How To Make Your At-Home Facial Feel Like The Real Thing

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Some things in life are just better when someone else does them for you. It’s the universal truth that makes take-out taste better than anything you could whip up in your own kitchen. And, for most of us, it’s the reason we’re willing to pay big bucks for other people to color our hair, wax our bikini lines, and make our skin feel like it’s just come back from vacation.
But, as nice as it feels to outsource all of our beauty needs, sadly, life’s indulgences — like regular facials — aren’t always easy to justify when we're super busy. Plus, let's admit it, there's a lot of effort involved with constantly pressing mute on that tiny voice in our heads reminding us about our credit-card situations.
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You can release that sharp inhale you took when your mind wandered to your finances and sigh with relief. Because, you’re about to become clued in on how to get that post-spa giddiness without the help of a pro. Read on to discover the path to an amazing DIY facial — without compromising your high standards.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Play masseuse.
The first stop on the road to the best at-home facial ever starts at your chest. “Before you start, gently massage around your heart, as this is where lymph drains into the blood,” says celebrity facialist Jocelyn Petroni. Then, move the action upward. “While cleansing, massage the sides of the neck and under the jawline to further assist lymph drainage,” she advises. Starting with your décolletage and neck prepares your face for its own massage session, helping circulate white blood cells and reduce swelling.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Raid your kitchen.
We can all appreciate the power of a good double cleanse — you know, removing your makeup and any excess oil before getting down and dirty and cleaning out those pores. According to Petroni, the perfect product to dissolve that top layer of grime isn’t some fancy, department-store pre-cleanse — it’s actually your old kitchen staple, olive oil. So, hold the salad dressing and do your skin — and bank account — a massive favor.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Jump in the tub.
It’s a universally acknowledged beauty truth that sometimes the best part of visiting a salon is getting to hang out somewhere way more lush — and comfortable — than your own humble abode. While you may not be able to recreate the luxe interior of your last facial appointment, you can make your DIY experience more pleasurable by running a hot bath. “The natural steam will detox pores and soften the facial tissue for optimum product penetration,” explains Petroni. Add bubbles as desired.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Tone, tone, and tone again.
We know you know that reaching for the toner is a pretty standard step in most at-home routines. However, for your Best Facial Ever, Petroni suggests completely upping your toner game. “Use the product on cotton [balls] in-between each step of your facial to remove residual product and create a clean slate for your next step,” she suggests. Keep that wonder product nearby at all times to make the rest of your beauty potions work harder than ever before.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Put your fingers to work.
You've heard it before, and you’ll probably hear it a million times again: Massaging is key when it comes to nailing your skin-care routine. But, have you ever been told to massage in your mask? Nope? Well, write that hot tip down, because it can make all the difference. “Masks are the best product for a medium massage, as they contain active ingredients that will soak into the skin,” says Petroni. If you stick to the old rule of applying, waiting, and rinsing, you’ll absorb the goodies from your mask less effectively than if you put in some bonus touchy-feely time. “When applying your mask, use your ‘cosmetic fingers’: the ring and middle finger,” Petroni says. “Only ever use your fingers and never your palm, to minimize product wastage.”
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Go the extra inch.
Beauty fact number 8675309: Your face doesn’t end at your jaw. So, it’s important to extend every step of your facial down to your décolletage. The delicate skin in this area deserves the same attention you give your face. Similarly, when working your forehead, take extra care to apply products all the way up to the hairline.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Take a minute, girl.
In fact, take five — better yet, take 10. “Resting after a facial gives the skin time to absorb the active ingredients into the very deepest layers,” says Petroni. Keep the good times rolling by staying bare-faced for as long as you can after your pampering session. (You wouldn’t step out of the salon and into a full face of foundation, would you?)

While a professional facial is definitely beneficial — the extractions alone are worth the price of admission — following these tips can help you cut down on the amount of pro treatments you need. It will also make sure your complexion doesn't look like hell between appointments, which is always a good thing.
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