Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kitchen Facials by Request!!!

That's right this is my first request from a gaggle of Momma's in Mountain Home, AK who have now been nicknamed my Bifocal Beauties! One of these ladies suggested I give some advice towards creating a spa facial for yourself with easy to find ingredients right in the comfort of your home.  NO PROBLEM!!!  Like anything worth while, a little prep work and some dedicated time, will take this DIY mini spa treatment up a notch!  

Since the Bifocal Beauties are rounding second base and turning fifty, which of course is the new twenty-five, I thought I would focus this first kitchen facial on dryness.  Let's exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate that skin.  Before you know it you'll be doing weekly facials and kicking yourself for not doing them sooner!  

This might be a great girlfriend project so you don't destroy your computer leaning over it trying to read what to do next with a wet face! So grab a gal-pal, share the costs of the ingredients and don't forget that magazine so that while one momma relaxes the other catches up on the latest chick gossip!  Go Girl Power!!

Okay let's get excited and get our gear! 
gentle eye makeup remover and cotton pads if needed
3 washcloths rolled in a microwavable bowl half full of water and covered with a kitchen towel 
a creamy, plain cleanser (no foaming, refining, exfoliating, or gritty cleansers)*
1/4 cup of regular refined sugar in a small dish
1 washcloth soaked and swimming in bowl of whole milk or buttermilk at room temp
2 large bath towels or 1 towel and 1 blanket
1-2 pillows as needed
relaxing music (optional)
1 cup of good quality Aloe Vera gel in a small dish
1 fresh super ripe, awesome smelling orange or tangerine, peeled and peels set aside in a dish
kitchen timer (optional)
a gentle alcohol free toner, rose water, or 1 bag of steeped green tea left at room temp applied with cotton pads
1 box of tissue
a good quality moisturizer or night cream*
eye cream, lip moisturizer (optional)
16 oz glass of filtered water
   * If you don't use or know what to use, go to a drugstore and get Aveeno Ultra-Calming products or Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser/Moisturizing Lotion as a start. Don't forget a good chick magazine while you're there!  

Step 1: Prep
Decide where you are going to be doing your main face washing: bathroom, kitchen sink. 
From there find a cozy place not too far away and lay a bath towel or blanket on the ground and a pillow for under your knees, add more as needed. This will be where you relax while you're masking. Remember half the yumminess of the spa is the relaxation. This also benefits the skin, so don't skip this step!!!

Once that is set up, take the rest of your gear to your main hub. Place the sugar next to your cleanser. Place the milk dish behind that. Twist a little orange zest into the aloe and place the aloe next to the milk. Set your toner (seep your green tea bag now), cotton pads, tissue, moisturizer, eye cream and lip moisturizer next to the aloe. Set your large bath towel next to the sink. Place your bowl of wet washcloths in the microwave for 2-3 minutes keep covered with dry cloth and when done carefully set on other side of sink.  

Step 2:  Cleanse
Tie back your hair. Wash your hands. Gently remove eye makeup and lipstick with remover and cotton pads if needed.  Turn the water to a nice warm temperature NOT HOT and splash your face 2-3 times to moisten skin. Take a half dollar's amount of cleanser into your palm and add and lightly mix in a Tbsp or so of sugar. Then cleanse your entire face in upward, circular motions using your three middle fingers.  Once you've applied your cleanser take a minute to cleanse deeper by gently rubbing little circles into the face, neck and decollete if you feel like it.  Start under the neck, go up to the chin, around the the mouth and those laugh lines, circle out from those lines to the cheeks, then back the nose and get into the creases, on top of the nose, gently around the eyes making sweeping figure eights, eyebrows, and finally the forehead. Make sure to get into the hairline!  Quickly grab one warm washcloth from the bowl and gently remove cleanser in outward sweeping motions.  If needed, splash face with lukewarm water to remove excess cleanser. Then, Pat Pat Pat dry with your bath towel.  Feel your skin. Does it feel smooth and clean like it can breathe a little bit more?  If so go on to the next step. If it still feels dull and heavy, repeat this step before moving on.  

Step 3: Exfoliate
Grab your milk bowl. Lightly ring out the washcloth and gently pat the milk into your skin, over the sink. Do this for a few minutes so that all of the face and neck receives a good coating of milk. Be gentle around the eyes but feel free to pat them too.  Use this cloth to rub your mouth to help remove any chapping.  If there is any extra milk in the bowl, splash it onto your face. It's okay if you get it in your eyes. This is a gentle exfoliation. Think of Cleopatra when you do this.  She used to bath in milk!  Do not rinse the milk.  Just pat dry under the chin if drips.

Step 4: Steam
Pull out your large bath towel.  Turn your sink water on to HOT. Place your towel over your head and make a tent with your towel over your sink to steam your face.  Try to manipulate your towel so that the hot steam gets trapped inside and doesn't leak out. Be careful not to burn your face on the faucet or lean in too close that hot water will splash your face.  When leaning over the sink, try to stick out your butt and make a L shape with your legs and back. Now with your arms stretched out over the towel continuing the L shape, feel a long stretch in your spine.  Take deep breathes of this warm steam sauna-like air and feel it healing your skin and soul. Take a few minutes to meditate on all you have to be thankful for, including this opportunity to take care of yourself.  These thoughts are cleansing to the soul, mind, and body!  Stay here as long as you can enjoy the steam but not exceeding 15 minutes.  When done, take one last breath, bend the knees, and grab a warm moist towel from the bowl and very gently remove any milk that may be left on the face.  Then, pat pat the skin with the bath towel but keep the skin damp.  

Step 5: Hydrate and Relax
Grab your aloe bowl. If you haven't already twisted some orange peel zest into your aloe do so now.  Take some extra peel and twist it onto your decollete for an uplifting aroma.  Now gently apply the aloe mask in a thick, even coat to the neck and face.  Get close to the eye but don't get into the eye. Feel free to coat the lips of the mouth as well.  Once mask is well applied, find your resting place.  Turn on music if you'd like and a timer for 20 minutes if you think you might fall asleep.  Otherwise, lay down slowly, place the pillow under your knees.  Try to broaden your chest pulling your shoulder blades back towards each other and down the spine creating more space for deeper breath and a more comfortable neutral spine position.  Take a deep breath into your back and enjoy the uplifting aromas of oranges.  Try to let every muscle in your body relax and grow limp from your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and jaw all the way down to your knees, ankles, feet, and toes. Once your body is relaxed, let your mind relax.  Take another moment of thankfulness and then let your mind fall silent. This masking meditation should last at a minimum of 5 minutes and at a maximum of 20 minutes.  Enjoy!!! (This step should not burn or feel "spicy" to the skin.  If so, remove promptly with cool water. It  may be too much moisture for extremely dry skin. Continue with the relaxation with a nice cool washcloth on the face.)

Step 6: Finish
I know! Drag yourself back up to standing. Shake the body out slowly.  Grab your bowl of wet towels.  If they are ice cold place in microwave for another minute.  If they are warm go ahead and gently start removing the aloe mask from the face.  You may need to run the wash cloth under warm water if the mask if really dry on the face.  Remember to sweep upward and outward.  Take your time and remove all the product.  

Next grab your toner or room temp tea and with a cotton pad wipe the toner into the skin.  Lightly coat the entire face.  Your face should just be moist not wet.  If it's wet, use a tissue to blot the moisture.  

Apply a DAB of eye cream around the bone of the eye NOT any closer!!! Too much eye cream can lead to puffy eyes and teary ducts!!!! Apply a lip moisturizer if wanted.  

Now, take a deep breath, and apply the face cream. Rub it into the hands and pat it into the face with the whole palm of your hand, starting from the neck up to the cheeks and outside of the face, to the interior of the face and up to the forehead.  Pat in until the entire face is well coated with a refreshing moisturizer. This should feel like a good coat of moisture but not super heavy or greasy.  Make sure it is soaked into the skin and not sitting on top.  You should feel like your skin is bit plumper, lighter, hydrated, and at least breathing!  Feel free to do this every 3-4 weeks or when feeling dry, tight skin.  Aaahhh! How do you feel?

Congratulations! You just gave yourself a spa worthy mini facial!!  Thank yourself for the time, your girlfriend if you teamed up for being such an awesome chicka, and those lovely Bifocal Beauties who suggested this little luxury!!!  Now sit down and chat with your girlfriend or if solo read that magazine while you drink your water and snack on some yummy ripe oranges!  Remember to take good care of yourself mind, body, and soul and have a great rest of your day!!!


  1. Oh Maria, you are such a good teacher!

  2. Oh Shucks!!! Thanks Franny!!!