With many of our usual appointments, hobbies and relaxing past times out the window, we’ve had to resort to online classes and DIY. And whilst I cannot help you achieve an even DIY haircut (my boyfriend has decided to grow his hair out so that he doesn’t have to trust me with a pair of scissors…), we can talk about at home facials. Iso-spa evenings, if you will.
It’s incredibly easy, and oh so relaxing, so let’s go through the steps to achieve that skincare zen.
You will need:
• A cleanser – oil based and water based if you’re planning on a double-cleanse.
• Your favourite mask, or perhaps our Activated Charcoal Face Mask
• A bowl and towel
• Some hot water for steaming
• A balancing toner – try our Niancimaide Daily Toner
• A jade roller, Gua Sha stone, or just your hands!
• A hydrating serum or natural facial oil – try our Super Food Facial Oil
• Something to set the tone, such as candles, music, or a good book
Set the mood 🕯
You’re not getting a change of venue, but we can have a change of atmosphere. Whatever you have on hand, but I’m talking candles, incense, music, mood lighting.. all those good things. Get comfy, and tie your hair back. Deep breaths.
Wash your hands 🧼
I know we’ve all become accustomed to the constant washing whenever we come in from outside, and just in general, but it’s still worth noting that if you’re going to be touching your face you need to wash your hands.
Double cleanse 🧴
For those makeup wearers, start with an oil cleanser, then we all follow with a gentle foaming wash like our Peppermint Daily Cleanser. A relaxing massage is coming up, so we need to make sure there’s no makeup, dirt, grime etc. for us to rub back into the skin. Try to avoid using hot or cold water, a nice warm temperature will suffice, and it’s important to remember to pat your face dry with a soft face cloth, rather than rubbing.
Choose either a gentle chemical, or physical exfoliator, I chose the latter as I’ve had a coffee scrub waiting to be opened! This is the step to remove dead skin cells. Let your chemical exfoliant sit for the allotted time whilst you practice deep breathing, or if you are using a physical exfoliant, apply in gentle circular motions, not scrubbing too hard!
I also took this time to use a lip scrub, if that so takes your fancy. There are plenty 3 ingredient recipes out there if you want a double DIY.
Now, this is the fun step! If you have a small or portable humidifier, you might just like to sit by it for a while, inhaling deeply with your music and candles by your side. Or, we can do it the good old-fashioned way with a bowl and a towel.
It’s simple enough; heat up some water in a saucepan or the kettle, and then pour it into a bowl. I used a mixing bowl, nothing too fancy is needed! Make sure the water isn’t boiling or else you are going to feel very uncomfortable, and feel free to add a few drops of your favourite essential oil, like lavender. Take a seat in front of your bowl, lean over, and place a towel over your head to trap all the steam in. Now all you have to do is close your eyes and picture being in a luxurious spa. I felt so relaxed I was worried I might nod off right into the water… Luckily this did not happen. Anywhere between five to ten minutes is a good time to stay under your little balloon of calm.
Now that the steam has opened up your pores, it’s time for a treatment. Choose a mask that targets a skin woe, for example our Activated Charcoal Face Mask, great for cleansing your pores. Pop a timer on, sit back and get comfortable. For the more at home vibe, maybe now’s the time to get a few chapters in on your current read, or a podcast, or do something mindful like writing in a mood diary. I pulled out a sudoku! Or close your eyes and take yourself back to your mental spa.
If you like using lip and eye masks, this is the time. Also, you could try multiple masks at once to treat different areas. Break out the cucumber slices and hair towel for the full spa look.
Just like with any evening routine, we can’t forget to tone. Especially as we’ve included a few steps that aren’t done regularly, it’s important to keep the skin balanced. We, of course, recommend our Niacinamide Daily Toner
Serum, Moisturise & Massage 💆♀
This is indeed three steps in one, and I’ll explain why. After toning, its time for your targeted products, such as serums or creams. Layer as you would usually, and take your time. We’d recommend investing in some tools like a jade roller or a Gua Sha stone. Using one of these tools is supposed to help your serums penetrate the skin faster, and can also soothe the skin as it is cool to the touch (especially if you store yours in the fridge). The prevailing idea is also that these facial tools boost circulation and help a little process called lymphatic drainage…
Here’s where I get my little scientific detour. Lymph is a fluid which circulates our bodies in the lymphatic system (which is made up of lymph vessels, like veins, and lymph nodes, filtering glands). The lymphatic system allows toxins and other waste materials to be rid from your body, but its main purpose is to transport lymph, which contains white blood cells to help fight off infection and support the immune system.
Lymphatic drainage was originally a therapy carried out by a practitioner for those suffering lymphoedema (swelling caused by lymph node blockage), to encourage circulation and drain the lymph from swollen areas. But more simple massage techniques have arrived for those unafflicted with lymphatic ailments to reduce puffiness and toxins from the face.
So, back to the jade roller. By rolling in an upwards motion, gently, the theory is by counteracting gravity you can help lift the skin, and encourage your lymph to circulate. Using the smaller end of your jade roller can boost circulation to reduce dark circles or bags. This tool has been used for centuries, and whilst the scientific evidence is limited, it can help relax your facial muscles (and that’s exactly what we want from a spa treatment, yes?) Many also use their jade roller on top of a sheet mask, to help mould it to the skin and work in the ingredients. Another popular tool is the Gua Sha, a flat jade stone with different curved sides for different areas of your face, which is more associated with your lymphatic drainage as it applies a bit more pressure.
But for those without tools, you can still enjoy a little massage! I followed along with this tutorial by one of the UK’s leading skincare experts, Abigail James. This is the time for your facial oils; James recommends plant based, to aid the massage process. Seeing as we’ve double cleansed and exfoliated, it’s important to keep our skin moisturised and supple. Our 100% natural Super Food Facial Oil is the perfect addition to your DIY facial regime and currently free when you spend £18 at Q+A! The texture is perfect for a massage, and filled with so much skincare goodness!
Okay, this isn’t technically a step, but you will feel that radiance exuding out of you when all’s done! And oh so soft…
If you’re having trouble sleeping with all this disruption to your routine, a spa evening right before bed might be the thing you need to really wind down for the day and nod off.
This is my definition of an isolation glow up... (Note: the steam will curl your loose hairs 😅)
Think I might make this a weekly tradition! Do you have any other tips or tricks for DIY facials? Please let us know! ✨
Enjoy your DIY facials,
Amy @ Team Q+A
Online community coordinator at Q+A and currently dedicating too much free time to building a beautiful island on Animal Crossing