Some people think facials are an extravagant indulgence. However, they are essential for maintaining a healthy glow and soft skin. Two facials a week are ideal, but if your busy schedule does not allow for that, then at least one facial a week is recommended. Not everyone has the budget to splurge on spa or salon facials. To try to achieve or maintain a radiant complexion without breaking the bank, it’s best to do your own facials at home. Foraging in your kitchen and making your own beauty treatments using natural ingredients requires little time and is worth the effort. You can do a complete facial at your convenience and one that suits your skin type. So make these treatments, follow the steps provided and help give your skin the care it needs to stay supple and glow!
STEP 1: CLEANSE
Before starting a facial, it’s essential to remove any dirt, grime or excess oil from your face. First wash your hands to avoid transferring any dirt to your face. Preferably use a natural soap for this, such as olive oil soap or goat’s milk soap.
How: Rinse your face with lukewarm water, then apply cleanser.
Dry skin: Honey Cleanser
Honey, being a humectant, is a great natural cleanser. Squirt ½ teaspoon of honey into your palm, massage on your face and wash off. For very dry skin, mix 1 tsp milk with honey to form a smooth paste and massage onto your face for a few minutes. When it dries, scrub off. Then rinse with water.
TIP: Keep a jar of fine milk powder in your bathroom. Mix with water or honey to form a smooth paste and use to cleanse your face.
Oily skin: Sunshine Cleanser
Mix ½ tsp honey with a few drops of lemon juice, massage onto your face for 2 minutes and rinse off.
Combination skin: Chick Slick Cleanser
Mix ¼ cup chick pea flour, ½ tsp turmeric and enough full fat milk to make a smooth paste. Apply on face, leave for 5 minutes and rinse off. If milk is not available, substitute yoghurt.
The Sunshine Cleanser is also good for combination skin.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
Exfoliation helps in deep cleansing the skin and removing dead skin cells, grease and impurities. People with oily skin are prone to acne because of the excessive sebum produced by the skin. Exfoliation allows new cells to be exposed, which improves the appearance of the skin. Add in a good facial massage to increase blood circulation, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells and your skin tone will improve.
Exfoliating should not be done more than twice a week. For those lucky enough to have problem-free skin, exfoliating can be done on a fortnightly basis. For those with dry or sensitive skin, it is not recommended to exfoliate often as it will thin out the skin; once or twice a month is sufficient.
Exfoliators for dry skin should have hydrating properties which will help remove impurities from the skin without overdrying it. Therefore, they should also be mild.
How: Massage on face, starting at the bottom towards the top, in small circles.
Dry skin: Nutty Putty
Grind a handful of almonds to a fine powder. Mix with enough milk and honey to form a smooth paste. Apply on face and leave on for 10-20 minutes. Scrub off over the sink when it’s dry, then rinse your face.
Tip: If you make almond milk at home, save the sieved almond pulp. It’s an effective exfoliator for dry skin.
Strawberry and Sugar Scentsation
Mash 2-3 strawberries and combine with 1-2 tbsp brown sugar. Apply on face, massage for 2 minutes. Rinse off. The strawberries hydrate while the sugar sloughs off skin cells. The scent provides an excellent aromatherapy boost.
Oily skin: Citrus Clean Exfoliator
Mix 1 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp baking soda to form a paste. Gently massage into skin for 2 minutes. Then rinse well with warm water.
Mix 1 tbsp plain yoghurt, 2 tsp honey and ½ tbsp oat flour or ground oats. Scrub gently, leave on for 5-10 minutes and rinse off. Yoghurt soothes the skin, honey helps reduce inflammation and redness and the oats exfoliate. This is an effective scrub for reducing blackheads and nourishing skin.
Combination skin: Sweet and Nutty Exfoliator
Mix 2 tbsp corn flour, 1 tbsp ground almonds and enough fresh apple juice to make a smooth paste. Massage on face for 3-5 minutes and rinse off.
STEP 3: STEAM
If you suffer from blackheads, now is the time to steam your face to soften the blackheads for easy removal.
How: Boil water in a kettle. Place a large towel over your head. Open the lid of the kettle and bend over it, keeping your face at least 6 inches away from the steam. Make sure the towel has closed all areas where steam can escape. Steam your face for 5-8 minutes or for as long as you can tolerate. Next, use a deep cleansing pore strip to remove blackheads. Alternatively, use a blackhead remover tool which can be obtained from a pharmacy.
Umm-e-Ismaeel has lived in Saudi Arabia, N. America and now resides in Pakistan. She is an ESL teacher and freelance writer; her work has been published in various magazines and ezines. In her free time she enjoys baking and painting and having fun doing creative things with her son.