Conducting an at-home facial is a good opportunity to get well acquainted with your skin and your current routine, considering what’s working (and what’s not), try some new skin-care tools, and fully indulge in the products on which you’ve been stocking up. It also offers permission to carve out an hour or so where nothing is hurried. Dim the lights, light a candle and brew a pot of tea – ambiance is everything.
The approach is by no means limited to the skin from your décolleté up. It’s also the perfect time to treat your body from top to toe, and there are some equally luxurious and effective approaches around right now to do just that.
Gentle facial routine for your face
For a true spa-like experience allow yourself some extra time – it’s not just doing your skincare, it’s going the extra mile with application techniques, selecting more intensive, but occasional treatment products and trying new tools that will improve their effectiveness.
In salon, facials usually follow a pattern that involves a deep cleanse to ensure a clean canvas, exfoliation to remove dry skin and and encourage cell turnover, a targeted treatment or mask that addresses your specific concerns, ie redness or congestion and finally a hydrating moisturiser to nourish and protect.
To start with, a facial oil cleanser like Emma Lewisham’s Illuminating Oil Cleanser will break down makeup and any surface oil and SPF. Follow up with a second cleanser with a gentle gel milk or cream-based texture like Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream, designed to remove any lasting residue without stripping the skin’s natural protective barrier.
An effective exfoliation can then be done via a fine scrub, or an AHA-soaked pad wiped over the face. It’s a step often overlooked but can offer a marked improvement on texture, visible pores and that all-desirable ‘glow’. Murad’s Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel and Josh Rosebrook Daily Acid Toner are both effective options that work to resurface, brighten and draw moisture to the skin.
L-R Emma Lewisham’s Illuminating Oil Cleanser; Trilogy Very Gentle Cleansing Cream; Josh Rosebrook Daily Acid Toner; Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Resurfacing Overnight Peel; Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair Serum in Cream Treatment
“Once a week, treat your skin to a deep exfoliating treatment to remove any dead skin cells that aren’t serving the skin anymore, advises Lucy Connell, MECCA Skincare Education Lead. “The Kate Somerville KateCeuticals Resurfacing Overnight Peel is incredible. It features glycolic acid to resurface the skin, while retinol works to stimulate cell turnover which leads to less congestion, an even skin tone and plumper, firmer skin. The best part is you pop it on as the last step in your routine and sleep with it on, so it’s very easy.”
As for treatments it can be as simple as applying your favourite serum or pore-clearing mask, or as complex as applying a specific high-tech beauty tool.
Keeping things simple? Connell recommends incorporating massage as part of your ritual.
“Facial massage is non-negotiable as it releases tension and boosts circulation.”
You can carry out the step during a treatment, serum or moisturiser phase, just ensure the product gives your fingers or a dedicated tool like a Gua Sha stone or facial roller unough slip. “The Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair Serum in Cream Treatment is a favourite as it feels like silk on the skin, and the ingredients work to calm redness and sensitivity,” says Connell.
“I massage it in with my hands or the Angela Caglia Rose Quartz Roller if I really want to soothe and depuff the skin. “
Tools to boost your skin routine
From face rollers to micro-needling, microcurrent and LED masks, there are plenty of at-home skin treatment tools that, while likely won’t have the oomph of the modalities on offer from the professionals, can certainly offer complexion benefits in the meantime.
Home needling involves handpieces or rollers lined with micro needles smaller than those used by the pros, but are similarly designed to create micro channels in the surface of the skin to stimulate collagen and increase skincare absorption. Brands like Skinsmiths, Environ and BeautyBio all make needled rollers that can be cleaned with a sanitising spray.
Cryotherapy is a hot topic in skincare at the moment, with the benefits of cold for skin a widely-considered approach. At home dedicated glass globes like those from Aceology or Ginger&ME that can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer before being massaged over the face are an easy way to mimic a professional approach. At a pinch try the approach with a pre-cooled jade or stone facial roller.
And for overall results try a session under an LED mask. Low-level light therapy uses LED lights, or light emitting diodes, that use proven wavelengths of light to treat different skin care concerns. Red is intended to soothe inflammation, promote healing and boost collagen, while the blue light kills acne-producing bacteria. Seek out options from CurrentBody and Dp Dermaceuticals.
For a fast, multi-tasking approach try infusing a mask with Foreo’s UFO 2 handpiece that uses facial massaging, LED light therapy and unique technology to heat and cool skin while delivering a concentrated dose of skincare ingredients.