10 beauty hacks at home to keep your skin healthy and glowing
For three years, our faces have been at the forefront of our daily lives. With so much attention paid to our skin (hello, masks and Zoom calls), it might seem like time to give it a little extra love — after all, prioritizing healthy skin isn’t just about getting glowing skin, but also keeping our skin in general healthy. .
Because not all of us have the time (or budget) to do that always Run to our local esthetician for treatments, these 10 tips and hacks from your local esthetician are here to help you improve—and keep up—your skincare routine from the comforts of your own home. Bonus: A step-by-step guide to giving yourself a facial massage without tools.
Use SPF daily, not just when you’re at the beach
While sunlight provides essential nutrients and vitamins our bodies need, our experts across the board agree that year-round protection from overexposure is the most important part of maintaining healthy skin, reducing premature aging, and protecting against skin cancer. Sure, no one wants their face to be greasy all day, but according to Becky Finlan, training coordinator at About Face Skin Care, you don’t have to. She says there are plenty of tinted moisturizers, powders, and other products that already have SPF included (so read the label to make sure the product you use or buy has it), and that many oil-free products are so light you’ll forget you’re even wearing any. .
Another great way to protect your skin from the sun is to use a vitamin C product, says Viviane Aires, homegrown esthetician and founder of Viviane Aires Skin Wellness. While it can be difficult to remember to reapply products with SPF every two or three hours, she says that products with vitamin C will help build immunity to catch and protect against anything that touches your skin when the SPF is high. The sun has eroded.
Wash your face!
While it can sometimes be easier to take a full shower than to wash your face before bed, don’t skip this step. That’s because our faces are exposed all day long to endless bacteria. Fortunately, “Our skin is made up of many layers that act as a factory to keep bacteria and harmful substances out of the body, while simultaneously excreting toxins from the body,” says Jewelly Williams, owner of Crown Jewel Esthetics. At night, the pros suggest cleansing your face twice, once with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then a second time with your regular cleanser to remove any residue.
Teresa Blair, owner of Kári Skin, recommends adding a pea-sized amount of the clay to your cleanser for a deeper clean, or incorporating some baking soda for extra exfoliation. She says it’s important to exfoliate two to three times a week to ensure the products are absorbed into the skin.
Reduce inflammation the easy way
We’re all guilty of washing our faces with warm water to “open our pores,” but the increased absorption of products from this method is a myth. Iris recommends splashing your face with cold water for a better detoxification. “Doing so helps stimulate skin receptivity, which enhances product absorption and also increases blood flow,” she says.
Cold products are also great for reducing inflammation – consider using ice packs on an injury. If you can’t book a cryotherapy, Ayres recommends keeping beauty products like eye patches, creams, moisturizers, face masks, and jade rollers in the fridge to keep them cool and reduce inflammation better. (Just don’t forget they’re there!)
If you need to reduce some inflammation around your eyes, Blair suggests applying thin slices of cucumber to your eyes for 15 minutes. Vitamin C and the hydrating nature of cucumber can help lighten and de-puff the area. You can also try green tea bags or chamomile tea instead; Incorporating some caffeine into products narrows blood vessels, which in turn can reduce inflammation and open the eyes.
While watching extraction videos online may inspire you to need to show your flaws, don’t! Our experts agree that at-home extractions can lead to permanent damage, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. Instead, Williams suggests icing the pimples.
Get fuller lips naturally
Fillers are an option, but if you don’t want to go that route, Blair says adding five drops of peppermint oil to your regular lip gloss will plump your lips at home. She also recommends keeping lips moisturized by using petroleum-free products and exfoliating twice a week with a dry towel over damp lips.
Use your pantry for DIY treatments
Sure, your pantry keeps your tummy full, but it can also be a huge source of nourishment for your skin. (Just know that some ingredients may not be suitable for your specific skin type.) Julie Featherman, owner of JoJo Salon, offers her weekly foot exfoliating treatment: Squish out six to eight aspirins and dissolve in lemon juice. Stir two tablespoons of honey into a gel-like substance. Apply the mixture to the bottoms of your feet, paying extra attention to areas prone to calluses. Cover with a warm cloth, put your feet up for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.
For a DIY anti-aging face mask, Shereen Mostafa, owner of Skin House, combines yogurt with honey to gently slough away old skin and leave you glowing, soft, and moisturized. (Skin House actually uses a higher concentration of this in their peels!) To make, mix 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon of raw honey in a small bowl. Apply it on the face and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
To wake up your skin in the morning, the team at Freedom Apothecary recommend a simple body scrub of sugar, coffee, and oil. Mix 1 cup of already brewed ground coffee, ½ cup of brown sugar, and a little olive or coconut oil. Right before turning off the water in the shower, gently apply this mixture all over your body except for your face—a coarse product is too abrasive for your facial skin—and rinse.
For an at-home facial, Blair suggests starting with a vigorous facial cleanse, then steaming your face over a pot of boiling herbal tea for five minutes with a towel over your head. Next, whisk the raw egg white and smear your face. Rest the cucumber slices on your eyes for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat onto damp skin.
Change the way you shower
As much as we love hot showers and foaming soaps, they actually take away from our skin’s natural thin layer of oil. Featherman says you should prepare for shorter, more lukewarm showers, reach for a gentle lotion-based cleanser, and use a moisturizing body lotion or oil right afterward. In addition, you should “look for key ingredients such as calendula, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and borage” when purchasing bath products.
Moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing
While idling — a popular TikTok skincare method that involves lathering skin in a silicone-based product like Vaseline — isn’t for everyone, our experts offer other ways to moisturize and absorb. Williams suggests using highly concentrated serums to keep your skin cells functioning and healthy. Adeline Koh, owner of Sabbatical Beauty, recommends a multi-step regimen to target the different layers of skin. Use a six-step Korean beauty method, or simply start with a toner, then an oil, and finally a moisturizer. “Think of it like a wardrobe,” Koh says. “Moisturizing layers will keep skin supple and hydrated and you can slip them on and off just as you would in different seasons.”
You can also use certain food items at home like olive oil, coconut oil, or honey to replenish your skin, as they contain hydrating moisturizers and natural antimicrobial properties, according to Rescue Spa founder Danuta Mieloch.
Focus on your insides, too
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget that what we put in our bodies is just as important to our skin as what we put on it. “A lot of our food is processed with hormones and preservatives,” Williams reminds us. “Anything you ingest can directly affect the health of your skin and the way your cells function.” She suggests limiting your intake of dairy products, alcohol, processed sugars, and saturated and trans fats to reduce inflammation and improve your skin’s overall health.
In addition, our experts stress the importance of proper hydration in helping to eliminate toxins from the body. Both Blair and Iris say adding a humidifier to their living spaces is “life-changing.” It will add moisture to the air, which helps moisturize the skin from the outside in.
Adding collagen to your diet is another easy way to properly nourish your skin. Collagen is the protein that makes up hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints, and according to Finlan, “after the age of 25, the body’s production of collagen begins to diminish.” The team at About Face Skin Care recommend adding a scoop of unflavored collagen powder to water, coffee, or smoothies so that you can seamlessly incorporate it into your diet.
Learn how to massage your face like a pro
When you’re in need of a little glow and lift, a facial massage is a great way to increase blood flow and aid in lymphatic drainage, which helps eliminate toxins in the body and improves the flow of nutrients to vital organs. Below, Iris provides a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Breathe
It’s okay to relax for a minute. The way we move through the world (starting with our phones, computers, tablets, etc.) causes us a lot of tension in our necks, which contributes to the lymphatic stagnation we feel. By taking three long breaths, you are sending a message to the brain preparing your body to relax and release tension.
Step 2: Lubricate your face with oils
Warm the oil in your hands and apply it all over your face, working your way down toward your neck and chest. Make sure you are making a good glide, otherwise you will pull the leather, causing it to fray.
Step Three: Cut the fingers
Separate your index finger from your middle finger and place the scissor shape around your ear with your index finger under your earlobe and your middle finger above it. Gently massage the area in a circular motion to start stimulating the lymph nodes. This will help eliminate any stagnation. Repeat seven to 15 times. This will also help stimulate absorption of the products. (Be sure to hold your breath while you do this—we’re relaxing here.)
Step 4: Sandwich the Knuckle
Take your index and middle fingers again, but bend at the knuckles as if you were making air quotations. Keeping your fingers in this position, place the jawbone at your chin between your knuckles. Slowly move your hands up your jawline toward your ears, ending with your index finger’s knuckle just below your earlobe. Repeat three to five times. This will help define the jawline while also stimulating the glands. Repeat the same process, this time sandwiching your cheekbone between your knuckles, ending with your middle finger toward your temple.
Fifth step: eyebrow lift
There are a lot of pressure points in the eyebrow, so it’s important to give love to this area. After the brow bone, move your knuckles over the area focusing on the upward motion.
Step six: the forehead
Move from the center of your forehead down toward your temples, slide your fingers in a circular motion over the area, and gently pull upward.
Step 7: Back to the neck
Finally, take your hands and gently squeeze the sides of your neck, pumping gently, five times.
By the end of this massage, your skin will be so relaxed that any products you apply should absorb more quickly and effectively. Finish by applying a facial moisturizer on top of your face oil, and layer your products for best results.
This guide contains additional reporting from Laura Brzyski.