Feeling stressed by COVID-19, lock down, homeschooling, work and uncertainty?
OK, granted your skin might not be one of your biggest concerns right now. But, you may well be slacking off your usual skincare routine.
In this current time of quarantine, self-isolation and uncertainty, I'm here to tell you a few very important facts that are for certain. Neglected skin ages a whole lot quicker than pampered skin!
I get it. You can't visit the salon —if you're fancy enough for regular facials, or your skincare regime has gone right out the window with the rest of normality.
How not taking proper care of your skin is aging
Neglecting your skin creates a chain reaction of effects that lead to the visible signs of aging.
Not cleansing the skin allows a buildup of pollutants, microbes, dirt, and other debris like oils, sweat, and dead skin cells to lay on the surface of the skin. This causes a dry, rough and dull complexion. It can potentially clog pores resulting in irritation and breakouts.
This buildup also prevents all of your other pricey skincare from working effectively because it can't penetrate through the layer of impurities.
And here's the aging part. This buildup also prevents your skin from being able to renew itself overnight. No new, healthy skin cells to keep you face bright and glowing.
Until life gets back to normal try giving yourself an at-home facial. It will deep cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate your tired skin. And they are surprisingly relaxing!
How to give yourself an at-home facial
I know the thought of giving yourself a facial treatment might seem a bit daunting, but I promise you, the results you will see and feel in your skin will be so worth the effort!
This 8 step facial guide will have your skin glowing in approximately 40 minutes.
You can even create your own home-spa vibes by getting yourself a facial steamer like this KINGA Nano Ionic Facial Steamer.
Look, you can put your head over a bowl boiled water and it will work just as well... but, like I said using a facial steamer really adds to your home spa vibes.
8 STEP AT-HOME FACIAL
The first step of your facial is the most important. Cleansing is by far the most important step in your skincare routine, it removes all of the days dirt, grime and makeup from your pores giving your skin a “clean slate.” This allows all other products to penetrate optimally into the deeper layers of the skin.
When purchasing your cleanser make sure to get clean formulations, free from alcohol and synthetic ingredients.
Cleansers by skin type:
Dry/Normal: MUKTI ORGANICS - Hydrating Cleansing Lotion
Oily/Acne: NINI Organics - Natural Detox Foam
Technique: The way you actually cleanse your face matters. I know you may want to rush through the cleansing process, especially after a long day. But, I can't stress enough how important cleansing is for anti-aging. You are wasting your time and money on expensive serums and creams if you can't be bothered to clean your face properly! This step should be performed for at least 1-2 minutes —especially during a facial.
Now that your face is clean it’s time to exfoliate. Exfoliation is vital to your anti-aging skincare regime for healthy, smooth skin. You have two options –physical exfoliator i.e., face scrubs or exfoliating acids. I'm a big fan of the latter because with regular use they can totally transform your skin from the inside out by; resurfacing the skin, fading dark spots/pigmentation marks/old acne scars, cleaning out pores, preventing acne, refining the look of your pores, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles due to boosting collagen and elastin production.
My favorite exfoliator to use for my home facials (which is suitable for all skin types) is FACETHEORY Clarifying Cleanser With AHAs & BHAs. If you have sensitive skin try EVOLVE BEAUTY - Miracle Mask
Technique: Use circular motions to massage cleansing cream to the face, neck and chest with light pressure for 1-2 minutes. If you prefer, you can use a physical face scrub in this step.
Steaming is a essential part of the facial as it softens and opens the pores —hence the deep cleanse experience you feel from a professional treatment. In beauty therapy we're taught to steam at one point only in the service —after exfoliation and before the extraction. But, I also like to steam after I cleanse for about 5 minutes for a deeper exfoliation. And you can too! Adjust these steps to fit you.. Just make sure you're cleansing first and moisturizing last.
Step 3 is your 10 minute steam session. UNLESS your skin type is sensitive, you suffer from rosacea or have broken capillaries. Then just steam for 5-7 mins keeping an eye on your skins redness.
How to steam: If you're not using a Home Facial Steamer then the easiest way to steam is to boil the kettle, pour the boiled water into a large glass bowl. Drape a large towel over your head and shoulders and carefully lower your face directly over the steam. Don't get too close, it should feel warm, not burn! Add a drop of organic lavender essential oil to the water for spa vibes
*IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ELECTRICAL AT-HOME FACIAL STEAMER ONLY STEAM IN STEP 4*
Other wise your water will go cold between step 3 and 4!
Extracting blackheads should only take place after steaming the skin because steam helps to open the pores and soften the oxidized oil in them. This is an optional step, but should be done with great care to avoid damaging your skin.
How to extract like a professional: Wrap a tissue around each index finger, place one finger on each side of the blackhead, push (gently) down, together and under the blemish in a slight “squeeze.” The blackheads should come out easily. If they do not, leave them alone to avoid damaging the skin.
5. TREATMENT MASK
Now your skin is well and truly deep cleansed, steamed and exfoliated it’s ready to receive some replenishing nutrients! The treatment mask is the heart and soul of your facial. Apply your chosen mask for the recommended time.
Masks by skin type:
SENSITIVE/DAMAGED: Replenishing, nourishing & repairative masks like Aurelia Probiotic Recovery Overnight Mask
NORMAL/COMBINATION/OILY/ACNE PRONE: Detoxifying - Mukti Organics - Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque
*You can also use masks that contain exfoliating acids, just make sure you choose a physical scrub to exfoliate in step 3 as too many actives can irritate the skin*
Now complete your toner step just as you would in your daily facial routine. Choose a toner that is not only hydrating, but also anti-aging. These ones contain all-natural antioxidant ingredients to protect the skin. The most important thing to look for when buying a toner is an 'alcohol-free' formula.
7. SPECIALIST PRODUCTS
Ok, this is just professional lingo for anti-aging serum, i.e., serums or facial oil formulated for use at bedtime. I recommend performing your at-home facial before you go to bed in order to reap the rewards of your hard work. Because while you sleep something called cell mitosis is happening. Cell mitosis, or cell division is when a healthy cell divides, making two genetically identical ones.
During this renewal mode is when your skin needs nutrients the most, and will get maximum impact from the your night creams, serums and oils. These products must replenish the skin while you sleep.
How to choose your bedtime products: If you have Combination Oily/Oily/Acne Prone skin type use serums with low levels of AHAs and BHAs, like The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% Serum. Dry/Normal skin types need hydrating serums like Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil (high end), or Garnier Organic Lavindin Face Oil (budget). Facetheory Squalane is suitable for all skin types and is a bit of a miracle worker for £11!
8. NIGHT CREAM
The final step of your at-home facial is your night cream. Due to something called Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), night cream is of the utmost importance. It needs to contain hydrating, nourishing and emollient ingredients to replenish and prevent moisture loss while you sleep. Oils and butters high in Oleic Acid (omega-9) are 'occlusive' emollients. This means they create a barrier on top of the skin sealing in moisture & preventing TEWL.
How to choose your night cream: If you have Combination/Oily/Acne Prone skin type use lighter creams with balancing ingredients in like Facethory Relaxing Night Cream. Very Dry/Mature skin types should use a night balm like Farmacy Sleep Tight Night Balm. Normal to Dry will suit night balms too, or try Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream. Aurelia Probiotc Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser suits all skin types including Sensitive.