Sometimes a trip to a beauty salon just isn’t possible, so if you want to revitalise your complexion, you’ll have to take the DIY route and give yourself a facial at home.

It may not be as relaxing as lying with your eyes closed while a facialist works their magic, but you can still give your skin a much-needed pick me up from the comfort of your own home with a few key products and the right techniques.


How to give yourself a facial at home

Here, experts talk us through the six essential steps of an at-home facial. Cucumber slices at the ready…

1. Cleanse

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“A thorough cleanse is crucial when you’re doing a facial, as we want to allow the active ingredients in the skin to penetrate effectively,” says Dr Sophie Shotter, founder and medical director of Illuminate Skin Clinic.

Sarah Carr, facialist and Liz Earle lifestyle ambassador, recommends cleansing twice and removing the residue with a warm washcloth: “This ensures you have thoroughly removed any dirt and grime.”

Be sure to apply the cleanser all over your face, adds Dr Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science: “Don’t forget to massage a little around nostrils and ears.”

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Bestseller No. 1
NIVEA Sensitive Face Cleansing Milk Sensitive Make Up Remover, Gentle Moisturiser for Women, Facial...
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NIVEA Daily Essentials Sensitive Cleansing Milk (200ml), Cleanser with Dexpanthenol & Grape Seed...
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  • Moisturises skin: NIVEA Daily Essentials sensitive makeup remover gentle on skin and hydrates while it cleanses, to help reduce dryness and tightness
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Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light UK’s #1 Facial Skin Care brand* Moisturiser for 12-hour...
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Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion For Sensitive Skin 200ml
1,749 Reviews
Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion For Sensitive Skin 200ml
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NIVEA Gentle Face Cleansing Cream Wash for Dry & Sensitive Skin (150 ml), Sensitive Exfoliating Face...
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  • Caring formula: The face cleanser formula with Almond Oil is mild to the skin and makes sure skin is cleansed, refined, looking healthy and beautiful

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Exfoliate

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There are two types of exfoliants, chemical and mechanical, while some products combine the two. “Chemical exfoliation will take the form of a peel that loosens the dead skin cells on the surface,” says Shotter. “Make sure these are suitable for home use, and follow the instructions on the packet carefully.” You shouldn’t leave the peel on for longer than the recommended time.

Mechanical exfoliation, in the form of a scrub, is all about “buffing the skin and removing dead skin cells – this enables your masks and treatments to work harder for you,” Carr says. Work the product in with your fingertips using circular motions, being careful not to apply too much pressure.

Best-selling facial exfoliators

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals, DIY Face Scrub. Natural Facial Exfoliator for Dull or Dry...
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Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator - Spa Quality Exfoliating Face Mask...
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LOOCA Botanical Rejuvenating Face Scrub - Gentle Facial Exfoliator, Natural Daily Facial Cleanser...
  • REFRESH YOUR SKIN – Pamper yourself with a much-needed HEALTHY glow-enhancing revitalization! Our herbal exfoliating face scrub blends skin-perfecting extracts in the best facial exfoliator ready to...
  • WITH HERBAL & NATURAL INGREDIENTS FACE SCRUB – We formulated this deep pore polish with love, from nature’s most nourishing yet gently-exfoliating ingredients: Apricot, Castile, Coconut and...
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Nip+Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix, 75ml
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Cyclax Apricot Facial Scrub 300 ml (Pack of 1)
  • Cyclax by Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
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  • Use once or twice weekly

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Serum

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“Apply a generous layer of a hydrating, soothing serum to the skin and allow it to absorb,” says Shotter. Look out for products with moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid or peptides.

Don’t scrimp on the serum, Meder says: “To achieve a ‘pro’ effect you need to apply at least 1ml of active product over the face.”

Carr says this stage is ideal for doing a bit of facial massage if you have time: “There are some brilliant facial massage routines online.”

Best-selling face serums

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Big 2oz. ORGANIC Advanced Vitamin C Serum & Hyaluronic Acid for Face/Neck/Eye Contour. 20+ VEGAN...
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PraNaturals Skin Perfector Face Serum Kit 3x30ml – Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol & Vitamin C – Skin...
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Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Mask

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“Your face mask is used to target specific concerns,” says Carr. “You can apply one mask all over the face and neck or you can ‘multi mask,’” which means applying two or more masks to suit different areas of the face. “For example, if you have a classic combination skin or oily T-zone then apply a deep cleansing mask to the areas that are oiler, and a moisture mask to areas that a drier.”

Meder says: “Apply the mask and leave on the skin for the recommended time, not less but not more, some masks could damage the skin if used for too long.”

Best-selling face masks

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
7th Heaven 'Feeling Kinda Fruity' Face Mask Bundle, Coconut Protein Hair Masque, Coconut Cream for a...
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Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Moisturise

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“Always apply protection cream after facials,” says Meder. “The skin needs protection after action.”

That’s particularly true if you’ve used a chemical exfoliant or purifying mask. Shotter advises finishing with “a hydrating cream that suits your skin type. This should be non-comedogenic [non-pore clogging] to allow your skin to breathe and to keep it fresh and clean.”

Best-selling facial moisturisers

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

SaleBestseller No. 1
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 | 52ml/1.75oz | Daily Facial Moisturiser with SPF for...
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Kaeso Rebalancing Facial Moisturiser 195 ml
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Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Sunscreen


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If you’re doing your facial in the evening, moisturiser should be your last step. However, if you’re DIYing it during the day, there’s one more essential product to apply.

“Don’t forget to finish off with a good coat of sun protection,” says Shotter. Even if it’s cloudy outside or you’re not leaving the house, the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass so it’s important to protect against damage with a high factor SPF.

Best-selling facial sunscreens

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

SaleBestseller No. 1
La Roche Posay Facial Sun Cream, 50 ml
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ISDIN Fusion Fluid SPF 50+ 50ml | Facial Sun Cream | Suitable for All Skin Types
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Bestseller No. 4
Jason Natural Cosmetics SPF 20 Facial Sunblock 128 g
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Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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