is just as much a part of proper treatment as the products themselves—it boosts circulation and lymph flow, and ensures that the formulas penetrate deeply. Gently massage your products into your skin in a circular motion, and switch to light tapping with your fingers on the delicate skin surrounding your eyes.
If you prefer using a tool other than your fingers for a facial massage, try a jade roller—the cool stone does wonders for decreasing puffiness.
5. Try a Peel
Facial peels take that exfoliating step a notch further, chemically resurfacing dead skin to reveal a brighter, younger complexion underneath. It's the ultimate fast track to a radiant glow.
6. Double-Team Your Masks
Start with a detoxifying mud or clay mask, which acts like a magnet to dirt and excess oil as it dries. After rinsing that off, rehydrate and soothe any redness or sensitivity with a balm or salve.
Even if you're too time-strapped to do anything else on our list, try this for a near-instant face refresh—it feels SO good.
7. Customize Your Treatments
Dullness got you down? Looking to obliterate those blackheads? Target any specific issues with correlating products. (We love Odacité's lineup of all-natural serum concentrates, which are individually formulated to help whatever ailment or annoyance you've got.)
You might be inclined to ignore this step, but don't: Any skin-pampering session requires replenishment since you're detoxifying and moving lymph around. Besides, do you ever really need an occasion to knock back some H2O?