Skip the salon and save money with this easy, effective routine.

By Megan Deem
September 04, 2020
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For anyone who has a concern with their complexion, a trip to the spa can be a skin-saver. You can get a customized treatment that improves your appearance and makes you feel like a million bucks, too. Plus, spas usually offer relaxing music, dim light, and a cozy robe for the ultimate feeling of relaxation. However, an appointment can be pricey (some treatments cost hundreds of dollars), and right now, during a pandemic, the best thing you can do is stay at home unless it's an absolutely necessary errand, like going to the grocery store. But thankfully, you can give yourself an effective treatment without leaving the house. (Yes, really.) So light your favorite candles, put on your coziest pajamas, and get ready to do a facial without spending a fortune from the comfort of your own bathroom.

Woman applying a face mask at home with her hair wrapped in a towel
Credit: Lordn/Getty Images

Step 1: Cleanse

Start by washing any dirt, oil, and makeup off your face and neck. (For best results, try the expert-recommended double-cleansing method. You want to make sure you're not using something that is going to dry out your skin. "If your cleanser dehydrates the skin cells, then all of the products afterward have to do repair work," says Renée Rouleau, an aesthetician based in Austin, Texas. She suggests something low- foaming and sulfate-free like her Moisture Protecting Cleanser ($38, Renée Rouleau).

Step 2: Mask

To get a post-facial glow, you need to remove complexion-dulling dead surface cells. Aesthetician Jeannel Astaria, the owner of Just Ageless in New York City, suggests making your own moisturizing refining mask that you can check out here. If you're not the DIY type, there are plenty of options you can buy. Try an exfoliating gel mask with alpha-hydroxy acids that refreshes your skin in minutes. An affordable and effective option is the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Mask ($19, Ulta).

Step 3: Massage

One of the best parts of a professional treatment that's often skipped at home is the facial massage. It increases blood flow and helps get rid of puffiness, Astarita says. To start, prep your face and neck with facial oil, like the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Face Oil ($40, Sephora). Seep your fingers (or a specialized tool such as a gua sha stone) across your face then down the neck. Move horizontally—from the chin to the ear, under the eye to the temple, and the side of the nose to top of the cheek—then vertically down the neck. Repeat five times on each side of your face, then remove the excess oil with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Moisturize

Cap things off with a layer of moisturizer, preferably one with benefits like peptides for building collagen, such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ($23, Walgreens), or skin-brightening vitamin C, which you can find in RoC Multi Correxion Revive & Glow Gel Cream ($30, Ulta).


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