We don't always have the budget to splash out on a real spa facial, but when our skin is in need of a pick-me-up and we could do with the downtime to get really chilled out, a facial at home might be just the thing.
Granted, having someone else cleanse, tone and massage your face for an hour isn't quite like a facial at home - you won't get that unless you're blessed enough to live with a facialist. But you can achieve relaxation and dewy, glowing skin with a little planning...
SET THE SCENE WITH YOUR SENSES
Creating a zen space before you start is part of the facial at home experience. Indulge all five senses in the same way they would be in a real spa.
Light some of your favourite candles (I love anything with lavender because it's so relaxing) and make sure wherever you're spending these blissful few minutes smells great. Get a fragrance diffuser and again, keep those candles lit, so that your environment smells like a spa.
Throw on a robe and slippers, and get yourself all set up so you don't have to interrupt the process by running downstairs mid-facial and scaring whomever you live with. Get the fluffiest towels you can find.
If you really want to induce the spa-like serenity, put on some plinky-plonky music in the background.
Give the bathroom a quick tidy - hide anything that'll bring you out in stress hives, like your partner's socks, dirty towels or those work documents you brought into the bath that time (multitasking is not what a spa is for).
Have some chamomile tea and fresh or dried fruit before you start, as you would in a real spa.
There are seven key steps that most in-spa facials will feature. Try to include them all for that real fresh-out-of-heaven feeling.
Your face will never be cleaned just once - it'll be cleaned to remove makeup and then cleaned again to take away anything missed first time round. Use a hot cloth to remove the cleanser both times to mimic the real thing.
Toning is something we neglect at home sometimes, so never skip this step. Use something with a small percentage of glycolic acid to really see a glow post-facial.
For this step, I love REN's Micro Polish Cleanser. It's not harsh, but it does what you need it to do and feels gorgeous on skin.
Yes, again! In a real spa facial, toning won't just happen once.
For this, a sheet mask just doesn't cut it. They're fiddly and awkward and just don't have the same effect. I absolutely LOVE Glam Glow's GravityMud Firming Treatment. My skin always feels plump and tight after it, but not in a parched way.
SERUM OR OIL + MASSAGE
Using your favourite serum, massage your skin using your fingers or a jade roller for at least five minutes. It might seem like the product is sufficiently rubbed in, but with the massage it's more about stimulating blood flow and creating that really fresh, glowing skin you have post-facial.
Finally, apply eye cream to the eye socket (never go too close to the eye) and then add a light layer of your favourite moisturiser. Pop some lip balm on to finish and move on to the last step.
Plan in an hour post-facial to eat some fresh fruit, drink lots of water, read a book, flick through your favourite magazine or do some meditation, and all with your feet up and phone OFF. Vitally important for you to unwind, these are the sorts of things that happen in a real spa, so making your bathroom or bedroom as close to the real thing will give you that feeling of chill that you usually pay big money for.