The 4-Step Facial Anyone Can Do

Indulge in one the most luxurious treatments from the comfort of your home with our simple guide to giving yourself a facial. C'mon, it's easier than you think!

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So you find yourself at home on a Friday night, and you decide to order in, binge-watch something on Netflix, and maybe eat some vegan ice cream. Another chill activity to add to that relaxing lineup is a facial, because pigging out while tending to your complexion is the ultimate "treat yourself" combination.

"If you're home on a Friday night, do it up. I always do masks while I'm taking a bath—it's a good time to do it."

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That's why we turned to an expert who knows a lot about facials: Marla Malcolm Beck, cofounder of the luxury beauty retailer and spa Bluemercury, which has 100 locations (and counting). The spa offers thorough facials, including one called the Crystal Facial, which deeply exfoliates and revives the skin with oxygen. Although she's definitely keen on going to a specialist for spa-like treatments, she's all in favor of a good bathtime masking session (masks being just one step in the typical facial routine).

Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
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"Do your own at-home facial at most once a week," she says. "If you're home on a Friday night, do it up. I always do masks while I'm taking a bath—it's a good time to do it."

Before you draw your bath and even think about touching your face, read Beck's advice below.

Step 1: Wash Your Face

Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Products penetrate skin better when it's clean and smooth. "If you ever ask your aesthetician the first thing they're doing, it's that they're softening up your skin," Beck says. "Once you cleanse," she says, "place a hot towel on your face to open up your pores."

Step 2: Apply Some Masks

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The key word here is "some," as you can incorporate at least two masks into your personalized facial. "Aestheticians will use a deep clay purifying mask to extract impurities, then they use a mask that's tailored to your skin type," Beck says. "For example, if you need firming or have issues with dark spots, use a vitamin C mask, and if you need moisture, use a super-hydrating mask."

To save time, Beck also suggests multimasking, a process that involves applying various masks on different problem areas around your face. That way the dry spots can soften up, while the oily parts can regain a proper balance.

Clay masks for a purifying good time.

Purifying Mask, $65, tataharperskincare.com.
SkinActive Clean + Pore Purifying Clay Cleanser Mask by Garnier, $9, ulta.com.

Soothing masks that will keep skin moisturized.

Hydrating B5 Masque, $54, skinceuticals.com.
Intense Hydration Treatment Mask, $18, burtsbees.com.

Regenerating masks for a brighter, tighter complexion.

Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, $50, dermalogica.com.
Beauty Anti-Aging Face Mask 5-Pack by Nügg, $17, birchbox.com.

Step 3: Use a Peel

"After you've completely opened up your skin and exfoliated with masks, you can use a peel," Beck says. She reassures us that the treatments you can use at home are milder than the ones an aesthetician would use.

Peel treatments that are safe to use yourself!

Powerglow Peel by M-61, $28, bluemercury.com.
Green Apple Peel Sensitive, $39, juicebeauty.com.
Rolling Cream Peel With AHA, $18, mariobadescu.com.

Step 4: Moisturize

Gently rub a hydrating formula into your skin and take the opportunity to give your face a little massage—the relaxing movements can increase circulation to awaken your complexion. Beck recommends using a moisturizer with SPF, especially if you aim to go outdoors post-facial.

Cooling moisturizers with the power of SPF.

Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, $31, kiehls.com.
Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil SPF 30, $20, lorealparisusa.com.

The Wildcard Step: Use a Scrub

Not all facials require a face-scrub component, but Beck notes that sometimes your skin needs more exfoliation. "You could add a scrub before the masks, such as a microdermabrasion scrub, for added softness," she says. A scrub can also help clear up congested pores.

This is not an important step, though, and can do more harm than good to sensitive skin. Instead of indulging in product overload, just feel and listen to what your skin needs at the moment.

Scrubs that will make your (skin) problems go away.

Sugar Face Polish, $62, fresh.com.
Walnut Complexion Scrub, $28, olehenriksen.com.
Buffing Grains for Face, $44, bobbibrown.com.
Smoothing Facial Scrub by Simple, $5, target.com.
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