How To Do The Basic At-Home Facial

Young Woman Lying Down With a Face Pack and a Towel Wrapped Around Her Head
This at-home facial will rival the pricey spa ones. Flying Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Professional facials are decadent and expensive. Why pay for one when you can do them yourself at home? This basic five-step at-home facial can be done once a week and works on all skin types including oily, dry and combination skin.

Step 1: Cleanse the Skin

The first step is to cleanse your skin with a cleanser formulated for your skin type (find out what yours is). There's no need to splurge on department store cleansers, a basic drugstore cleanser will work well.

Cleanser gets washed down the sink, so I recommend spending your money on moisturizers and products that don't get washed away.

See the Best Affordable Facial Cleansers: 13 Under $10 and the Best Cleansers by Skin Type.

To cleanse skin, rinse your face and neck first in lukewarm -- never hot -- water. Then dot the cleanser on your forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. Massage the product into your face and neck in a circular motion for at least a minute, making sure to get around the nose and the chin.

Rinse your face and neck with a warm washcloth. 

Don't forget to remove eye makeup with a makeup remover. Two great options include the drugstore favorite Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (buy from Amazon) and the department store favorite Clinique Take the Day Off (buy from Amazon).

Step 2: Exfoliate

There are several ways to exfoliate your skin. Many people swear by the Clarisonic Mia (read a review of the Clarisonic Mia and buy from Amazon.com).

You can also try this simple 3-step method:

  1. Apply a gentle exfoliating facial scrub in a circular motion on your face.
  2. Using your fingers, concentrate on the areas around your nose and forehead or if you have combination skin, work harder on the areas that tend to be "greasy."
  3. Use a soft washcloth soaked in warm water to rinse your face. The washcloth itself acts as a natural exfoliant. Try super soft bamboo baby washcloths like these from Amazon.com

    See a list of the best scrubs or make your own using brown or white sugar mixed in with extra virgin coconut oil.

    Step 3: Steam

    There are several ways to steam your face. You can fill your sink with warm water, dip a washcloth in and press to your face repeating 2-3 times or you can take it further by boiling water in a teapot. Get the full scoop in How to Do a Teapot Facial. 

    Step 4: Apply a Mask

    For oily skin, use a clay-based face mask. For dry skin, go for a hydrating gel or cream mask.

    Apply the mask, avoiding the areas around the eyes. Keep it on for 10-20 minutes (or, according to the directions on the product). Cucumbers, as pictured here, are not necessary. Rinse completely.

    You have two options for face masks:

    • Buy a mask. See a list of the Top Face Masks for Dry, Oily, Mature and Irritated Skin.
    • Make your own. Get recipes for every skin type in 25 Homemade Face Mask Recipes.

    Step 5: Moisturizer

    Smooth on a soothing, basic moisturizer over your face and neck. See a list of the best facial moisturizers. If you want organic and cheap, try extra virgin coconut oil.