One might think the advantage of getting a facial is that an expert is working on you, doing what is "best" for your skin, and altogether giving you a thorough pampering. But during tough financial times like these, who has the money for such luxuries? Moreover, what if you could do just as good a job with your own hands, in the privacy of your own bathroom?
According to skin guru aesthetician Lilith -- and Weleda, the 88-year-old company she works for -- our skin is inherently intelligent. All you have to do is remind it how to regulate on its own. So in that way, the pro is already inside of you.
Related: All About Natural Makeup
Weleda is the number one selling BDIH- and NPA-certified cosmetic and homoeopathic pharmaceutical company in Europe. Here across the pond, Weleda products are sold throughout the U.S. and online. To further get the word out about the company's products, sustainability ethics and fair trade policies, Weleda recently invited beauty bloggers to its U.S. headquarters in Palisades, N.Y.
We were told that the trick to giving yourself a facial that is both relaxing and effective is to be kind to the skin. Lilith repeated that we should touch our own faces as if we were giving our friend a facial; in other words, be gentle. We were each given products based on our skin types -- I have dry skin except for my t-zone (forehead, nose chin). The Wild Rose Line worked for me, but the woman next to me was told to use the Iris product line. The Iris flower is said to be good at storing water in its roots, even in dry climates, so products made from it are allegedly good for dry skin that can handle moisture.
We began the home facial by pouring Almond Facial Oil ($20 for 1.7 fl oz at amazon.com) on already dampened organic cotton pads and slowly pressing on the eyelds in a downward motion to remove mascara. Then, we moved from the outer lid to the inner to remove eyeshadow and eye liner. Unlike synthetic removers, the almond oil is supposed to soothe the lids, and doesn't burn if it gets in your eyes.
Next we applied a quarter's size of cleansing lotion (which for me was Wild Rose, $20 for 3.4 fl oz at amazon.com) to two new damp cotton pads and swiped from the middle of the face outward. This pattern follows the body's own lymphatic system and its cleaning pattern. With each swipe outwards, Lilith suggested we exhale, or imagine the stress leaving our bodies. The facial is apparently as much about purifying the inner, as it is the outer self.
To rinse off the cleanser, we wrapped moist hot towels (as hot as you can stand it) over our faces, with just the nose peeking out. We paused here to take a few more purifying breaths and were encouraged to repeat.
After that, we applied a facial toner ($20, 3.4 fl oz at amazon.com) to two cotton pads and repeated the same motion as was used with the cleansing lotion: middle of the face outward. Whereas a synthetic toner or stringent might sting or burn, the purpose of the toner is to strengthen and purify the skin after cleansing. Not burn.
Following the toner we carefully applied an intensive eye cream ($21, .34 fl oz. at amazon.com). Apparently eye creams ward off wrinkles and help reduce dark rings under the eyes, though I had never used one before. Lilith suggested we apply the cream with our ring finger or third finger, as it has a more gentle touch than the index. Plus, it feels really nice.
The final step in an at home facial is to rub a pea-sized amount of moisturizer ($26, 1.0 fl oz at amazon.com) into the hands and lightly pat or smooth (from the middle outward) the product over your face. Lilith encouraged us to cover the entire face, even over pimples and blemishes. As for a few of my pesky pimples, Lilith gave me a diaper cream that contained Calendula, effective at inflammation and drying pimples.
Leaving the Weleda home-spa tutorial, we stopped in at the homeopathic pharmacy, which still produces prescriptions for doctors and patients across the U.S.
My takeaway from the day was that even in a time when excess spending is not an option, great skin and treating yourself with TLC never go out of fashion.
Homemade Facial and Face Masks
> Homemade Oatmeal and Onion Puree Face Mask
> Homemade Clay and Eggs Face Mask
> Homemade Lemon Cheesecake Whitening Face Mask
> Mayonnaise-Baby Oil Dry Skin Treatment
> Revitalizing Face Mask with Egg White, Cucumber and Avocado
> Tightening/Toning Lemon Egg White Mask
> Peach and Egg White Firming Spa Mask
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