The At-Home Spa, Part II: DIY Facials, Self-Tanning, and Waxing
Once you have your brows, lashes, and nails under control, continue your at-home spa adventures with some skin-based treatments. You can keep your skin and hair looking the way you want with just a few minutes (and a few less dollars compared to the salon!) at home.
You may not have all the fancy machinery your aesthetician has in the salon, but you can give yourself a perfectly workable facial at home. Opening your pores and cleaning your skin are simple steps to keeping a clear face and warding off acne.
You’ll need a tea kettle or pot, a large mixing bowl, and a small towel. Boil several cups of water. Pour into a large mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Let cool for five to ten minutes. Test the temperature of steam with your hand under the towel. If it is warm but not hot, place your head under the towel with your face just above the water in the bowl. Steam for ten minutes. Gently pat your face dry.
Cleansing can follow some of your main routines. Use gentle products that are meant to lift dirt and oils from your skin. Tea tree oil and peppermint soaps are great options. Foaming washes are also a great choice. Gently wash your face to cleanse the pores opened by steaming.
Moisturize your face. Depending on your skin type, choose a simple moisturizer that will keep your skin soft but not oily. Coconut oil can be a great choice for those with dry skin. Moisturizers containing kaolin clay work well for oily skin. A water gel with hyaluronic acid is designed for those who want to reduce signs of aging like wrinkles.
If you were conscious in the ‘00s you’ll remember the ubiquitous orange fake tan that was—for some unknown reason—in style at the time. Perhaps it was the best that could be achieved by the formulas then, but fake tans and self-tanner have come a long way since. There are many natural looking self-tanners on the market, and simple steps to make sure you apply them for best results. Getting a tan without the damage of UV-rays has never been so simple.
For best results with self-tanner, it should be applied to exfoliated skin. This lets it last longer and gives an even tan. Gently exfoliate with a loofah before applying tanner. Don’t go so hard that your skin becomes noticeably red—this means you are causing damage and small tears to the skin.
Using a mitt is an important part of self-tanning. A good self-tan is applied to look like a natural tan. One place that should never be tanned is the palm of your hand, so making sure to use the mitt is essential. The mitt also enables even coverage as you use it in circular motions to apply tanner over your body.
Don’t wash your tan off too soon! Self-tan only when you have the rest of the day to let it develop. Similarly, don’t overdo the color, especially on ankles, elbows, wrists, and knees. Remember what you see will not be the final color. Be conservative as you begin to avoid the deep orange.
DIY waxing has been made simpler by innovation over time. If you’re brave enough to rip it off yourself, there are many ways to get that silky smooth result that lasts for weeks at home.
Simplest of all the at-home wax options are wax strips. These come in different sizes which can be shaped with scissors to fit the area which needs to be waxed. These are pre-waxed and two strips are stuck together. Before separating them, rub them in between both palms like you are warming your hands. This activates the wax. Peel the strips apart and place them on the hair to be waxed, smoothing them in the direction of the hair. Pull off in the opposite direction to remove hair.
- Wax Kits
Heated wax is most likely what you have experienced at the salon. Sometimes this is used with fabric strips. Hard wax is another version that does not need strips and hardens into a mass that you can pull off. At-home kits for these waxes come with small warmers or are designed to be heated in the microwave. Apply in the direction of the hair, allow to harden, and then pull off in the opposite direction to remove the hair.
- Sugar Wax
Sugar wax is great for at-home waxing if you don’t have supplies. This can be made by reducing a sugar, water, and lemon mixture until it is a thick wax-like substance. This can be used like hard wax or with strips, and can even be reused within the same session to cover a new part of the body.