Step 1: Cleanse
An at-home facial starts with a warm shower. The steam opens up your pores, making it easier to remove dirt and blackheads that drag down your complexion. “Unclogging pores helps skin absorb daily products, which allows them to work more effectively,” says Shasa Hu, MD, a Miami-based dermatologist and member of the Dr. Brandt Skincare Advisory Board. Hu also recommends “double cleansing,” either in or out of the shower. Start with an oil-based cleanser, like (1) Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil ($42), followed by a gentle gel or foam-based cleanser, like (2) Fountain of Truth Fresh Face Foaming Cleanser ($36).
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Step 2: Mask
The best time to apply a mask is just before bedtime. “Your body temperature is slightly higher and your skin cells are more open, so ingredients tend to warm up and penetrate better,” explains Hu. There are lots of masks to choose from, so look for one made to address your skin’s specific needs. For instance, if you suffer from dryness, smear on a mask that contains hydrating boosters like ceramides or hyaluronic acid, such as (3) Jouer Essential Hydrating Clay Mask ($38). If your complexion is dull, go for a brightening mask that exfoliates dead skin cells with salicylic acid, like (4) Bioré Blue Agave + Baking Soda Whipped Nourishing Mask ($6.50).
Tip: Depuff eyes while you mask. Place cooled-off green tea bags, which are packed with antioxidants, over your eyes.
Step 3: Massage
Grab a small amount of night cream, such as Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream ($33). Then place your index, middle and ring fingers from both hands on the center of your forehead. Making firm, small circles and moving outward, gently massage cream into your skin and work your way down to your cheeks and nose, finishing at the jawline. “A facial massage causes skin to feel warm or flush, which signals improved circulation,” Hu says. Another way to warm up skin is to use a facial roller, like Herbivore Botanicals Rose Quartz Facial Roller ($40).