Stress is a part of everyday life – from overflowing inboxes to fast-approaching deadlines and the never-ending tumultuous news cycle. It is important to take time for yourself to decompress and practice self-care activities that replenish your mind, body, and spirit – even if it is just a few minutes.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues and improving the lives of people dealing with mental health disorders. This year’s theme is "make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority”.
At Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, we will be celebrating via a DIY spa day, pampering skin with a relaxing facial.
If restorative at-home facials sound like your type of R&R, follow the step-by-step guide below to learn how to pamper yourself like a pro.
Step 1: Clear Your Mind
The first step to creating a relaxing spa day at home is saying peace out to distracting stressors. Set aside at least 45 minutes so you aren’t rushed (although you can do an express facial in as little as 10 minutes). Turn off your phone and devices so you aren’t interrupted. This will help put your mind at ease and allow you to stay focused on relaxing.
Step 2: Create A Spa-Like Atmosphere
Set the mood by prepping your space. You can transform your bathroom into a relaxing escape by simply burning incense, lighting candles, playing soft music, dimming the lights, and putting on a comfy robe and slippers. These little add-ons will transform your normal beauty ritual into a spa-like experience.
Step 3: Begin Your Facial
Now comes the fun part – let the pampering begin! Whether you do three of these steps or all nine, the point is that you are making time for yourself, and you deserve a pat on the back for that.
A good at-home facial (or any skin routine for that matter) starts with a clean canvas. Look for a gentle, non-stripping cleanser and massage it into the skin using circular motions. Once you have removed all traces of dirt, oil, and makeup, rinse off with lukewarm water. If you’re a heavy makeup-wearer, feel free to double-cleanse here. Our favorite cleanser is the Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel because it deeply cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling stripped or dry.
Although this step is optional, it’s arguably the most relaxing! Steaming is an amazing way to elevate your facial experience and boost treatment results. A facial steamer cleanses and hydrates skin while also pulling sebum from your pores. After you steam, your pores open up which increases penetration of subsequent products. We love the Pro Facial Steamer because it heats up in less than a minute and is very easy to use.
It’s time to exfoliate. Use a gentle chemical exfoliant that is formulated with a cocktail of alpha and beta hydroxy acids (avoid physical exfoliants). This will gently remove dead skin cells, brighten, and smooth without causing any irritation. Our go-to is the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel.
Your skin should look and feel brighter and softer at this point – a mask will boost those results. When choosing a mask, look for one that targets your current skin concerns. If you’re oily or acne-prone, reach for a clay-based mask like DRx Blemish Solutions Clarifying Mask. If you're dry or sensitive, opt for a mask that is hyaluronic-based like the Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask. Apply the mask from the hairline to the bottom of the neck and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing it with a warm washcloth.
Like your mask choice, your serum should also be tailored to your specific skin concerns. If your skin could use a pick-me-up, use brightening serum like the Vitamin C Lactic 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum. For a boost of hydration, go for the Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster.
It’s time to seal in all of the goodness with a layer of moisturizer. If you’re doing your facial before bed, you may want to apply a heavier, more occlusive moisturizer. If you're doing your facial in the morning, a lightweight formula might be a better fit. We prefer to do our facials in the evening, so typically opt for a rich moisturizer like the Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream. This ultra-thick cream keeps my your skin soft and supple, especially during the colder months when skin tends to be on the dryer side.
Once your skin has a slip to it, you can treat yourself to a little facial massage to help boost circulation and lymphatic drainage. It's best to start at the chin and move upward using circular motions and light pressure. Your fingers will always do the trick, but if you’re feeling fancy, you can also incorporate tools like a jade roller or a Gua Sha to help with additional sculpting and de-puffing. Just remember to be gentle, as you want to avoid tugging or causing bruises.
SPF (For Morning Facials Only)
If it’s a daytime facial, always top off your moisturizer with a broad-spectrum physical SPF of 30 or higher (whether you're indoors or not!) This will keep the fresh, new skin that you just spent an hour pampering protected from UV damage. You don’t want all that skin-TLC to go to waste, do you? My favorite is the All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 because it melts into the skin with an invisible finish and wears beautifully under makeup.
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