By: Hannah Hartz
Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz shares the best at-home facial for your next spa day.
"Treat yo' self," the anthem of our generation popularized by TV show Parks and Recreation, is the resounding advice we give our friends and ourselves on a rough day or when we’re in need of a little emotional pick-me-up. Splurge on something that makes you happy. Indulge in something you would ordinarily resist. Luxuriate with some hardcore pampering. We can all agree that treating yourself once in a while is a total necessity. Unfortunately, and kind of surprisingly, it’s not always all that feasible. Work gets in the way, obligations distract us, and most of all, paying for those treats starts to add up pretty quickly. But not to worry! For some big-time pampering without the big-time payment, check out these steps for the ultimate at-home “treat yo’ self” facial treatment.
One of the biggest emotional benefits to getting treated at the spa is the ambiance. Stepping into your spa room is like stepping into another world free of deadlines, phone calls, and stressors. Take a few minutes to create this space for yourself at home: clean up clutter, remove anything that reminds you of work, light some candles, throw on a cozy robe, and whip up a collagen smoothie. And most importantly, turn off your phone.
Gather your favorite products, ideally including products for cleansing, exfoliating, masking, and hydrating. Feel free to go DIY with this and mix up some fun masks with ingredients in your kitchen. Raw honey, avocados, Greek yogurt, coffee grounds, and pumpkin purée all make naturally fantastic and safe treatments. After finding your products, bring out some hot towels. An easy, at-home way to do this is pour hot water over rolled up hand towels, wring them out (careful – they’re hot!), and place them in an insulated glass container.
Wash your hands, then wash your face. Take your time. Really massage that cleanser into your skin. Rinse it off and do it again, making sure to get that nice deep clean all the way up to your hairline and down to your neck and chest. Grab one of your hot towels (let it cool for a second first!), and gently press it over your face. Take some nice deep breaths, towel off any remaining cleanser, and maybe take a sip of your collagen-infused drink. Next comes the exfoliation. Use a gentle scrub (like your coffee grounds) or an exfoliating mask (like your pumpkin purée and Greek yogurt) and gently buff off the old dead skin. Then pull out a fresh hot towel and clear it off. Take your time. Take deep breaths. Enjoy yourself!
Masking is up next! Look for something hydrating with a gel or cream formulation. Seeing as your skin is freshly exfoliated and soft from the hot towels, it’s the perfect time to allow the hydration and nutrients to seep into the skin. Give yourself no less than 10 minutes. Take this time to clear your mind or congratulate yourself for taking such good care of your skin. Feel free to massage the mask into your skin a little. Take a hot towel and drape it over your shoulders, then take another and remove the mask treatment. Now it’s time for the finishing touches. Gently tap in a hydrating serum and follow it up by massaging in your most decadent moisturizer. Work it in with long upward strokes, making sure to get all the way down to your neck and chest. This will seal in all the nourishing benefits from your at-home facial.
Finally, look in the mirror to check out your stunning glow and thank yourself for incorporating some “you-time” into your busy schedule. Remember that it is okay to take that extra time to get some major pampering. You deserve it.