How to Do the Basic At-Home Facial

5 Steps to Gorgeous Skin

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 yours in What's Your Skin Type?). 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'd spend your money on moisturizers and products that don't get washed away.

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 and the department store favorite Clinique Take the Day Off.

Step 2: Exfoliate

There are several ways to exfoliate your skin. Many people swear by the Clarisonic Mia. 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."
  1. 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

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 two or three times, or you can take it further by boiling water in a teapot.

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.

Step 5: Moisturizer

Smooth on a soothing, basic moisturizer over your face and neck. If you want organic and cheap, try extra virgin coconut oil.