DIY Beauty: An at-home facial in 6 simple steps

Being short on time or strapped for cash is no excuse for neglecting your skin, especially as the humidity lifts and cold weather sets in.

Try this DIY facial; it’ll work wonders for a dull, dry winter complexion!


1. Cleanse. Using warm water and a mild cleanser, gently massage face to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. One of my favorites is an old standby, Cetaphil ($10), which won’t disturb skin’s natural pH balance or strip it of natural protective oils or emollients.

Source Spa Sonic

Source: Spa Sonic

2. Exfoliate. Removing dead skin cells keeps them from blocking pores, evens out skin tone and decreases the appearance of wrinkles and sunspots. You can do this manually with a scrub, or get fancy with a device like the Spa Sonic Skin Care System Face & Body Polisher (regularly $60, but check Target for special promotions).

I’m not a fan of dropping $100+ on a Clarisonic, so the folks at Spa Sonic asked if I’d like to give their device a whirl. The result? Smoother skin at a fraction of the cost. Not only is it waterproof (any fellow shower multitaskers?), but it comes with five attachments for head-to-toe touch-ups: a big brush for the body, pumice for rough areas on (ahem, runners’) feet, facial sponge for microdermabrasion and two small brushes for the face. I’ve added it to my weekly regimen, and it’s been especially great at getting rid of that pesky film of makeup that wipes and washcloths always seemed to leave behind.

3. Steam. Buying a steam machine is unnecessary, and leaning over a hot pot of water on the stove is downright dangerous. Instead, fill a sink with hot water, add a few drops of your favorite scented oil, such as lavender (to relax), peppermint (to energize) or eucalyptus (to clear nasal passages), and lean over it with a towel draped over you head to trap the steam for 10-15 minutes.

4. Nourish. After splashing your face with cool water, apply a mask of your choice to target your specific skin troubles. My go-to? Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($9), an easy — and inexpensive! — way to draw out impurities and temporarily tighten pores.

5. Tone. Refresh and restore skin with this all-natural homemade toner: In a blender, combine 1/2 cucumber with three tablespoons witch hazel and three tablespoons rosewater (or substitute distilled water). Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any chunks, then pour liquid into a clean bottle. Store in the refrigerator; it should last about two weeks.

6. Hydrate. Finish by gently massaging a moisturizer into your face and neck using upward and outward movements. Typically, the colder the weather, the thicker and creamier my moisturizer, but if you have sensitive skin, I love Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer ($9) because it’s enriched with vitamins B5 and E, but doesn’t contain any dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals. And don’t forget to slather on some sunscreen (at least SPF 15, but ideally SPF 30) before you head outdoors!

How does your skin care routine change with the seasons? 

(Thanks to the folks at Spa Sonic for providing a sample for review; all opinions are my own.) 

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