How to Give Yourself a Facial at Home

Prep, Cleanse and Steam

Before you get started, you'll want to gather up all of your washes and creams and tools. If you want a truly zen-like spa atmosphere, you'll also want to light a few candles and pop in some groovy tunes. Here's a list of what you'll need for the optimal home facial treatment:

  • Headband
  • Washcloth(s)
  • Several clean towels
  • Box of tissues
  • Facial steamer or pot with water
  • Cleanser
  • Scrub
  • Witch hazel (if you plan to do your own extractions)
  • Mask
  • Cucumber slices or chamomile tea bags (already steeped)
  • Moisturizer

The first step is to thoroughly cleanse your face as well as your neck and upper chest area, which are also referred to as the décolleté. Before you can start the deep clean, you need to get all of the surface dirt off of your face. Be sure to pull your hair back so you can scrub all the way up to your hairline and around your jawline, both of which are primo hiding areas for pimples. Start by taking off any eye makeup, then give your face a good once over with your regular face wash, using a washcloth or just your hands. Follow up with a toner to make sure your skin is a fresh and clean blank slate for your facial.

Now it's time for a steam. Steaming softens your skin and opens up the pores. There are a few of ways you can steam your face. The easiest way is to use a facial steamer -- it's like a vaporizer for your face. You just fill it up with water and plug it in. But since most of us don't have one readily available, you can also use the steam from a boiling pot of water. Wait until the water has come to a boil and stand over it with a towel over your head to help concentrate the steam onto your face. You'll want to steam for about five minutes. For an aromatherapy treat, you can add fragrant herbs or essential oils to the water, such as lavender or rosemary. If you want to avoid downtime between steps, go ahead and put the water on the burner before you start gathering up all of your supplies. Be careful not to stand too close, because you want to avoid steam burns. (Tip: if your face is screaming "too hot!" then you're probably too close.) The most relaxing option is to soak a washcloth in warm water, get horizontal and drape it over your face. The only drag about this is that it's ideal to steam for about 10 minutes using the washcloth method, and the washcloth will cool off pretty quickly so you'll have to keep swapping it for a warm one.

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