At-home facial tips from a top facialist to help you get your glow on

Relax and unwind with the expert guide to DIY facials

at home facial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Relax and unwind with the expert guide to DIY facials

A facial is easily one of the best ways to switch off and relax; but we don't need to tell you that you can't pop out for one any time soon. That's why we've asked an expert how to do an at-home facial yourself.

Although you're unlikely able to give yourself a professional-level treatment, it's still posisble to pamper yourself with a DIY facial. So, where should you begin?

‘Always start with cleansing – this should always be the foundation of any at-home facial, but let's start by explaining why it's vital for keeping your skin glowing and healthy,' renowned facialist Lisa Franklin tells us. 'One of the main functions of the skin is to act as a barrier to the elements. The barrier function can easily become impaired by environmental pollutants and progressive sun damage.

'Cleansing not only removes the daily dirt and grime we come into contact with, but also overnight sebum production and bacteria, which can cause inflammatory responses that result in problematic skin conditions.

‘Ideally, you should double cleanse using a gel wash or cleanser and follow this with either a micellar water or micro-emulsion cleanser, to complete a thorough cleanse and create a platform for the remainder of the at-home experience.’

Below, Lisa shares her step-by-step guide to giving yourself a facial at home.

How to give yourself an at-home facial


Step 1: 'Apply a gel wash or cleanser to clean, moistened hands. Work the product to a creamy foam and gently massage into the skin using circular motions. Make sure to cover the entire face and neck, paying close attention to the folds of the nostrils and behind the ears. Rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water.'

Step 2: 'Moisten a soft cotton pad and apply a micellar water or micro-emulsion cleanser. Apply using sweeping strokes across the face; press and hold around the eyelids and lips for a few seconds, before softly wiping away. Repeat until the cotton pad is completely clear of all residual dirt.

'Gently blot the skin with a tissue to remove any excess moisture. To do this, place a tissue lengthways on one side of the face from the forehead to the chin and gently compress, then repeat on the other side.'


Step 3: 'Apply an exfoliator or mask and leave on the skin for up to 10 minutes.'


Step 4: 'Create a makeshift steamer using a bowl of recently boiled, purified water and place your head under a towel a minimum of 20cm away from the water. Do this for between five and 10 minutes. If you have any inflammatory skin concerns, such as eczema, rosacea or acne, you should keep a further distance from the steam and limit the time to five minutes.

'It’s important to always use purified water as this has gone through additional processes to remove water impurities, so if you don’t have access to this, please skip to the next step.'

Step 5: 'Remove the exfoliator or mask using clean, damp facial sponges, a muslin cloth or a gentle face cloth. If you don’t have access to these, use your hands, but they must be clean using repeated gentle, circular motions until all the product is removed.

Step 6: 'Moisten a cotton pad with tepid water and repeat step two.'


Step 7: 'Apply an appropriate serum to target specific areas of concern and gently massage in to the skin. You may need to take some advice on this from a skincare specialist. However, if you don’t have any particular concerns, opt for one of the best vitamin C serums for an all round anti-ageing, anti-pollution solution.

Step 8: 'Apply your favourite moisturiser to the face and neck. Starting with a pray motion from the centre of your forehead, work light, gentle, upward strokes away towards the hairline. Then across the bridge of the nose and around the cheeks, following the contour of the eyes – across the mouth and below the chin, following the jawline as a guide, and finally sweeping upwards from the décolleté to the neck.'

Step 9: 'Gently apply additional treatment to the lips and eyes [such as your best eye cream and best lip balm].'


Step 10: 'Finish the at-home facial by aiding lymphatic drainage – apply light pressure in 2cm intervals around the eye sockets, and then from the cheekbone close to the jowl working upwards towards the temples. Ideally, use rose quartz massage stones, but if you don’t have access to these, use your third fingers switching to your thumbs for the upper part of the eye sockets.'

Ready for a DIY facial? Happy pampering!

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.