Makeover Monday: DIY Facials

When I reached goal weight, several people suggested a spa facial as one of my rewards. I agree, that would be nice and I do intend to do it, but with finances being what they are and Christmas just around the corner, a professional facial is being pushed a little ways down the list. Still, that’s no reason not to pamper myself. An at-home facial is easy, inexpensive, and a definite reward.

Due to my advanced years, I should do a facial once a week, but it’s often—okay, usually, every couple or three weeks. I just don’t take the time, even though it takes only about 30 minutes or so. I’m declaring tonight Facial Night, after my workout, and just in case you want to have a facial night too, I’ll provide my version of a facial below, along with some handy links for other options. Keep in mind that my lack of medical knowledge extends into dermatology, so you might want to proceed with caution.

If you choose to play along and treat yourself to a facial, it’s important to know your skin type and choose an appropriate product. Need help? No problem. Here’s a link with some tips for determining your skin type. Go ahead and check. The rest of us will wait….

Ready? Okay. Without further ado, here is Cammy’s non-Patented Facial Treatment:

I like to do a facial immediately after I shower. The warm water opens my pores nicely, and my hair is up in a towel or combed back from my face, eliminating the need for a headband.

I also like to have a scented candle burning. I’m not sure why, because the facial is no more or less effective with it. Maybe it enhances the idea that this is a treat (as opposed to basic Cammy maintenance which should be done weekly.)

My regular facial consists of four steps: cleansing, exfoliating, a mask, and moisturizing. If I happen to have some Biore Pore Cleaning Strips, I’ll use one of those after cleansing, but I’m out of them right now, so my blackheads are on their own. (Usual disclaimer: no money from the Biore people, not that I wouldn’t take it.)

For cleansing, I use an all-purpose gentle cleaner, usually either Basis or Purpose soap or Cetaphil cleanser. No doubt, you have your own favorite cleanser, but if you want to try any of these, they’re available at your local drugstore, I’m sure.

There are plenty of exfoliating products on the market, but I often mix a little baking soda and water together into a paste, and use it instead. To me, it seems as though successful exfoliation is more in the technique than in the product. I use just the pads of my fingers to smooth the product on my face in gentle circles. I spend a little extra time on my “t-zone” since it tends to be a little oily. I also rinse vigorously, because exfoliates tend to be drying.

Next up is a facial mask, and this is the longest part of the process. Fortunately, it creates a built-in nothing-to-do-but-wait step that you can use for leg shaving, tidying the vanity area, or just sitting back with your eyes closed for a few minutes.

As with all “beauty products”, there are many options available. Know your skin type and choose accordingly. Generally speaking, use a clay-based face mask for oily skin. For dry skin, go for a hydrating gel or cream mask. Or you can try one of the homemade masks I’ll include later in this post.

When applying the mask, avoid the extra delicate areas around the eyes. Leave the mask on for the length of time recommended on the package directions, usually somewhere between 10-20 minutes, then rinse your face well.

The final step in the facial process is the moisturizer. Again, choose a moisturizer for your skin type and smooth it on your skin. I use this time for a bit of facial massage, using just the tips of my fingers in short, smooth strokes, working from the neck up to the cheeks bones (I actually have those now) and then smoothing horizontal strokes across those demoralizing forehead creases.

And that’s my facial. I wish I could tell you I have peaches-and-cream complexion, but I don’t. I do think my skin is healthier than it used to be, partially due to an improved diet and regular exercise, but also because of special treats like this!

As promised, here are some facial masks you can make at home:
Egg White Mask: I don’t use this one often, because I usually don’t have any eggs in the house. I’ve used it in the past, though, and it’s really good for toning and tightening. Spread a thin film of egg white on your face. Rinse it off after 10 to 20 minutes. It’s great for oily skin, but I’ve heard that you can add a spoonful of honey to it and use it for dry skin as well. I may try that this winter, when my skin dries out a little.

Oatmeal Mask: I’ve used this one as well. Oatmeal deep cleans pores without irritating or drying out skin. You’ll want to use rolled oats (not the instant type) and you’ll need to grind them into a flour-like consistency in the food processor. Any excess can be stored in a jar or other covered container.

To use the oatmeal mask, pour a small amount of the ground oatmeal into your palm and mix in plain water or milk (for extra moisture) to form a paste. Spread the paste on your face and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse well.

Milk of Magnesia Mask: This is a quickie> and good for oily skin: Rub plain Milk of Magnesia onto your face, let it dry, then rinse with lukewarm water.

And that completes my repertoire of homemade facial masks. I’ve read about others, but I’ve not used them. If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a link to recipes for more homemade facial masks.

Now, for my favorite part of Makeover Monday: What are YOUR home facial secrets? Any special techniques or products you want to share? I’d love to know, especially since I’ve declared tonight Home Facial Night in Cammyland!