WEEKEND BEAUTY RITUAL
Doesn’t it often seem like the weekend goes by twice as fast as the work week? Before you know it, Monday has rolled around again and you feel as if you had barely time to take a breath, let alone relax. We often get so anxious about Sunday coming to a close that instead of enjoying the free time we still have, we get stressed about time that has already past and, guess what, will never come back.
Instead of fretting about something that cannot be changed, why not use the time you have for a simple at-home beauty ritual? I personally love ending my weekend this way, as it helps me shift my focus (and potential worries) away from what is yet to come on to the present moment. Does it always work? Of course not, I am only human, but even if my mind refuses to relax, at least my body and face are glowing!
So, this weekend, switch off your phone for an hour or so and be inspired by the steps below to create your own, unique beauty ritual.
Start Off Right
The first thing I recommend you do when you start your self-care ritual has actually nothing to do with beauty but with mindset. Instead of viewing the ritual as another thing to tick off your (probably already) full weekend to-do list, really allow yourself to savour this time for yourself and be present. Self-care does not equate to self-indulgence - it means respecting and valuing your body and mind and taking care of it, whatever form that takes for you.
For an extra “Spa” start to the ritual, warm a few drops of essential oils in your palms (de Mamiel’s Soothe is lovely ), hold your cupped hands over your face, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
In order for the successive products to work at their best, it is vital to begin with a clean face. You wouldn’t want to waste an expensive serum on a dirty face now, would you? I advocate for double-cleansing, meaning using an oil-based cleanser first (oil cuts through oil, SPF, make-up and all the other grime that has accumulated throughout the day), followed by a gentle water-based cleanser to remove any remaining impurities.
Face flannel (washcloth), hands
Apply the oil-based cleanser on dry skin, gently massaging the product over the face. Remove with a warm, wet face flannel. Follow with the water-base cleanser, again gently massaging. Rinse off or use a wet flannel again.
I love to spritz or pat my face with a hydrating toner or essence between each step of the ritual. It adds some extra hydration and immediately transports me into “spa mode”. When I was in Korea last autumn, I had an amazing facial at the SEAMARQ Hotel in Gangneung and the therapist there did a LOT of layering between the treatment steps.
Spritz and/or pat your favourite hydrating toner/essence over skin. Repeat if desired. If my skin is super dehydrated, I love to do the Korean seven skin method (Renée aka Gothamista, one of my skin care heroins, explains it here, together with Sarah Lee from Glowrecipe)
This particular step has been really transformative in my personal skin care routine. It has helped with skin texture, fading spot marks and overall skin health. I prefer to use acids for exfoliation (I usually have a few different ones on rotation). If you are drawn towards manual exfoliators make sure you stick to a gentle version and don’t overdo the application process. Excessive “scrubbing” can tear your skin and in my opinion is especially counterproductive on problem or acne-prone skin.
If you are new to acids, start off with a gentle version 1-2 times a week and see how your skin feels before moving on to stronger formulations (if at all). As far as manual exfoliators are concerned, I personally wouldn’t use them more than 2 times per week.
Cotton pads/gauze, hands
Acids: Douse a cotton pad or gauze with the acid and swipe over face (I would avoid the eye area if you have sensitive eyes) and neck. If you are using pre-soaked pads, half the work is already done for you!
Manual: read the instructions on the packaging, of course, but in general, using your fingertips, gently massage over face and neck (again, avoid the eye area if you are sensitive and don’t tug excessively on your skin), rinse or flannel off.
Manual Exfoliators: Origins Never A Dull Moment Skin-Brightening Face Polisher, Pixi Beauty Peel & Polish, May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt, Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm
Nothing conjurs up “Spa” as much as a facial mask, I think. It is also an effective way to target a certain skin concern and at the same time get the benefit of more immediate results. I usually mask 1-2 times per week. During the week, I pick something clarifying with a clay or charcoal base or a sheet mask. For weekend rituals, I like to use something more hydrating, plumbing or brightening.
It obviously depends on the type of mask you are using. Sheet masks are easy and mess free (don’t throw away the packaging! There is usually a lot of essence still left in there which you can use later or on your hands, see extra tip below). For masks that come in pots, I prefer to use a little spatula to scoop out the product for hygienic reasons and then spread it with my fingers. Masks that come in tubes go straight onto (clean!) fingers. Removing the mask again depends on the type you are using. Sheet masks are pretty self-explanatory. Some masks can simply be washed or flanneld off, with others, you can massage the remaining product into the skin, doubling it up as a moisturiser. As always, check the instructions that come with the product.
Since a mask usually needs to be left one for at least 10 minutes, this is the perfect time for some extra TLC. I make myself comfortable on the sofa, either just listening to music (when was the last time you consciously listened to a piece of music?), some brain.fm or watching/listening to an ASMR video. Alternatively, I take this time to treat my hands with some rich cream or the left-over serum of a sheet mask (see above).
Now that your skin has been thoroughly pampered, seal in all the goodness from the previous steps with a serum, moisturiser and/or oil. If my skin was in a really bad state, I would probably use all three but it really depends on your skin type and condition your skin is in at that particular time. If I could only invest in one product, it would be a serum because it usually uses higher performing ingredients and, as with the masks, if you have a few on rotation, you can be very targeted about what skin concern you would like to address.
Serum: put a couple of drops on your fingertips and apply directly to your face. You don’t want to be wasting all the goodness by needlessly spreading the serum in your hands first.
Moisturiser: apply a couple of dots of cream on your face and gently massage in. Less is more, you can always go heavier if you feel your skin needs it or apply some oil beforehand.
Oil: as with the serum. Applying facial oil is also a really great time for a short facial massage. I do Suqqu’s GANKIN Massage every evening (with my cleansing oil) and it really helps with lymphatic drainage and facial contouring. Hands are the best tools for massaging the face but you could also use a Gua Sha or jade roller.
We hope you give this weekend at-home ritual a try! Here’s to glowing skin and a relaxed mind!
My skin type: combination, dehydrated
My skin concerns: hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, hormonal spots