I recently had the pleasure of receiving my first facial at a spa! It was surprisingly relaxing (as relaxed as I’m capable of achieving). Afterwards, my skin felt like a million bucks–softer and lighter, like she’d just scrubbed a years worth of dead skin cells off of my epidermis.
I walked out of the room thinking, “Wow, I need to get facials all the time!” And then I instantly took that thought back when once I strolled up to the till, and paid my $120 bill. Luckily I had a gift card, and my trip to the spa had been a wedding present (these days, I’m much too…”frugal” to treat myself to something like this.)
I should note, that I have nothing against professional facials; sometimes a girl needs to treat herself to some pampering (although I much prefer to use my own, homemade cosmetics). But, if you’re on a budget , as we are (because choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom involves making sacrifices), and would still like to experience that glow of after-facial-skin, then you need to get creative!
Leaving the spa, I felt determined to re-create the facial at home. And obviously I have, or else I wouldn’t be telling this story. The best part is, is that all of the ingredients are probably sitting in your fridge or pantry right now!
I encourage you to make this Hippie Housewife Facial as relaxing and spa-inspired as possible: set aside an hour for yourself, make a tasty cocktail or tea, and close the door I now treat my face to a Hippie Housewife Facial about once every two weeks, and am able to experience that “light-skinned” feeling, without the cost (or the stranger.)
This facial is done in seven stages: Setting the mood, Cleansing, Exfoliating, Steaming, Applying a Mask, Toning and Hydrating. Enjoy!
What you will need:
- Essential oils and a diffuser (optional)
- Hair-band/hair elastic
- A cup of tea or a glass of wine
- A comfy outfit
- Face cloth
- Clean towel
- Homemade facial cleanser
- An exfoliant (recipe below in Step Three)
- A face mask (recipe below in Step Five)
- A toner, such as Witch Hazel (or homemade, recipe below in Step Six)
- Homemade, hydrating skin cream
Step One: Setting the Mood
This step may seem silly, and is completely optional, but if you’d like to feel pampered and relaxed, then this step in necessary.
First I like to clean off my bathroom counter and clean out my sink, because dirt and clutter stresses me out, and I don’t want to be cleaning while giving myself a “relaxing” facial.
Next, prepare your ingredients: cleanser, exfoliant, mask and face moisturizer. Lay out the supplies that you’ll need from the list above.
Get in some cozy clothes (my go-to is flannel PJ’s and a robe—sexy, I know), put your hair in a pony-tail or a braid, and pull back all the little pieces of hair with a hair-band. Go ahead and close the bathroom door, make yourself a tea, and burn your favorite essential oil (I like tea-tree oil because I find it relaxing.)
Step Two: Cleanse Your Skin
Use a quality, natural facial cleanser to remove the make-up, dirt and oil from your face, neck and ears. I use my homemade facial cleanser, which does a fantastic job of removing all of the above.
Remember, always be gentle with your skin—massage gently, in small circles and be especially gentle with the delicate skin around your eyes. After about a minute of gentle washing, rinse with warm water, and gently pat your face with a clean towel to dry. The theme here is gentle.
Step Three: Exfoliate
While I was getting my facial, I was also asking questions about each stage, investigating, and taking mental notes so I could re-create it at home (I’m probably the most annoying client ever, and she most likely wanted to tell me to shut up and relax.) Anyways, during the investigation—I mean facial—I asked her if sugar made a good, natural exfoliant. She said no, because the granules are too big and sharp and can damage the skin, BUT that baking soda is ideal because it has just the right abrassiveness. It’s coarse, but not enough to damage your skin–just coarse enough to remove the top layer of dead skin cells.
After some research, I was surprised to see the baking soda is a popular exfoliant and commonly used in spas! People also swear that it removes blackheads and clears up acne–and from my own experience, I’d have to agree.
To make the baking soda exfoliant, mix about a tablespoon of baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a paste. Massage the paste all over your face, rubbing in small circles, paying special attention to areas around the nose, chin and forehead, and avoiding the delicate skin around your eyes.
Don’t be too gentle exfoliating–the baking soda is so fine that it needs a bit of pressure in order to remove the dead skin cells.
Exfoliate for a couple of minutes, rinse with warm water, and gently pat your skin to dry.
If you have sensitivities to baking soda, mix 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg and 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel or water, and exfoliate in the same way as I mentioned above with the baking soda.
Step Four: Steam
Steaming your face opens up your pores, and improves circulation, preparing you for step five.
To steam your face, you can fill up a sink full of hot water, put your face close to the water and then make a steamy-cave by putting a towel over your head. Or, you can hold a hot cloth over your face until the cloth cools, and then repeat 3-4 times. I prefer the face cloth method.
Step Five: Face Mask
Depending on the type you choose, facemasks can moisturize, cleanse, tone, treat acne, minimize the appearance of scars, tighten skin, reduce inflammation, and more. The best part: you can create many of these beneficial facemasks by using ingredients that you have in your fridge or pantry right now. I’ve provided you with 3 different facemasks, so chose the one that meets your needs!
Notice that I use honey in all of the facemasks? I love honey and what it can do for your skin. Learn more about why I love honey for the skin by reading my Homemade Facial Cleanser post. It’s always best to use organic, raw honey, and if you can, Manuka honey. Manuka honey is a medical grade honey from New Zealand, known for it’s anti-bacterial, and antibiotic properties! It’s expensive, so if using, reduce to 1 tsp.)
After you’ve rinsed off the mask, this is where the esthetician does “extractions,” using a special tool–do as you must. I’d be a hypocrite to tell you not to.
*Note about the face masks: they can be drippy, and your face may get itchy, so if you’re heading into another room to go scare your family, bring a cloth with you for the drips, and a chopstick to scratch your face
1. Hydrating Face Mask for All Skin Types
Cucumber is packed with antioxidants and soothes and softens the delicate skin on your face. It’s also known to reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.Yogurt moisturizes, and among other things, contains lactic acid which soothes and exfoliates. Yogurt also has antibacterial properties that can help fight acne. Aloe vera is also packed with nutrients and is highly moisturizing (check out my Soothing Body Butter with Aloe post to read more about the benefits of Aloe Vera.)
- 2 Tbsp cucumber puree (puree a chunk of cucumber in a blender, or grate and muddle it up)
- 2 Tbsp Aloe Vera
- 1 Tbsp Plain Yogurt with active cultures (make your own)
- 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
How to Make and Apply the Mask:
- Mix all ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
- Apply it to face, avoiding eyes, using your fingertips or a small spoon.
- Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
- During this time, have a bath, catch up on some reading and wine-drinking, or call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while (remember when we used to phone people instead of text?)
2. Face Mask for Acne Prone Skin
Turmeric, cinnamon and honey all have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make them the perfect trio for fighting acne. They can also reduce redness and inflammation caused from break-outs. Aside from acne, you could also use this mask to help treat eczema, as this trio has the ability to do that too.
- 1 tbsp Raw Honey
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
How to Make/Apply this mask:
- Mix ingredients in a small dish
- Apply the mask with your fingertips or a small spoon
- Leave it on for 15-30 minutes, them rinse with cool-warm water.
- The turmeric may slightly stain your skin, if this happens, wash your face with the Facial Cleanser again.
3. Face Mask for Minimizing Scars and Dark Spots
Lemons contain alpha hydroxy acids, which help remove dead skin cells and regenerate new ones. Lemon juice also acts as a natural bleach, and said to reduce the appearance of scars and dark spots.
- 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice (from a real lemon)
How to Make/Apply This Mask:
- Mix ingredients in a small dish
- Apply the mask with your figure tips or a small spoon
- Leave it on for 15-30 minutes, then rinse with cool-warm water.
Step Six: Apply a Toner
A toner is used to close your pores. It’s important to use an alcohol free toner, so that it doesn’t dry out your skin. In my opinion, the very best toner is Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner. Aside from closing your pores, witch hazel, a natural astringent, is used to fight acne, soothe burns, decrease the appearance of varicose veins and bruises…and this list goes on.
Or, Make Your Own Toner: mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar, with 2 parts Water (e.g. 1 tbsp ACV to 2 tbsp Water.) Definitely an effective and economical solution! Apply either toner to a cotton pad and smooth over your face.
Step Seven: Hydrate/Moisturize
And there you have it—a Hippie Housewife, At-Home Facial. You may not feel as relaxed as you would if you were leaving the spa (although I hope you do), but your skin will feel just as wonderful, and your bank account will thank you!