How to: At-home facial with Bonnie

I had a mentally exhausting day on Saturday.

When I got home, I decided I was in no fit state to work on a new body scrub formula, as I had originally planned, so instead I decided to treat myself to a mini-facial.

This is part of my job, after all.

Now, I’ve never gotten a real facial, or been to a spa, but I know what I like, and what my skin needs. So I’ll walk you through what I did, and hopefully you’ll also soon find the time to treat yourself (hopefully minus the mental exhaustion).

Step 1: Cleanse.

I went to Ulta earlier and got one of those foamy/bendy hair bun doo-dads, so I pulled my hair back and tied it up in a bun. Just because no one else will see me doesn’t mean my hair shouldn’t look fancy. My favorite cleanser is the Balancing Facial Cleanser, because it is super gentle yet can remove even waterproof mascara (the only kind I wear; no one likes splotchy raccoon eyes just because it’s windy outside).

Oh! Bonus: if you have stubborn or heavy makeup, put a few drops of the Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum on a cotton pad and gently massage over the area, then follow with cleanser. Boom. Done.

Step 2: Mask.

Pick your poison here; today I went for the Pore-Refining Rose Mask for a deep clean since I wore makeup today for the first time in a week (which I actually prefer now-a-days; even lightweight foundation feels heavy to me). This gets applied in a fairly thick layer. I find it easiest to work with if your face and hands are damp to help it spread easier.

Now we wait. Depending on the mask and how sensitive your skin is, this could be 10 minutes to half an hour. I did about 15 minutes. Most of the mask had dried, but I have a trick to removing it that won’t feel like you’re rubbing sand all over your face and without getting muddy water all over the floor as you try to rinse it off. Working in sections starting with the forehead, take a damp washcloth and hold it over the mask to rehydrate it, then gently wipe it away. Rinse the cloth and repeat until the entire mask has been removed.

Step 3: Hydrate.

The purpose of the Herbal Skin Tonic is three-fold. One, it removes any remaining residue from the mask. Two, the oil-free formula hydrates and soothes your skin with floral waters and aloe. Three, witch hazel constricts the tissue around your pores, making them appear smaller. Apply the tonic to a cotton pad and sweep over your face and neck.

Step 4: Moisturize.

This one was a free-for-all. I started with a few drops of Anti-Blemish Facial Serum, since I’d been having some stress-related breakouts. It contains cassia essential oil, which in lab studies has shown greater anti-bacterial activity than tea tree oil (long revered for its effectiveness against acne) without building resistance like synthetic anti-bacterials. I dotted this all over my face and gave it a nice massage; this stimulates microcirculation and feels awesome.

After the sweet face massage, I got out the Vitamin C Night Cream and massaged this on top of the serum. Avoid the eye area with this one; the pH is around 3.5, which would make for an intense burning sensation if it gets into your eyes. With that in mind, I washed my hands thoroughly before proceeding to the Redefining Eye Serum. Using the pads of my ring fingers, I massaged the serum around my entire eye, going around about 10 times in each direction. This also stimulates microcirculation, which helps reduce bags and dark circles.

For good measure I topped it all off with a couple drops of the Multi-Vitamin Facial Serum simply because I enjoy the fragrance. The exotic oils loaded with an alphabet list of vitamins is also nice. My face is now sufficiently soft and dewy.

And that’s it! Mini-facial complete.

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