Give Yourself a Facial Like a Pro!

by Samantha on Wednesday

You go to a spa and get a facial and it’s a great experience. But let’s face it (no pun intended) it not only can get expensive, but it gets time consuming. Or maybe you would love to get a professional facial but it just doesn’t fit your budget? Well guess what? You can actually get great results at home in less time – and definitely for less money. I know – it’s great to get that full experience, but why not stretch the visits out a bit by doing your own at-home facials in between? All you need are a few products and a little bit of uninterrupted time (I know – not always easy, but it is so worth it!).

In this article, I will show you the steps that students of Esthetics learn to cleanse your face. This is how the facial professionals are taught as taken directly from the Milady’s Standard Esthetics Fundamentals textbook (with edits to make it “at home” appropriate). Clearly – this is the long version, so it might not work for everyone. This is definitely not what you would do for your morning and evening routine for sure but it’s fun once in a while! I have also included the other steps (in a condensed format) that give you a full facial.

Either way – have fun, and get into the habit of keeping a good routine. Your skin will thank you (and you will definitely notice a difference!).


1) Prepare. Prepare your space by getting all products out, and place a towel nearby. Pull your hair back with a headband or a clip.

2) Cleanse.

a) Remove about 1/2 teaspoon of cleanser from the container. Place it in the palm of your hand and then apply a small amount to your fingertips.

b) Starting at the neck and with a sweeping movement, use both hands to spread the cleanser upward and outward on the chin, jaws, cheeks and temples. Spread the cleanser down the nose and along its sides and bridge.

c) Make small, circular movements with the fingertips around the nostrils and sides of the nose. Continue with upward-sweeping movements between the brows and across the forehead to the temples.

d) Apply more cleanser to the neck and chest with long even strokes. Cleanse the area in small, circular motions from the center of the chest and neck moving upward. Try to use both hands at the same time on each side when apply or removing product.

e) Visually divide the face into left and right halves from the center. Continue moving upward with circular motions on the face from the chin and cheeks, and up toward the forehead using both hands, one on each side.

f) Starting at the center of the forehead, continue with the circular pattern out to the temples. Move the fingertips lightly in a circle around the eyes to the temples and then back to the center of the forehead.

g) Remove the cleanser. Professionals

Now, to complete your facial, there are a few more steps:

3) Exfoliate. For this you would use either a gel-type exfoliator or a scrub. It’s your choice – essentially they do the same thing in the end – just two different styles. If you have acne and have many blemishes, then a gel-type is a better choice so you are not irritating the blemishes. You should exfoliate 1 to 3 times per week – on the low end for sensitive skin and on the higher end for problematic/acneic skin.

For a gel-type exfoliator you simply apply the gel on the freshly cleansed skin and leave it on for about 2 minutes (for sensitive skin leave on for 1 minute). The gel contains fruit acids that remove dead skin cells and clears pores resulting in smoother, clearer skin.

For a scrub-type exfoliator you apply the scrub to freshly cleansed skin using small, circular motions. Scrub around the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Use very gentle motions and don’t scrub too hard. For dry or sensitive skin, it’s best to use on wet skin, for normal/oily skin it can just be damp.

4) Steam. At the spa they would use a steam machine but at home just get a clean face cloth, wet it then put it in the microwave for 15 seconds or so, then carefully (don’t burn yourself by getting it too hot!) place it over your face. You could also pour boiling water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil to the bowl, then cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl, making a tent with the towel over the bowl. Stay there for 2 to 3 minutes while the steam does its work. Both methods will open your pores and get you ready for a detoxifying masque.

5) Apply a treatment masque. Apply the masque in long, slow stroke from the center of the face, moving outward to the sides. Proceed to jawline and apply the masque on the face from the center outward. Avoid the eye area. Allow the masque to remain on the face for approximately 7-10 minutes. Remove the masque with wet cotton pads or a wet, clean face cloth.

6) Tone. Apply toner by spritzing directly onto skin. You may leave it to absorb or remove it with a cotton ball.

7) Treat. Apply eye cream and/or serum appropriate for your personal needs and skin type. Anything used around the eye area should be applied gently as that skin is thinner and more fragile than the rest of your face. Use the ring finger and gently tap the product around the eye rather than rubbing it.

8 ) Moisturize. Moisturizer should be applied in long strokes in an outward direction. Try to avoid tugging on skin. Apply to the neck in long, upward strokes. If you have oily/problematic skin and have applied a full-face serum like Clearly It, you do not have to apply another moisturizer unless your skin seems dehydrated. After the moisturizer has been applied, apply a sunscreen as well for protection from the sun (even on cold or cloudy days) – particularly if you have exfoliated or used any products with retinol.

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