I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of, like, the queen of giving myself a facial at home. I turn up my “Chill Hits” Spotify playlist, light a couple of candles, and go in on my skin. I do it about once every week whenever my skin is feeling a bit meh, or when it needs a pick-me-up. And especially nowadays, my weekly facial not only keeps my skin healthy and glowy, but it helps me feel a little calmer during these stressful times. If you’re down to turn your home into a day spa, keep reading for tips I picked up from Shani Darden, a celebrity esthetician who’s worked on all your faves, from Jessica Alba to Chrissy Teigen.
Step 1: Cleanse your skin
Darden recommends starting with a gentle cleanser. Look for something that will thoroughly cleanse your skin without completely stripping it dry (literally the worst feeling ever).
Step 2: Exfoliate your skin
Next up: Exfoliation (aka the secret to smooth, dewy skin). Make sure you're using a chemical exfoliant—an alpha or beta hydroxy acid—to help remove dead skin cells and clear out your pores. Physical exfoliants—those gritty scrubs—can actually cause damage to your skin's barrier (the top protective layer of skin), so try to stay away from them.
Step 3: Apply a mask
After exfoliating, you want to show your skin some love by applying a mask. I'd recommend grabbing a super moisturizing one to help plump up your skin and deeply hydrate, but TBH, you can use whatever mask you want. For example, if you're concerned with dullness, use something with brightening ingredients (like vitamin C).
Step 4: Apply your serums
Follow up with a serum (or serums) of your choice! Again, I'm into the super dewy, glowy look, so I usually cocktail a hyaluronic acid serum to plump and a vitamin C serum to brighten.
Step 5: Try a skincare tool
This step isn't 100 percent necessary, but IMO, it's a nice addition. You can grab a face roller to really massage in your serums—it feels nice and cooling, and according to derms, they can even "reduce puffiness and swelling temporarily." If you want something a little more intense, Darden recommends using an at-home microcurrent device to help temporarily tone, tighten, and lift your skin.
Step 6: Moisturize your skin
Last, but def not least, seal in all the good stuff you just put on your face with a coat of moisturizer. You can finish off with a lightweight moisturizer or a thick, rich cream—whatever works best for your skin type and concerns.
Step 7: Sit back and relax
That's it! Now, schedule in your at-home spa day and prepare to feel zen AF. Might I suggest pairing it with a glass of wine?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.