Just like haircuts, you're always better off getting a facial from a trained professional. The process is just more thorough, safe, and effective that way, not to mention more satisfying than doing your plain old skincare routine at home.
But let's face it (pun definitely intended)—we don't always have time to drop by a derm's office to get our usual extractions and chemical peels. The good news is, though, you can simulate 50% of the experience with the skincare you own. We snagged tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas, too, just to keep things extra safe!
How to DIY a Facial at Home
Before we get into, keep in mind that this DIY facial is a very basic one. You shouldn't really be doing anything too intense without your doctor's supervision, after all!
Step 1: Cleanse
A good facial always starts with a deep cleanse. The product you use depends on your skin type (see our recos here!), but for the full experience, do a double cleanse! Start by removing the first layer of grime with either a cleansing oil, balm, or micellar water, and then move on to your usual face wash. The important thing with this step is that you don't dry out your skin. "[Use a cleanser] that 'cleans' while preserving your skin’s protective barrier made up of ceramides and natural lipids," says the derm. FYI, massaging your cleanser for at least a minute will help dislodge impurities better!
CAUDALIE Cleansing Milk, P1095, Sephora.ph. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser, P540, Beauty Bar
Step 2: Steam
Follow your cleansing routine with a quick facial steam to fully simulate the comfort of your facialist's office. Steaming will also help improve blood circulation, adds moisture, and allows your other skincare products to penetrate better.
That said, this will only happen if you do it properly! The dermatologist says that you should use real facial steamers and not DIY ones (like putting your face in front of a boiling pot of water) to avoid irritation. If you don't have a steamer, rinsing your skin with lukewarm water (never hot water) is the next best thing. Putting your face over the steam for five minutes should do the trick, because more than that could actually dry your skin out!
PANASONIC Nano-Care Facial Steamer, P6498, Abenson; MINISO Mini Moisturizing Spray Facial Steamer, price unavailable, TriNoma
Step 3: Exfoliate
You can still achieve similar results to your usual facial even without your derm's fancy tools. While your skin is soft from steaming, Dr. Gaile suggests using exfoliators you have at home to slough off all the dead skin you've accumulated. Unfortunately, it's not recommend to extract your own breakouts at this stage. The most you can do is give yourself a good scrubbing or an at-home chemical peel.
"You can either use brushes to lather on your cleanser or a wash cloth to wipe it off, or a gentle scrub that will not abrade your skin, or a chemical one such as toners or tonics containing AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid) or BHAs (salicylic acid). There are exfoliating pads in the market that actually allow you to do both—mechanical and chemical exfoliation," notes the doctor.
If you don't have high-strength exfoliating pads with acids, toners with similar ingredients are great alternatives, although they'll be more gentle.
Gentle scrub: DEAR KLAIRS Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish, P1200, Watsons. Exfoliating brush: FOREO Luna Go For Sensitive Skin, P6125, Sephora.ph. Chemical exfoliator: PIXI Glow Peel Pads, P1590, Glamourbox
Step 4: Moisturize/Mask
After exfoliating, you'd most likely experience redness or a slight raw feeling. This is where your calming steps should come in. Instead of a plain cream, though, opt for moisturizers with antioxidants and pro-collagen ingredients like vitamin C, E, and A (retinol). These ingredients will boost your resilience against sun damage and encourage faster cell turnover that'll help you achieve smoother, even-toned skin.
If you don't have a product with these ingredients at home, your favorite soothing face mask can also wrap up the at-home facial well. After that, you can move on with the rest of your skincare routine and go about your day/night! (P.S. If you're doing the facial during the day, don't forget to wear sunscreen after!)
DR. DENNIS GROSS C + Collagen Deep Cream, P4560, Sephora.ph. PETER THOMAS ROTH Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator, P2800, SM Megamall