Wondering “what’s the fuss about facials”? Maybe you’ve thrown on a mask, rinsed it off ten minutes later, and been left underwhelmed by the result. Or maybe you’re wanting to take your pampering to the next level. Either way, let’s give your facial a facelift! We’ll take you through a few key ingredients for a fabulous facial experience.
November 29, 2023
Before you dive head-first into a mask, you’ll want to cleanse your skin. Wash the day away, as well as any residual make-up, grime, or dirt that may have built up. You can sneak in some massaging motions, and it’s recommended to spend at least 60 seconds gently scrubbing the cleanser in.
Some even recommend a double cleanse! Start with an oil-based product to clear off any remaining makeup, and then apply a water-based cleanser to dispel any sweat or dirt. Now that your skin is squeaky clean, you can grab your exfoliant!
Be careful here - generally, chemical exfoliation is recommended at this stage, rather than physical (eg a scrub with salt, sugar or coffee grinds). And don’t let the word ‘chemical’ make you uneasy! These are typically more gentle on your skin than a physical exfoliant, which can cause micro tears if used too harshly, leading to irritation.
A couple of key ‘chemicals’ to look for include AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA’s (beta-hydroxy acids). AHA’s tend to be more gentle, and are great for evening skin tone and improving discolouration, whereas BHA’s penetrate deeper into the skin, and are favoured by acne-prone folks or those with oily skin.
Exfoliating before a mask clears away the dead skin, so the fresh, new skin beneath is primed to receive the benefits of the upcoming treatment.
The next step is your uber-relaxing facial is going to spring open your pores and promote a calm, serene state of mind. There are a couple of ways you can steam your face.
The first option involves filling a bowl with hot water, hovering your face above it, and then covering your head with a towel to trap the heat. This will allow you to steam for quite a while, but it’s not so comfortable for the neck.
A more leisurely version involves soaking a tea towel in hot water, wringing it out, and then laying it over the face. A wonderful option if you’re simultaneously treating yourself to a dreamy soak in the tub.
Steaming your face will open and unclog your pores, and ensure your skin is receptive to the mask you’ll now apply.
It’s time for the main event! This is the part of a facial many leap into, skipping Steps 1-3. While you may still see some benefits, skipping to the main event without preparing your skin is not conducive to getting the most out of the product.
The type of mask you choose should be targeted toward your skin type and goals. If you’re looking to further clear your pores, you might go for a detoxifying option like clay or charcoal. For a brightener, you’ll want a product with Vitamin C, and for hydration, you’ll want to look for a mask with hyaluronic acid or cocoa butter.
Expert estheticians recommended multi-masking to Huff Post. This is where you apply multiple masks to different areas of the face. You may have areas struggling with dryness, oiliness or sensitivity that you want to cater to, and multi-masking allows you to treat these areas simultaneously.
Most masks are recommended to be left on the face for 20-30 minutes. You can soak in the tub a little longer as your face is pampered in the mask.
Once you’ve rinsed, peeled, or scrubbed off your mask, you’ll want to lock in all the goodness with a moisturiser.
Make sure it’s an effective product by looking for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or shea butter. You could even go for an overnight hydrating treatment if you prefer.
This will ensure your skin remains plump and retains moisture, finishing off your facial with a flourish and leaving you with a radiant, bright complexion.
While facials like these can be addictively pampering, they’re not recommended for daily application - think more weekly or fortnightly. They’re a special treat to finish off a big week, or a moment of peace before a big event.
Bonus tip: ramp up the pampering by using a jade roller or gua sha after your mask and before moisturising! This is great for your facial muscles and has been shown to relieve tension, promote blood flow, and reduce puffiness.
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