Fall is a busy time and not too many of us may have the time to run off to the spa for a facial! With children going back to school, PTA meetings and a busy career of any kind, it may be difficult to schedule “me time”. Taking time for yourself is very important, so we’ve come up with an easy DIY home facial that you can do to re-energize your skin, and some suggestions for a luxurious DIY face mask for sensitive skin types, and other skin types too!
Step One: Steam and Cleanse
All professional spa steaming facials begin with cleansing of the skin, and then steaming. Did you know that you can steam at home? First, let’s dispel a common myth:
Myth: Steaming “opens pores”.
Truth: The pores of the face are simply openings in the skin and are pathways for the body to eliminate toxins, oil (sebum) mixed with dirt, bacteria and dead skin debris. Pores do not have muscles, therefore they cannot “open and close” with hot or cold water. Asteaming facial, or applying warm water with a washcloth, simply warms and allows oils and debris trapped in the pores to melt, and be more deeply cleaned. Steaming of the skin is beneficial because it warms and softens the oil and debris trapped in the pores and allows for the easy removal of dirt.
How to Steam
- A medium sized bowl that will fit in your sink
- A large bath towel
- Herbs or essential oils (see note below)
- Boiling water OR the really hot steamy tap water
There are two ways to do this. The first way is to boil water, and then put into a bowl with herbs or oils. Set your bowl on a counter and proceed. The second way to do this is to run the tap water until it is steamy hot. Put a stopper into your sink, fill with the steamy water, and add your herbs or oil to the sink. If your sink does not have a good drain, you can put a washcloth on the bottom of the skink to keep the water from slowly draining.
- To begin your steaming facial, lean over the bowl or sink of hot water, keeping your face 10-12” above the water. Drape a towel over your head like a little tent to keep in the steam. If the steam feels too hot, move your face a couple inches higher. Keep your eyes closed.
- Keep your face over the steam for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Gently pat excess water from your face, and follow by washing the pores immediately with a gentle cleanser. We suggest the Ayr Skin Care Calm Facial Bar, or Reveal Exfoliating Foam Facial Wash with AHA. The Calm facial bar includes clay which will help remove toxins, and the Reveal has mild AHA fruit acids to remove sebum from your skin.
Note: You may use fresh herbs (a handful) or 2-3 drops of essential oil. Do not use more than this, as essential oils are very concentrated. Keep your eyes shut during the steam phase of your steaming facial.
Common Herbs Used for Steaming and Aromatherapy
Lavender: calming to the mind and the skin
Rose: calming and soothing, anti-irritant
Rosemary: balances skin and sebum
Geranium: acts as a natural astringent, calming
Chamomile: soothes irritated skin
Eucalyptus: astringent, helps with acne, clears nasal congestion
Step Two: Tone or Condition
Choose one of these two options depending upon what supplies you have and how much time you have to invest. At least once a week we suggest you take the time to condition.
Option 1: Tone
Now that your skin is clean, the next part of a good steaming facial is taking the time to tone or condition. If you use a toner, apply it now. We suggest using witch hazel or rose water based toners instead of anything containing alcohol. Use a washcloth or spritz it on in a spray, or use a cotton ball. Do not rinse off from your face. Proceed to step three.
Option 2: Condition
If you have time, this is the point in the steaming facial where you would condition. We suggest conditioning with a mask at least once a week. This is where you assess what your skin condition is, and while the skin is clean, proceed with a mask. There are various ways to put together a DIY face mask for sensitive skin, including pastes or clays for drawing out toxins from the skin, creams or thick natural moisturizing ingredients to add moisture to the skin, or gel-based masks that can moisturize or do other targeted tasks. Here are examples of DIY at home mask ideas
- Use 1 tablespoon of any kind of sea clay with as much water as needed to form a paste. Use a small spoon and mix this together in a small bowl and apply directly to skin, avoiding the eye area and hairline. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, and wash off with a washcloth. This is perfect for most skin types, especially oily skin, once a week.
- A good idea for a creamy steaming facial mask is to use yogurt (coconut yogurt if you have dairy allergies) mixed in equal parts with honey. Manuka honey has additional properties so use that if you can find it. Mix together in a bowl and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with water.
- A good DIY face mask for sensitive skin is to go with a gel mask by using peeled and mashed up fresh aloe. This is a great reason to grow aloe in a pot at home. It doesn’t need much care, prefers sunlight, and is also handy if you burn yourself while cooking! It is a great plant to have on a balcony or in the yard. Pick a piece about six inches long, peel and mash it into a bowl. You can add other mashed up herbs like parsley, which is great for cleaning the skin, or mashed up rose petals are a nice addition. Roses are wonderful rejuvenators for the skin and have been used in skincare throughout history. Leave your gel-based mask on for 15-20 minutes. If you do not have an aloe plant handy around the house, you can buy a thick aloe gel online or in the stores. Try to get one without alcohol and as minimal an ingredient list as possible.
At the end of your mask, rinse your skin clean. (An important part of doing a proper DIY face mask for sensitive skin is to make sure you get that soft skin nice and dry after the steaming.) Pat it dry, and go to step 3.
Step 3: Treat
A wonderful step for a truly luxurious steaming facial, often overlooked in home DIY Spa treatments is to treat the skin for anything that it needs in the way of nutrients or localized problems such as acne. If you have acne, this might be a good time to apply witch hazel as the toner in step two and then add a spot treatment stick directly onto the acne spots if you desire. A drop of tea tree oil works well for this also. Dilute one drop of tea tree essential oil with 6 drops of any light carrier oil such as rice bran oil, jojoba or sweet almond oil.
A further step in treatment is to add a layer of easily absorbed oil to your face. Ayr Skin Care suggests our Virgin Marula Oil for this very purpose. All you need is 2-3 drops, rubbed between the fingertips until warm, and pressed into the face. Marula oil helps regulate sebum and balances the face. If your face is too dry or too oily, marula oil is your answer.
Step 4: Moisturize
An important final step in your DIY home steaming facial is to apply moisturizer. If you have done your facial in the morning, then apply a layer of daytime moisturizer and eye serum before facing the day. Awaken Eye Serum is perfectly light but powerful and for all skin types. Our Pure Moisture face cream is designed for combination, dry or sensitive skin, and is especially good for mature complexions. It creates a rich moisture barrier between you and “the world”, and the deep hydration that lasts for 72 hours. Moisturizer should always be applied as quickly as possible after washing, while the skin is still slightly damp. If you have done your facial in the evening, be sure to apply your night cream instead as your final step. Our new Restore Replenishing Night Cream is the answer to your need for a wonderfully rich, hydrating sleep. The difference between night and day creams is the use of vitamins. Restore Night Cream is full of vitamins, including vitamin C. Vitamin C is sun sensitive, and is not recommended for daytime use.
We hope that you take advantage of your first opportunity to give yourself an easy and fun DIY face mask for sensitive skin, as part of a luxurious, rejuvenating home steaming facial experience with our suggestions. It only takes a minute or two to gather your ingredients, and only about a half an hour in total time to give yourself this gift of rejuvenation. Don’t you deserve it?
We think you do!
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.