The Tipping List
The DIY Facial … Plus Picks for Every Budget!
Carve out time for a pampering treat and your skin will thank you
For some, a monthly facial is as essential as paying the electric bill, while others see it as an indulgence. Sure a trip to the aesthetician leaves you looking and feeling better, but you can achieve similar results at home (alone) either between professional treatments or in the place of them altogether by following these steps. And for maximum benefits, treat your neck, chest and even the backs of your hands in addition to your face.
The easiest way to prepare your skin for an at-home facial is to take a nice long shower before beginning. Not only will washing your face get rid of any dirt and grime, the steam will help open your pores, similar to how your aesthetician may use a steam machine during a professional facial.
BARGAIN PICK: Roc Age Diminishing Facial Cleanser $7.99, drugstores nationwide
The point of an at-home facial is to give your skin a more intense treatment than it receives every day. Even if you exfoliate every day (possibly with a product that contains an acid or enzymes) removing the outer layer of dull, dry skin is essential for any facial. But if you’re very sensitive, you may want to skip this step to prevent aggravating the skin.
One to try: Dr. Brandt Microdermbrasion contains the same crystals used in professional microdermabrasion treatments to polish away dead skin. $75, drbrandtskincare.com
BARGAIN PICK: St. Ives Elements Microdermabrasion $7.99, drugstore.com
If you thought exfoliation stopped with the scrub – wrong. For extra smoothness, try a light acid-based peel (or if skin is sensitive, an enzyme-based version). After five to 10 minutes, your face will be silky soft with a nice healthy flush.
One to try: Zia Apple Refining Mask contains malic acid-rich organic apple juice to help retexturize the skin plus antioxidants and amino acids to protect and strengthen the skin. $24.95, zianatural.com
BARGAIN PICK: Freeman Renewance Anti-Aging Chemical Peel $13.99, drugstore.com
After sloughing off the layer of skin that stands between you and a better complexion, it’s time to infuse your skin with moisture. This mega-dose of hydration does more than quench your skin’s thirst – it also helps plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
One to try: Use a moisture mask like Biologique Recherche‘s Masque Biosensible. Designed for stressed skin, this spa and aesthetician favorite hydrates, calms and softens with omega fatty acids, white clay and an oxygenating complex. $150, beautyhabit.com
BARGAIN PICK: Aveno Soothing Moisture Mask $22, drugstore.com
At this point your skin is ripe and ready for active ingredients to penetrate, so a skin-specific serum is in order. Tailor this step to your main concerns, whether wrinkles, sun damage or acne.
One to try: Caudalie’s Lifting Serum targets signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging and loss of radiance. $79, caudalie.usa.com
BARGAIN PICK: Lumene Radiant C-Energy Age-Defying Intensive Care $19.99, cvs.com
Everyone needs to protect his or her skin from the sun, but it’s especially important after exfoliating. It seems that there are more sunscreens that we can count these days, but the good thing is you can shield your skin from UV rays while infusing it with anti-aging ingredients to prevent and reverse sun damage at the same time.
One to try: Kinerase Daily Defense Cream SPF 30 provides high protection from the sun while improving the skin’s texture and tone and the appearance of lines and dark spots. $135, nordstrom.com
BARGAIN PICK: Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45 $12.99,
As you can see, at-home facials don’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of product options at your local drugstore that fit the bill perfectly. And with today’s increased popularity of “green” and eco-friendly products, you can also create an organic at-home facial.