This routine consists of a thorough cleansing, even if you are not wearing make-up, massage and then a face pack. Pull your hair back from your face and cover it with a scarf. Either cover your clothes with a smoke or towel or wear a dressing gown. Start by thoroughly cleansing your face. If you are removing make-up before you start your facial, it is a good idea to cleanse twice.
Make sure that all the cleanser is removed with tissue especially in the creases at the sides of the nose and centre of the chin. After you have tissue off the cleanser go over your face again with a little cotton wool squeezed in cold water.
The next step is to massage your face. Make sure your hands are clean before you start the massage, otherwise your cleansing will be in vain. The purpose of the massage is to relax the facial muscles and stimulate the circulation. During a massage routine, blood circulation accelerates the deposits of lactic acid and gets washed out of the muscles. When you give yourself a massage you should spend about five to ten minutes on it to get maximum relaxation.
Begin the massage by placing the pads of both thumbs firmly between the eye-brows. Using firm and even pressure slide them slowly down either side of the nose moving out from its base over the cheeks to the jaw bone. This will empty the facial vein and prepare for the stimulus of massage. Now dab a soothing cream on your skin and rub it evenly over the face. Starting at the base of the throat work upward, using the backs of the hands, to the point of the chine. The sides and the back of the neck should be massaged with the fingertips using upward circular movements. When a movement is finished return to the starting point.
Starting at the centre f the upper lip, use circular movements our as far as the cheekbones. Working from the centre of the upper lip, use circular movements out towards the centre of the cheeks.
Care must be taken not to stretch the skin when you give yourself a massage.
The skin under should be gently patted with fingertips, and not massaged. Begin from the nose working under the eyebrows with the fingertips using tiny circular movements, around the eyes to the underneath, and then pat the skin very gently working towards the nose. The fore head should be lightly stroked with the fingertips in an upward direction. Then working from in-between the brows, employ small circular movements out, and over, the eyebrows. To complete the massage, using the second and third fingers, pat over the face lightly (except the eye area, but on the cheeks and under the chin). This is excellent for muscles which tend to sag. After about ten minutes wipe off any surplus cream with a paper tissue.
The last step is to apply a face pack. To make a face pack yourself mix about one tablespoon of fuller’s earth with a skin tonic or an astringent. It should be a tacky paste. You could use lemon juice instead of a tonic or astringent. This has a bleaching effect and is good for sallow skins. For a sensitive skin, mix the fuller’s earth with milk.
The purpose of applying a face pack is to draw out impurities to close the pores and remove any rough scaly surface on the skin and tighten the facial muscles. Using the pads of your fingertips spread the pack gently over the face. Use the palms of your hands to spread the pack over your neck. Do not apply the pack on thread veins if you have them. Relaxation plays an important part in the home facial routine. Settle yourself on a comfortable armchair or even better, lie on your bed. If you lie on bed put some pillows under your legs to raise them slightly. This helps in relaxation. When you are using a face pack it is better to cover your eyes with cotton wool pads squeezed out in cold water or preferably rose water. Alternatively, cotton wool pads dipped in a solution for bathing the eyes is also very soothing.
If you have an oily skin, leave the mask on for about ten minutes. For dry and combination skins, leave the mask on for about five minutes. Set an alarm clock so that you can really relax. If your skin feels tight and uncomfortable, do not wait for the recommended time, and remove the pack immediately. Remove the mask with warm water and cotton wool. Lightly swab off the face pack, taking care not to drag the skin. After that dab on some skin tonic if you have combination or dry skin and astringent if your skin is oily. If your skin is very dry, use a little moisturizer. Do not apply make-up immediately after your facial as your skin may go blotchy.
Steaming is beneficial for cleaning all types of skin. It cleans the skin of all surface dirt; surface dirt stimulates the circulation and unclogs blocked pores. If your skin is dry, steam your face once a week. It can be used every day if you have a very greasy skin. Electrical devices are available to produce steam and this process is known as sauna facial.
Steaming can be taken by leaning over a large bowl of boiling water, by covering your head with a towel and making a tent around the bowl. The steam will open the pores, loosen blackheads and bring spots to a head. Do not get too close to the boiling water, for if the steam is too hot, it might cause broken veins. To make steaming more beneficial, add a tablespoon of herbs to the water. Elderflower and chamomile are the old favorites for this. You can also try lavender, thyme and rosemary for a stimulating cleanse. These herbs smell delicious. Steam your face for about ten to twenty minutes. By steaming blackheads come out of the pores and it becomes easy to extract them. If you suffer from pustular acne, I would not advise steaming as the steam and heat can spread the infection. If you have been extracting blackheads use a face mask containing curds, kaolin, cucumber or comfrey as these are astringent and healing.