The Art of the At Home Facial
Unless you’re getting facials regularly, you probably aren’t maximizing your results. Weekly at home facials are a great way to keep up the benefits in between professional services. We spoke with skincare expert and founder of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, Melissa Lenberg, to learn the art of the at home facial. Melissa shares her favorite products and tools, as well as the steps to her at home routine. She also gives us some great tips on creating a zen ambience.
You gave a great at home facial tutorial years ago on Periscope. Why do you prefer an at home facial to a professional one?
There is something that makes doing it at home even more personalized and special. I love to take time to really create a ritual when it comes to my beauty routine. When I am doing this at home, I connect deeper with myself and my space. Professional facials are great for relaxation; however, consistency is key to truly seeing transformative results in the skin. Just like going to the gym and having one power session a month won’t work to transform your body – same goes with your skin. Having a solid daily routine followed by a 1-2x per week at home facial will surely help you achieve better results. I see a lot of people spending hundreds on a facial once a month, but then they skimp on the time in between by not investing in good products, or falling asleep with makeup, etc. Investing in effective products so that you can create this experience at home will have you seeing results and spending time connecting within as well. Think about spending time with your face as a way of meditation.
What are your essential skincare products for a good at home facial?
For myself it is all about setting the vibe and intention. I really tune in and see what my skin is needing at that moment. Does it need extra hydration and some relaxation?! Or something to help detoxify and some gua sha?! Assessing where you’re at emotionally as well as your skin is key. Essentials can be simple. I say as long and you have a good face mask, a facial oil, steam, and your hands - you are good to go! Steam can either be from a facial steamer or just from your shower, whatever resonates with you.
Are there any tools you recommend?
For tools I really recommend having a gua sha stone and cupping set. Although your fingertips and personal touch is also just fine if you don’t have access to anything else. I tell all the women I meet to spend at least 2 minutes, morning and night, massaging their face, neck and décolleté. We tend to neglect these areas and whenever you massage, you get so many benefits, including a deeper connection to yourself. I believe everyone – even the busiest people and moms out there deserve at least 4 minutes a day to connect and renew.
Can you walk us through your steps?
So, you always want to start on clean skin. This is why I normally prefer to do facials in the morning since you’ve already woken up with clean skin, ready to go. After I get my space all set up, I first start with a face mask and apply it to my face, neck and chest. While the masks sits, I dry brush my body and typically throw on a hair mask as well. Dry brushing helps to stimulate blood flow and flush toxins from the body. Then I personally love to hop in the shower. The steam from the shower helps to remove the face mask and leave my pores open and ready for my next steps. From here, I follow up with all my products; toner, facial oil, and eye cream. I then spend the most time with the massage. I typically like to put on some sound healing or frequency music to really connect while I do the massage either with my hands or a facial tool. I typically spend anywhere from 10-30 minutes on the massage while sitting in front of the mirror and reciting affirmations.
How often do you recommend doing an at home facial?
I would say at least once per week, however you know your body and skin best, so I make this more of an intuitive practice by really tuning into what you need. Maybe one week it is 3-4 times and the next is none. Bottom line, make it a beautiful ritual to connect within.
Do you usually stick with the same routine, or do you like to switch up the products you use?
I will definitely switch it up. What you need from day to day can change and our skin can tend to get confused. Now, that is not me saying you need 50 products, instead I am simply saying to listen to your body and your skin. If it’s the week before your cycle, you may want to focus on more preventive treatments and using ingredients that are more detoxifying, whereas during the week of your cycle, you may want to be super nurturing and really tune into massage.
You’re a fan of facial cupping. Can you tell us about the benefits?
Facial cupping has been used for a long time to help stimulate circulation and remove stagnation. It also helps to stimulate the blood flow and bring life force to the skin. Facial cupping has numerous benefits, including:
- Stimulates collagen production
- Decreases puffiness
- Plumps fine lines and wrinkles
- Drains stagnant stress that may show up on the face
- Improves the appearance of dark circles and under eye puffiness
- Activates lymphatic drainage
How effective are LED Light masks? Is there a brand you recommend?
LED Light Mask are something I recently started playing with. I’ve been really into Skin Gym’s latest arrival, the Wrinklit LED Light Therapy Face Mask. This is an amazing treatment item to use for those at home facial results and to give your skin that extra boost of therapeutic benefits. There has been so much research around utilizing light therapy for enhancing your skin. Whether you’re looking to brighten, clear, or rejuvenate your complexion, there are different light shades that work to transform skin on a molecular level, which is pretty amazing. There are three light settings…the blue light therapy is great for skin suffering from any blemishes or breakouts; the red light is great for curing any redness as well as preventative aging; and the orange light works to brighten dull, uneven skin tone.
I typically rotate between the red & orange depending on how I feel my skin is doing and what it needs at the time. I will go with the blue when I’m around my moon and am experiencing any hormonal breakouts. The light also really helps the products penetrate into the skin more effectively so I’m all about using this on a nightly basis.
What’s your holy grail product that you can’t do without?
For me, it’s a really good high-quality facial oil. Not only does it hydrate the face, eyes and lips, but in a pinch, you can also use it to cleanse. So, if I can only have one that would be it! I am currently coveting the holi (oil)!
Do you have any tips for creating a zen ambience?
One thing that is a tried and trusted way to get your energy in the proper place is to set the ambience and mood of your environment. I am obsessed with essential oil diffusers to help you create a calming, soothing environment. I also personally resonate with crystals and flowers. Crystals vibrate at the same pitch we do and in turn, that allows us to utilize them to boost our energetic fields. Crystals have the power to align the chakras, inviting in balance and harmony, and repairing any misaligned energies to promote an elevating state of being and enhanced wellness.