Spring is the time of new life: of animals, plants – and the skin! After months of exposure to cold, harsh weather conditions and central heating, the skin can often look dull and feel dehydrated and in need of a boost as winter comes to a close. Using some of nature’s skincare wonders, our five-step rejuvenating home facial will help to brighten, balance and nourish your skin, leaving you with a radiant glow just in time for the new season.
1. Double Cleanse
Cleansing twice helps to ensure the skin is scrupulously clean. The first – or superficial – cleanse removes makeup and dirt from the surface of the skin. Coconut oil is a brilliant natural cleanser as it melts away makeup, draws excess oil from the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. Take a small amount of coconut oil and melt it in your hands. Apply the coconut oil to your face and neck and use upward stroking movements and big circular motions to work it into the skin – if you’re wearing mascara you can apply it to your eyelashes too. Gently remove the oil with a warm face cloth.
The second cleanse is deeper and more thorough and helps to draw out impurities from the pores. Apply more coconut oil to your skin and spend a few minutes massaging it into your face and neck using smaller circular movements, paying particular attention to often-missed areas such as underneath the chin, around the ears, the eyebrows and the corners of the nose. Remove the oil with your warm face cloth and gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
Steaming helps to open the pores, stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph, soften the skin and improve its colour. Adding herbs to a facial steam brings additional benefits. Chamomile is a great herb to use; it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to calm and balance the skin.
To prepare your herbal steam, place one to two tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to steep for a couple of minutes then position your face about twelve inches away from the bowl and trap the steam by draping a towel over your head. After five minutes blot your skin dry with a soft tissue. Don’t discard the leftover chamomile infusion – you can use it as a lightening hair rinse!
3. Exfoliating Mask
Exfoliation is a must for helping to bring life back to the face. It helps to slough away dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new ones as well as increasing the blood flow to the area resulting in a healthy glow. Oats make a fantastic exfoliating mask (albeit a slightly messy one!): they cleanse, exfoliate, soothe and soften the skin. Oats are great for all skin types as they help to absorb excess oil from oily skins, hydrate dry skins and calm irritated skins.
To make your mask simply mix one tablespoon of rolled oats with enough warm water to make a smooth paste. Apply the oat mixture to your face and neck (avoiding the delicate eye area), working in circular movements to exfoliate the skin. Once you’ve exfoliated, leave the oat mixture on your skin (applying a little more if necessary) as a mask and lie down and relax for ten to fifteen minutes before removing with a face cloth or in the shower.
Toning helps to remove all traces of makeup, dirt and product as well as tightening and refreshing the skin and closing the pores. Rose water is an excellent natural toner. Its soothing properties are ideal for helping to tone down any redness, resulting in a more even skin tone. Apply a little rose water to two damp cotton wool pads and sweep them over your face and neck in gentle upward and outward strokes.
Plant oils are nature’s moisturisers. Jojoba is an amazing oil for the skin as its structure is similar to sebum, making it perfect for all skin types. Rich in proteins, minerals and vitamin E, it is a very nourishing oil and also has anti-inflammatory properties. To make your moisturiser, mix a tablespoon of jojoba oil with two to three drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is very calming and balancing and gives a boost to dull skin.
Apply a little of the oil blend to your face and neck and spend a good few minutes massaging it into the skin. Facial massage is so beneficial; not only does it help to boost the circulation and create a natural glow, it helps to improve muscle tone, speed up the removal of toxins and soften and nourish the skin as well. First, use slow, upward, circular movements to massage all the muscles and smooth out tension. Next, pinch the muscles of the chin, cheeks and forehead in slow, firm upward movements to encourage blood flow to the face. Help to speed up the removal of toxins by using light, draining movements from your chin to behind your ears, and from your forehead to behind your ears. Finish by softly stroking over your face and neck, then trace around your eye sockets with your ring fingers in light, inward movements towards your nose. Store the remaining oil in a dark glass bottle and massage it into your skin every night to prolong the effects of your home facial.
Header photo by Morgan Sessions via Unsplash