Ahhhh, it’s almost here…birds are nesting and chirping, and soon we will be peeling off some layers of clothing and preening our own springtime feathers. But wait…what about our dull, stressed winter skin – are we really ready to put that on display? Now is when I yearn for a trip to the spa for a thorough skincare treatment, but if you are anything like me, it’s hard to find the time. Today, I saw that April was National Facial Protection Month, and it made me think about caring for my skin again. So I decided to try to replicate the much needed glow experience I’ve received at spas – a DIY springtime facial for glowing skin, body, and mind after the long winter months.
So first thing in the morning (after my wake up mug of coffee, of course) I set out to perform for myself all the steps of having a facial at the spa, beginning with wrapping up in a cozy terry robe.
So grab your coziest robe and join me in the rest of these lovely steps, dear Mamas, and you too will feel refreshed and glowing, inside and out!
8 Steps For a Springtime Facial
1. Remove remnants of yesterday. Even though I know how important it is to cleanse every night, sometimes there are still lingering traces of make-up. So I took out my make-up removal pads from tarte and made sure there was no residue, especially focusing on any remaining mascara.
2. Assess your skin. I turned on my bright bathroom lights and looked in the mirror to evaluate my skin issues at the moment. Over the winter my skin grew increasingly dry, dull, sometimes itchy, and overall kind of irritable. So my goal for the treatment was to hydrate, refresh, and soothe. I kept that in mind as I reached for products I already own. Like our former intern Kelly described in her beauty obsession post, I too crush on beauty products, so there was no need to look any further than my own bathroom cabinet.
3. Cleanse with oil first. Even though it may sound counter-intuitive, cleansing first with oil is good for all skin types and for all skin problems. Using my fav DHC Cleansing Oil, I massaged a small amount of precious oil gently into the skin on my face, neck, and decolletage. It’s best if you massage the oil gently with your fingertips, paying attention to pressure points in the center of your forehead and your temples, and ahhh…this is the ideal way to begin your spa experience, taking time just like a cosmetologist would. Next, wet your fingertips and massage a few minutes longer and feel the stress dissipating from your whole body, simply from massaging your face. Next, take a clean washcloth and use warm water to softly remove the oil.
4. Cleanse again. Just like with spring cleaning, you want this to be a deep cleaning, so grab your favorite everyday cleanser. Since I wanted to mollify my cranky skin, I chose Prescriptives (Px) All Clean, because of its creamy consistency and how well it foams away impurities. Massaging gently is again important, so take your time, and rinse well, using another clean wet wash cloth.
5. Next up – exfoliation. All facials include some version of exfoliation, and that too will depend on your skin type and its assessed condition. I chose my Aveeno Resurfacing Scrub with Vitamin C, from the Positively Ageless line. Exfoliation is good for sloughing off dead skin cells, but don’t be tempted to be rough. Careful treatment of your tender under layer of skin is the key here. Once you’ve rinsed all traces of your product with another clean washcloth, have a glass of water so you hydrate from the inside out.
6. Ahhh- time for your masque! This, dear Mamas, is the treat you have been waiting for! Before you apply your mask, you will want to have a space prepared where you can lie down and listen to your favorite soothing music. Also have two slices of cucumber waiting for you there. Select a masque that addresses your skin’s issues (I used my faithful friend Chanel’s Ultra Correction Lift Express Firming Mask), and then softly apply it to your face, neck and chest, while avoiding the area around your eyes. Now lay down and place the cucumber slices on your closed eyes. As Chris Botti enticed me to drift away to the soaring notes of his sweet horn, I placed each hand on the sides of my rib cage and focused on breathing deeply and slowly, pushing my rib cage out into my hands as I inhaled, and feeling my ribs contract in on the exhale. I recommend that you take at least 20 minutes of this blissful meditative time, depending on the mask you choose, and you will soon realize how needed this relaxation time is!
7. Shower time! The best way to remove the mask is in the shower, and you can expand your spa treatment to all of your skin this way. First, using my fingers and the soft shower spray, I removed all traces of the mask. I didn’t use any more cleansing agents, because my face was very clean by this time. So I turned my focus to my body, using my most soothing body cleansing product – Aveeno Baby, Soothing Relief Creamy Wash with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal – Yes, I use baby products with natural ingredients when my skin really needs a tender touch of soothing. I then took off my removable shower head and turned it to mist, giving myself that final aqua treat. Ahhhhhh….
8. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! After your shower, take some nice thick towels and gently pat dry your skin, but not completely. Before I applied my moisturizers, I spritzed Younique’s Refreshed Rose Water on my face, neck, and chest to ready my skin for absorbing moisture – omg, I could go through gallons of this, I love the feel and fragrance of this so much! I next reached for my forever favorite face cream – Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Creme Complex Hydratante. It feels so creamy yet absorbs so nicely into my skin, while imparting an incredibly fresh scent. And finally, I lathered my whole body with Philosophy’s Inner Grace Perfumed Firming Body Emulsion. And drank another refreshing glass of water.
Sigh. So good! You may notice some inital reddening on your face, but that is very typical of having a facial. Let your skin settle – as it surely will in an hour or so – and try to leave off make-up during that time period, if you can. Soon enough, you’ll see your skin glowing and your mind flowing from the spa treatment you’ve given yourself. Then you can step out and show off your special glow – all refreshed and ready for spring!
Do you have favorite a favorite DIY ritual to refresh your skin, body, and mind for spring? Please share your “spring cleaning” tips with us!