A solid skincare regimen includes regular facials, but even without a monthly esthetician visit you can still get great results at home
Since skin is our largest organ, it makes sense to have a pro checking up on it regularly—once a month or every other month if possible, beginning in your late 20s. “Regular facials are crucial because they’re a way for you and your skincare professional to keep tabs on the changes in your skin health,” says Kate Somerville, esthetician-to-the-stars and founder of Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts spa. And the other benefits are significant, too: consistent facials can clear skin of dirt and impurities that cause breakouts and infection. Plus, “skin will be brighter, clearer, healthier and balanced.”
While not everyone can afford monthly trips to their esthetician, we all deserve glowing, healthy skin. Somerville says with the right products, it’s possible to give yourself a simplified facial at home that will carry you through dry spells. “Step one: cleanse—get rid of all makeup, dirt and debris,” says the skin star. Next, [spend time in] steam to open the pores, release impurities, soften the skin and detach dead cells.”
Then, exfoliate. “Use scrubs with chemical exfoliators like enzymes and gentle acids plus round beads (physical exfoliators that lift away dead skin cells) like Exfolikate,” which contains those ingredients plus natural fruit enzymes. She cautions against exfoliants with ground nuts that can actually tear the skin, noting that exfoliating is perhaps the most important step that many women don’t do thoroughly enough at home. Says Somerville, “If you exfoliate before a facial, the new skin cells will instantly have the glow you want and treatment products are able to better absorb. It creates a clean and smooth surface to maximize results.”
Afterward, you’ll be ready for extractions—“clean out those black- and whiteheads with clean hands and clean supplies. Put a warm compress on the spot for a few minutes, then wrap your index fingers in a tissue to cushion your nails. Gently press on either side of blackheads; for whiteheads, carefully pierce the center with a lancet to create a canal to avoid breaking the skin and then squeeze gently.” On blemishes below the skin, use a spot treatment like Somerville’s 24 Hour Pimple Punisher overnight. Next up is a treatment mask—the expert suggests something with minerals to calm irritation. And then hydrate and moisturize. “Work in your serum and moisturizer, and dab on your favorite eye product.”
A thorough at-home skincare routine also helps any facial’s results last longer. Again, exfoliation is key—two to three times a week or once a week for delicate and acneic skin. Also essential: hydrating and moisturizing. And Somerville is clear they’re two different steps. “My clients know to moisturize their skin and drink water—both of which are important—but they aren’t hydrating their skin. Serums with hyaluronic acid are a great way to get water into the cells and my new DermalQuench Liquid Lift has effective low-weight hyaluronic acid,” which noticeably plumps skin after usage. The cutting-edge product may be the closest you can come to a one-step at-home facial. “It creates smoother, younger and healthier looking skin than I ever thought possible for an at-home product,” says Somerville. And isn’t that the best possible result?