How to ace a facial at home

If you’re missing your appointments with your facialist and dermat during quarantine, an at-home facial is going to be the cherry on the cake. Giving your skin this extra attention will address clogged pores, dullness, dry skin and keep lymph build-up at bay. We reached out to skincare experts Dr Jaishree Sharad, dermatologist and founder, Skinfiniti Clinic, Mumbai and Paayal Mahajan, founder of Essential Body, a couture skincare brand for their top tips to ace a facial at home. Arm yourself with your favourite scented candle, a playlist to expedite your trip to relaxation town, a few DIY concoctions and you’re ready for a pampering sesh…

Step 1: Cleanse

“I am a big proponent of oil cleansing, it works brilliantly to remove traces of make-up, dirt and grime, and leaves the lipid barrier nourished and balanced,” says Mahajan. She recommends using an oil-based cleanser like Essential Body’s Uplift or a simple cold-pressed oil like sweet almond or jojoba. These oils are non-comedogenic, which means they will not clog your pores. “Massage this gently in upward, circular motions, and then wipe your face with a warm, damp washcloth,” suggests Mahajan.


Step 2: Massage

Once you’re done cleansing, the next step is a quick face massage. “The right techniques will help stimulate circulation, promote lymphatic drainage, lift, tighten and sculpt the facial muscles and release stress,” says Mahajan. Keeping all these benefits in mind, she’s designed her signature ‘10-10-10 Technique’ that strengthens skin from within, without any tools. It also helps exfoliate skin and gets rid of any congestion (think toxins and blackheads) in the T-zone. Massage your face for 10 minutes for a lit-from-within glow.


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Step 3: Face mask

The best part of a DIY facial is that you can custom create a mask based on your skin’s needs. Paayal Mahajan recommends using raw, unpasteurized honey because it soothes skin and is naturally antibacterial and antiviral. It is packed with enzymes, acts like a gentle exfoliant and can be used by all skin types. Leave it on for 10 to 40 minutes.

Dr Sharad suggests taking half a bowl of uncooked, rinsed white rice and boiling it for 20 minutes in two cups of drinking water. Use a sieve to drain the starchy water, let it cool and then refrigerate. Mix a tablespoon of powdered red lentil (masoor dal) and cold rice water each to make a paste. Then apply it on your face and neck, and wash it off after 30 minutes. Rice water is packed with antioxidants and red lentil is a natural exfoliant. Together, they deep cleanse and brighten skin.


Step 4: Ice

After rinsing off the mask, Mahajan prefers massaging her face with an ice cube made of good quality green tea or chamomile tea to fight inflammation and reduce puffiness. To avoid a freezer burn, wrap the cube in a thin napkin before rubbing them on your face.


What to keep in mind…

If you have acne-prone skin, Dr Sharad recommends avoiding anything with milk, yoghurt and malai that increase sebum production and trigger acne. Paayal Mahajan advices steering clear of at-home peels, using essential oils directly on your face and rubbing granular sugar on your skin. Avoid using lemon or citrus juices too, they can cause irritation and hyperpigmentation. “Learn to use your face tools correctly, and don’t resort to aggressive massages at home. Make sure your face roller is clean. Never try face cupping on your own, you can burst blood vessels and cause serious damage,” recommends Mahajan.


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