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Friday, May 3, 2013


“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship” - Benjamin Franklin

Continuing on my DIY jag (read: though I've improved, I still haven't gotten my budget totally under control) today I'm sharing what I've been learning about DIY facials. 'Cause a gal needs herself a facial. On a regular basis.  But this girl can't afford to have someone else do it, OR fancy-schmancy (meaning expensive) name-brand goodies usually recommended.  

So this facial focuses on not only the freebie aspect of DIY, but also inexpensive materials for said facial. Not only is this easy on the budget, but you can do this at your own convenience, in the comfort and privacy of your own home. True, it's nice to have someone else pamper you and clean up the mess, but personally I'd rather have the cash. At least these days. 

If you have issues and you want extractions- unplugging pores, removing blackheads or other impurities- then you need to see a licensed aesthetician. This is simply not something that can be DIY.  One option is to do the DIY facial on a regular basis, then get a professional facial for your extractions once every month or two.  Though be aware that there is apparently quite the debate as to whether or not extractions are necessary or even advisable. Those in the anti-extraction camp feel it does more harm than good, and that regular lymphatic massage (see last weeks blog) and steaming, masks and the like are the best route, and will serve the same purpose in the long run.

So. The 5 steps of a DIY facial are thus: 1) cleanse, 2) exfoliate, 3) steam, 4) mask, and finally 5) moisturize. 

For cleansing, use what you always use to wash your face. I've never heard an argument that convinced me that anything is better than good, old, inexpensive Cetaphil. (Or, if you're like me, whatever the generic version is in the store I happen to be in.) I have heard skin care professionals left right and center say over the years that there's simply no need to use soap on your face. I find Cetaphil is also perfect for removing makeup- except eye makeup, for which I use Target's brand of eye makeup remover. You can't say I'm not consistent in my cheap-ness, right?

Now that you've removed any makeup and cleansed, it's time to exfoliate. One of the world's foremost MUA and one if my personal fav's is Rae Morris, and she has a fabulous little recipe for this. Pour a little Cetaphil in the palm of your hand, and then pour in a little..ready?…baking soda!  Mix this, and gently scrub your face with this mixture. She says this should not be used if you regularly use a Retin-A product, but I use a Retin-A product every night, and I use her exfoliation formula once a week with great success. So it's up to you- you may find this to be too much for you if your skin is very sensitive. I find the exfoliation gets a little more intense if I add a little water at the end and again scrub gently before rinsing- this is my own occasional addition, and really is quite intense, so don't try it if you have sensitive skin. 

Right- now for the steaming. There's the traditional approach for steaming, or a simpler (lazy?) one. Of course I like the lazy one. :-)  Along the traditional lines, you can get yourself one of those fancy things designed to steam your face, (which defeats the budget-friendly aspect of this post) or you can boil water in a pot, remove the pot from the heat and hold your face several inches above the pot for a few minutes. Then there's the lovely lazy one- run warm water from the tap,(I like it pretty hot, but that's not recommended) wet a washcloth, and hold the hot washcloth on your face for a few seconds till it cools; repeat 2 or 3 times. Now your pores should be opened.

Time for the mask; I was reading Crunchy Betty's blog page, and came across one I'm dying to try. Take a little milk; put lemon juice and a generous slice of lemon in it, and leave it on the counter- not the fridge- for 3-4 hours. Apparently this becomes a very effective alpha-hydroxy mask.  I discovered if you google 'lemon and milk mask' you come up with all sorts of variations- as one would expect, some of them are downright crazy. Read and try at your own risk. :-)

There's also my blog from March 8- which has ideas and links for other DIY facials. Take into consideration your overall skin type, current condition of your skin and the weather to decide on what type of mask to use on a given day. There are wonderful, natural DIY masks for dry, oily, combination and sensitive skin- there's bound to be the perfect one for your needs.

The last step is moisturizing. My skin always seems to do best after a facial if I simply apply some light-weight oil and leave it at that till the next morning. Currently I'm using pure Maracuja oil which was very expensive.,_requestid=42976,cm_mmc=us_search-_-GG-_-pla-_-,ci_src=17588969,ci_sku=1468438  I've been using apricot kernel oil when I do my facial lymphatic massage, and I think when I run out of my Maracuja oil I'm going to switch to the apricot oil for apres-facial time.   If you compare the prices I think you'll see why….

It's amazing how very, very effective all-natural, DIY skin care can be…..and how affordable!

Happy Dressing!