For myself, I waited until they could sleep through the night (about 1 year for each) to return to my nocturnal activities. This includes pampering my skin with weekly at-home facials. And since my HG facial oil no longer had any HG effects, my nose was clogging up with blackheads as badly as during my pre-skincare days (aka uni). Yeah, I didn't wash my face until I was 17. Get over it.
Anyhoo, within the last couple of months, I have perfected my routine to the point that I feel it works better the salon facials I have been to. Here's how it goes:
Step 1. Oil Cleansing Method
If you don't know OCM, Google it. It's awesome. To save time, I do it before showering. 10 minutes of massaging the oil firmly into the skin, focusing on the clogged up areas. Do it like you're prepping your chicken for the oven. Within 5 minutes, I can sometimes feel bits of gunk dislodging already.
|Cheap and good extra virgin coconut oil|
I use coconut oil for this. Now, for OCM to work on your skin, you have to choose the right oil. Because I have dry skin, coconut oil works pretty well. I have tried olive oil previously but it was too drying on my cheeks and broke me out. Mineral oil works ok too, but maybe I'm just biased from all the disreputation it has. Besides, coconut oil is edible, so it's fine if it gets in your mouth from overzealous rubbing.
In case you're wondering, I usually pre-cleanse with a makeup remover if I do have makeup on. I just don't like the idea of rubbing the emulsified makeup back into my pores.
Step 2. Exfoliate
After the massaging is done, I jump into the shower. Since my skin is dry, I don't rinse the oil off immediately, but that's just me. Instead, I exfoliate with a good scrub.
|Expensive stuff, probably wouldn't buy it again|
Now, because not all exfoliators work as cleansers, I find that quite abit of oil will still remain on the face. So it is important to wipe off the oil with a hot (or warm) towel until there are no traces of oil left on the skin, as per the original OCM. This has made a huge difference in how many blackheads accummulate on my nose during the week. This is a must especially if you don't plan to cleanse or use a manual exfoliator.
Step 3. Extract
After softening oil clogs and opening pores, it is time to extract. It has always been the case that I take great pleasure in digging out/removing stuff from various orifices and surfaces. Thus, it is no surprise that this is my favourite step. There is so much fulfilment and satisfaction in evacuating gunk from places where it should not be and I take great joy in the process.
|This cheap tool can be bought for less than $2|
Step 4. Clarifying Mask
I know the OCM is supposed to already be deep cleansing, but I needed to use this up anyway. And I found that it probably has helped to lessen my blackheads.
|Any regular clay mask should do|
For those with dry skin, prepping with a hydrating mist or rosewater should help reduce the tight afterfeel. Or if you're like me, go for products suitable for sensitive/dry skin. I have heard good things about Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, which I'm dying to try next.
Step 5. Complete your regular skincare routine
For those who didn't do the hydrating mask in Step 4, you could do this at the end of your routine, depending on what type of mask you use. But since my routine is pretty intensive, I usually skip this. I would like to note, however, that I apply more of my anti-acne products to counter the agitation I've done to my skin during extraction.
|Atorrege AD+ Cool Lotion|
So there you go, your easy at-home facial in under an hour. Would love to know if it works for you too!