With many of us tightening our budgets or not feeling comfortable going to a spa, treating yourself to a facial may seem like an unattainable luxury right now. However, that’s not to say your skin doesn’t deserve amazing care. With the world creating so much fear and uncertainty right now, self-care can be more important than ever.
One of the best ways to do this? A DIY facial. While having someone else do your facial massage isn’t something you can replicate, you can bring in most of the elements — yes, even spa music — and re-create the experience at home. Bonus: Your skin will thank you!
First, set the mood
Whether you’re working in your bathroom, bedroom or even kitchen (a sink is helpful here), be sure to get the mood music going, lower the lights, change into something comfortable and soothing, and tuck your hair back — because you don’t want to shower off all that luscious product after.
iHome Zenergy Portable Bluetooth Color-Changing Speaker With Sound Therapy ($29.99, originally $49.99; kohls.com)
Set Zen vibes with this color-changing speaker that lets you stream a spa channel (Pandora, Spotify and SiriusXM all offer playlists) or use one of the nature presets.
Aromatherapy Bluetooth Speaker ($69.99, originally $79.99; wayfair.com)
Create a mood with music and scent using this stylish aromatherapy speaker with aroma pads and color light therapy.
Blossom Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser ($64.99, originally $69.99; wayfair.com)
Scents create a relaxing mood, and this high-rated diffuser will gently release essential oils into the air all while easily blending into your room decor.
Classic Turkish Towels Luxury Shawl Terry Bathrobe ($49.99, originally $89.99; amazon.com)
This 100% Turkish cotton, crisp white classic spa bathrobe will really give you those spa vibes.
Denfany Facial Spa Headband ($7.55; amazon.com)
Tuck your hair back so you keep your product on your face, where it belongs, with this set of adjustable headbands.
Slip Pure Silk Turban ($85; sephora.com)
For extra glamour, tuck your locks into this gorgeous silk turban. This is the perfect choice for thick, curly hair.
Next, cleanse your skin
With any facial, the first step is removing makeup and prepping the skin in order to start the process with a clean palette. Start with a makeup remover or oil-based cleanser, then follow with a foam or cream cleanser, finally rinsing with a warm washcloth.
Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser ($34; sephora.com)
Milk oil can help easily melt away your makeup, and Laneige’s meadowfoam seed and jojoba oil blend is formulated to seal in moisture while cleansing your skin.
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser ($48; sephora.com)
A beauty editor favorite, this oil cleanser won’t strip or dry out your skin, instead leaving it feeling oh so dewy and radiant.
No7 Radiant Results Nourishing Micellar Cleansing Oil ($8.99; walgreens.com)
Packed with grapeseed oil as well as vitamins E, A and B5, this oil will both cleanse your skin and leave it feeling soft.
Soap & Glory Glow Your Mind Nourishing Cleansing Balm ($11.99; target.com)
This new cleanser from one of our favorite beauty brands at Target, Soap & Glory, is a wonderfully thick balm that goes on like a cream and turns into a milk with water.
Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser ($32; sephora.com)
This jelly cleanser has over 87,000 “loves” on Sephora, mostly because it deep-cleans without irritating the most sensitive skin.
Beautycounter Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser ($26; sephora.com)
Pore problems? Try this top-rated cleanser specifically formulated for oily and blemish-prone skin. A whopping 100% of Sephora shoppers would recommend it to a friend.
Exfoliate your skin
Next up? Exfoliate. Try a chemical exfoliant, with an alpha or beta hydroxy acid, to help remove those dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull. Steer clear of gritty scrubs (sorry, St. Ives) that can actually cause damage to your sensitive top layer of skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel (starting at $17; sephora.com)
With more than 68,000 “loves” on Sephora, this exfoliating treatment is a favorite of skin care fanatics and helps with dullness and uneven skin tone.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($29.50; dermstore.com)
This ultra gentle 5-star liquid formula has 2% BHA (or salicylic acid), mimicking the natural exfoliation process that helps skin shed those extra layers and leaves skin feeling bright and clean.
The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2% ($20.90; amazon.com)
On the other hand, this 30-milliliter chemical exfoliant is strong and not for daily use, but it’s an incredible value and has a real cult following (it’s all over TikTok) that can prove its effectiveness.
Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($85; dermstore.com)
Yet another cult favorite, this treatment plumps skin, with reviewers noting how it seems to diminish fine lines in minutes. Yes, it’s that good.
Steam and treat
This next step can vary based on your skin’s needs. Steaming will open your pores and allow all the yummy ingredients in the next step of your facial to sink in while leaving your skin feeling fresh and plumped. Other tools can help tone your skin and help you relax — which is an important part of this whole process.
Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer ($149; sephora.com)
With its gorgeous design, this steamer really brings the spa experience into your home and infuses your skin with hydration.
Modvica Facial Steamer ($26.99; amazon.com)
Beloved by Amazon shoppers, this 4.7-star-rated facial steamer promises to clean pores and promote facial circulation.
Rose Quartz by JRB ($68; dermstore.com)
This rose quartz roller isn’t just gorgeous — it can help smooth the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines too.
Mei Apothecary Jade Gua Sha Facial Massage Beauty Tool ($12.99; target.com)
Shoppers love this gua sha facial massage tool, with one raving, “Amazing! I can definitely notice the difference before and after. Great quality and great value.” You can read more about gua sha here.
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Kit ($325; dermstore.com)
This cord-free facial toner is rated 5 stars by fans, with one writing, “I love the results I get from the NuFace, and notice improved wrinkles when used on a consistent basis.”
Mask and moisturize
Finish your DIY facial with a mask or moisturizer of your choice, and for heaven’s sake, don’t rinse it off! A few of our favorites.
Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask With Vitamin C ($48; sephora.com)
A cocktail of vitamin C, squalane and hyaluronic acid is formulated to brighten, pump and help diminish fine lines.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (starting at $64; sephora.com)
This moisturizer is packed with hyaluronic acid, leaving skin plumped and fine lines faded.
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Super Hydration Sleepover Face Mask ($18.99; target.com)
Beloved by beauty editors, this overnight mask is the perfect way to end a facial — just leave it on as long as you can for super moisturized skin.
Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Bright & Radiant Face Mask ($15.89; target.com)
The name “mighty marshmallow” should tell you everything you need to know about this fluffy, brightening mask. It goes on feeling like a cloud and leaves your skin radiant.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48; sephora.com)
This cult favorite, created to help dull, dry skin bounce back after travel, is a fantastic finishing touch to your skin care ritual.
Finish with your lips
Finally, all the best facials end with a treatment that leaves your lips soft and nourished.
Soap & Glory Treat My Lips Ultra Smoothing Lip Oil ($8.99; target.com)
This nourishing lip oil will end your DIY facial with improved and softened lip texture.
Cherry Blossom and Bakuchiol Resurfacing Lip Repair ($20; dermstore.com)
Boscia’s restorative lip treatment garners 5 stars from reviewers, who say it is “moisturizing and effective.”
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.