Before using a face mask you need to do a quick facial cleanse to prepare the skin so it can benefit from as many of the wonderful ingredients as possible. It will be a waste of time to have the mask sit on top of dead skin cells waiting to be shed, which, then prevent the ultimate absorption of vitamins and minerals.
You don‘t need to wait for a time when you can afford this luxury, it is perfectly possible to do a good home facial so try to do one at least every two weeks.
You will need:
- Basic liquid cleanser and toner
- Dampened cotton wool pads
- Mask to suit your needs on this day – this will vary of course
- Headband or hair grips
- Optional: Small face sponge (they cost barely anything at all chemists and can be reused)
If you have a mirror on a stand then you can sit at a table to do this facial with your equipment spread out around you. Place a towel on your lap for wiping your hands on and catching any stray drips of liquid. It’s not the time to be wearing a particularly precious outfit.
Start by washing your hands. Transferring germs from your hands to your face is not a good idea. Use a headband or an array of hair grips and clips to get your hair right away from your face so you can cleanse right up to the hairline and down your neck.
Dampen all the cotton wool you are going to be using ready for the facial.
Pour some of the cleanser into a cupped hand and then move your hands together gently to warm the cleanser and also to mix together all the ingredients that may have separated in the bottle. Apply this cleanser liberally to your face and neck with long sweeping motions.
Using your fingertips massage the cleanser into your skin. Take care to get right to the hair line which can be a danger area for breakouts because the oil that coats your hair can mix with dust and dirt in the air and encourage blemishes due to congestion. Around the nose are little creases, which need the same attention.
Use circular motions and remember to circle out over the eye and in underneath so you don’t pull at the skin, which is very thin in this area.
Don’t forget your neck, circular motions up and down are best here. Your neck is not just the bit you see under your face in the mirror; it goes all the way around so clean it all the way around. The effect of massaging the skin in this way is very beneficial. The movements improve the circulation, which in turn encourages healing and relieves tension along with reducing inflammation.
Wipe your hands on the towel.
Pour toner onto 2 squares of your cotton wool and use to remove the cleanser with long sweeping two-handed motions. You will need to do this several times with fresh pads and more toner. Blot your face with a tissue and then repeat the ‘cleanse and tone’ routine again.
Blot with a tissue.
You could do a light exfoliation now by adding half a teaspoon of Epsom salts or brown sugar into a tablespoon of your cleanser and work it into the skin, then rinse off with warm water. Try not to go too mad sloughing off these dead cells as some are needed to keep any bacteria at bay from the new cells working their way up to the surface. The very action of working any product into the skin increases the rate of mitosis.
Mitosis might be a new word to you. Relax, all it means is the journey of the cells from the bottom layer of the skin to the surface.
Apply your masque with fingers or a pastry brush. Leave it for the time suggested. Then remove with either more damp cotton wool or by splashing the face with warm water. Pat dry. I suggest you this masque, or if you’re felling crafty, why not make your own? (Find recipes here)
Finally apply a thin layer of moisturiser (why not try this one?). A facial like this can be done at any time of the day and is for any skin type. Done on a regular basis this little facial which increases circulation and toxin removal should soon result in a more glowing, even toned skin and who doesn’t want that?
Let me explain why you should dampen your cotton wool for a facial and indeed also for removing nail polish. Cotton wool is highly absorbent and therefore will suck in whatever you apply to it until it is saturated. You only want your toner or polish remover to be on the surface so it does the job you have bought it for. If the cotton wool is full of water then your product will sit on top of the water and you will use less of your product to get the results you want.
Dampening cotton wool is not hard. Gather all of your pads together and run them under the tap. Turn the tap off and then squeeze the pads until no more water comes out leaving them touch damp. Reshape them into circles or squares, as they will be a mashed together mess at this point. You can do lots and wrap them in cling film and keep them in the fridge for a few days.