1. Soothing facial
Raid the kitchen for a homemade masque recipe that boasts skin-calming and rehydrating properties (and talk about a bargain!).
Best for: sensitive skin. Chilly temperatures bring dry air, making sensitive skin more prone to irritation.
Time needed: 45 minutes, including prep time
Prepare masque by combining two tablespoons (30 mL) of peeled, pitted and mashed ripe avocado (to moisturize and soften), one teaspoon (5 mL) each of honey (a natural antibacterial) and plain full-fat yogurt (a source of skin-smoothing lactic acid), plus 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of lemon juice (an astringent). Combine in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes before applying.
Next, wash face with a fragrance- and soap-free cleanser.
Smooth on a thin layer of the chilled masque, then relax for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Splash face with cooled, brewed green tea’which has antioxidant properties’and pat face dry.
Moisturize and nourish your face with a vitamin E capsule; you can open it by squeezing between your fingers. (But be aware that some people are allergic to vitamin E, points out Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a dermatologist in Toronto.)
2. Revitalizing facial
Tap into the latest technology in skin care with products that feature leading-edge ingredients. The prices of some may seem high, but compared to a professional facial they may save you money in the long run, since they are good for multiple treatments.
Best for: skin showing signs of aging. DNA damage from years of exposure to sun and pollution manifests in lines, wrinkles and age spots.
Time needed: 10 minutes
Wash face with a cleanser that contains vitamin C to enhance radiance. Try L’Oréal Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser. ($13, 150 mL)
Use a specialty treatment product such as Dermaglow’s dermaDNA Advanced Cellular Repair, which is designed to undo DNA damage by stimulating skin cells with enzymes to produce collagen and elastin, two important elements that help give skin a youthful appearance. ($120, 30 mL)
Protect and moisturize with your favourite SPF moisturizer. Dermaglow’s dermaSPF (choose 15, 30 or 45) contains antioxidants vitamins E and C and pomegranate extract. ($50, 50 mL)
3. Skin-brightening facial
Many microdermabrasion kits feature ‘at-home’ versions of fine crystal exfoliants used in dermatologists’ offices, and at a D.I.Y. price. Exfoliation helps to improve skin by removing the dead skin cells (cell turnover is a natural process that slows as we age).
Best for: uneven, dull complexions. Follow manufacturer’s directions. If your skin is very sensitive, ask your doctor whether exfoliation is right for you. Some to try include NeoStrata (described below), Yves Rocher Serum Végétal Microdermabrasion Kit with battery-powered applicator brush ($99) and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator (includes a massaging applicator and 12 disposable puffs that exfoliate with ultra-fine crystals, $40).
Time needed: 5 minutes
Try NeoStrata Skin Resurfacing Duo (Crystals exfoliating cream, 50 mL, and Activator, 100 mL; $70 for the kit). NeoStrata cleanser and night cream (not part of kit) boost the benefits.
Cleanse face and remove eye makeup with NeoStrata Multi-Activ Milk Cleanser. ($25, 150 mL)
Massage a dime-sized amount of the ultra-fine crystals onto the face to buff away dead skin cells. Don’t rinse.
Rub a quarter-sized amount of the activator gently over the face (avoiding eyes). This dissolves the crystals, which will help diminish pore size and fine lines. After two minutes, rinse skin well with water.
Finish with NeoStrata Night Repair Cream ($31, 50 mL), with 6% AHA and magnalys (a natural extract rich in vitamins and amino acids) to help smooth skin and promote elasticity.