It’s a solid part of our skincare routine (or at least should be!) The at-home facial or pamper regime is something I try to do weekly, usually on a Sunday evening as part of my back-to-work ritual. I’ve put together my best tips for an at-home facial to share with you all – let me know what you think!
Choose wash cloths and towels carefully
If you have delicate skin (like me) it’s important to make sure the towels and wash cloths you’re using aren’t micro-tearing your skin. Towels fresh out the wash (when they feel ‘crispy’) just aren’t suitable, so go on the hunt for something you can use that feels soft enough for your face, and have it as a dedicated facial towel – this one would be great. I tend to pat my face dry (no rubbing please) with a soft flannel, but using this to wash my face wouldn’t be suitable at all. Opt for a super soft muslin cloth such as the Aurelia Bamboo Muslins. The naturally anti-bacterial bamboo makes for the softest cloth EVER. Seriously, they are dreamy.
Use balms and oils
For some it seems obvious, but it is always best to avoid any foaming skincare products. Foaming cleansers are convenient, sure, but the foaming agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS will strip and dry your skin out. Not only this, but it also slows the healing of wounds (so awful for problem skin) and causes irritation. To play it safe, opt for a nourishing cleansing oil or balm. I’m using (and loving) the Blue Labelle Petitgrain & Tamanu cleansing oil – it reveals a healthy, glowing complexion and keeps the skin balanced without stripping. It’s also 100% organic and is made ethically right here on the Isle of Wight. I also love the Antonia Burrell Natural Glow and Inlight Organics Cleansing Balm.
Use lukewarm water
We use a lot of water whilst treating our skin, and it’s important not to have it super-hot. This strips the skin of natural oils, so encourages the sebaceous glands to over-compensate and produce more oil.
Exfoliate before applying a mask
This is a tip I’ve learnt from the fabulous Liz Earle (via some of her colleagues) and it makes total sense. Think about it, you don’t want to be applying and wasting a precious mask on dead skin cells, so polishing your skin before-hand is key. I use exfoliating powders as they are really gentle, plus I think grainy, balmy ones are a little out dated. I also feel as though the balm or cream base clogs pores. Give the One Love Organics Brand New Day a try – the ‘discover’ trial size is only £9, and it’s really effective and smells like pineapples – what’s not to love?
Incorporate facial massage
Okay, so this sounds a little fluffy, but trust me. Facial massage is arguably most important through the winter as it creates an even complexion by improving circulation. Antonia Burrell has taught me all about ‘tapotement’ and she seriously recommends it whenever you pop on a facial or serum oil. Just gentle tapping on the forehead, cheeks and around the eyes can help to perk up your complexion, so give it a go.
Try not to rub your face
Too much rubbing or scrubbing can seriously aggravate the skin and cause irritation. When removing product, try splashing your face with water first to loosen it, and then just pressing the damp washcloth on your skin, this should mean you need to drag the cloth across your face much less. Excessive rubbing of the skin can not only irritate, but it’s also said to cause premature ageing (noo!)
Choose your products wisely
I highly recommend having a skincare consultation with a trained beauty therapist or facialist before shelling out on your product range as they may be able to highlight problems you hadn’t identified yet. For example, sensitivity isn’t a skin type, it’s a skin concern, and is actually caused by products you have used in the past that have sensitised your skin. So pay someone a visit and they can advise you on what to buy.
What are your top tips and fave at-home facial products?