While simplified skin-care routines are wholly capable of giving your complexion exactly what it needs, there’s something to be said about carving out time every once in a while to treat yourself to a full-blown at-home facial. Dedicating a few extra minutes of TLC to your skin is an easy way to give your brain a break from the stressors of the day and practice some wholesome self care. The tactile experience of slathering your skin with something you know is good for it combined with the olfactory experience of inhaling sweet-smelling scents will give you an instant return to calm, and is one of the easiest ways to momentarily mentally transport yourself and leave skin feeling radiant.
But the question remains: What products should you use to get the job done? To help make choosing your at-home facial routine a cinch, we tapped Sarah Akram, a celebrity facialist based in Washington D.C., to share her recs—all of which are gentle enough for any skin type. Scroll through to shop ’em for yourself.
Before you get into any of the real treatment elements of your facial, it’s important to thoroughly cleanse your face so you’re working with a clean canvas—and that starts with a makeup-removing oil cleanser. “This nourishing cleansing oil breaks down build-up and dissolves makeup without stripping the skin for a soft, supple feeling,” says Akram. “Like attracts like, so oil cleansers are great for removing makeup, oil, or other debris on the skin.”
After you remove your makeup, it’s time for a second cleanse, which will really help to prep your complexion for what’s to come. “I love using a gel cleanser in my treatments to remove impurities and to get a deep clean,” says Akram. “This AHA exfoliating cleanser does just that without drying out your skin. This cleanser removes dead surface skin cells and leaves you feeling fresh and clean without a tight and dry sensation.” By removing the dead skin cells with a chemical exfoliant, like this one, the actives you put on afterward will be more easily absorbed beneath the surface.
Shop now: Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash Cleanser
Generally, toner is viewed as a “nice-to-have” step in a skin-care routine rather than a “must have,” but Akram says that it shouldn’t be skipped during your at-home facial. “This tonic is specially formulated to soothe and calm dry and redness-prone sensitive skin,” she says. Using the nutrient-dense ‘living water’ which circulates within the lotus plant, this tonic is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which help improve skin tone and texture, while orange blossom helps to refresh and brighten skin prone to dryness.” To use it, simply spritz it all over your face, and allow its nutrients to fully absorb into your skin before moving on to your masking.
Next comes the most luxurious part of any skin-care regimen: the mask. Akram is a fan of this one, thanks to its “excellent regenerative properties.” It’s ultra-nourishing, and its brightening and plumping powers will “revitalize tired skin in 10 minutes,” says Akram. “It’s packed with calming botanicals and free from common irritants, which makes it the ideal treat for sensitive or reactive skin. And the buttery cream leaves lackluster skin soft and dewy.” Plus, as far as masks go, it’s totally mess-free. It glides onto skin easily and evenly and can be seamlessly removed with the muslin cloth that comes with the product.
It’s your moisturizer’s job to seal in all of the nourishing ingredients you’ve already applied, and Akram loves this one for helping protect your skin barrier from environmental elements. “Antioxidant-packed, this light and fluffy lotion is made to leave your skin feeling hydrated and looking plump, even, and glowing,” she says. It’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores and will melt into your complexion almost immediately.
Shop now: BLUME Whirl Creamy Dreamy Moisturizer
If you’re treating yourself to an at-home facial routine during daylight hours, SPF is a non-negotiable final step. “You’ll want to use an SPF, especially after exfoliating, and this one acts as a shield against the sun to protect your skin from harmful rays,” says Akram. It has the derm-recommended amount of SPF 30 and is slightly tinted to even out your skin tone and keep your complexion looking fresh and bright.
Have you checked out The Well+Good SHOP? Our editors sift through hundreds of products every week so that you don’t have to—and now, you can find their faves (from skin care to self care and beyond) in one carefully curated space. What’re you waiting for? Get shopping.