Miss the transformative magic of a pro facial? So do we. But self-isolation doesn’t mean that you can’t recreate the exfoliating, massaging, glow-galvanizing benefits of a salon skin session at home. Here, celebrity aesthetician and official Chanel skincare expert Melanie Grant shares her step-by-step strategy for an effective, restorative at-home facial—whether you have 10 minutes or an hour. “The key is to listen to your skin and enjoy the process,” she says. “It shouldn’t feel like a chore. You can do as many or as few steps as feels right for you.”
Step 1: Cleanse—and Cleanse Again
In order to maximize every other step, it’s important to start with ultra-clean skin. Grant recommends beginning with a milk or oil-based cleanser such as Chanel Sublimage L’Huile-en-Gel de Demaquillage or Royal Fern Phytoactive Cleansing Balm. After sweeping away residue with a cloth, go back for a second pass with an active purifying wash to deep-clean pores, such as IS Clinical Cleansing Complex or Cosmedix Purity Clean.
Step 2: Exfoliate
An exfoliating step, whether using an AHA/BHA, an enzymatic formula, or a manual scrub, “removes dead skin to brighten, refresh, and release underlying toxicity,” says Grant. “This will allow actives to penetrate, and promote blood flow for radiance.” Her favorites: Chanel Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille and Odacite Bioactive Rose Gommage.
Step 3: Massage
In addition to activating glow-boosting micro-circulation, facial massage “moves stagnant lymph, eases tension, lifts and tones,” says Grant. It can be as simple as applying your favorite oil and working it into skin with the fingers or with a gua sha tool. “Between two and ten minutes is great,” Grant says. “Focus on upwards sweeping circular motions. Never drag down on the skin, and be sure to use firm consistent pressure.” If you can, now would be the time to incorporate a microcurrent device such as a ZIIP in order to supercharge results.
Step 4: Mask
“Focus on what your skin needs, or mix and match to target a few concerns at once,” Grant suggests. This can mean an oil-absorbing clay mask on your T-zone, a hydrating cream mask on facial contours, and depuffing sheet masks for eyes. But if your medicine cabinet isn’t stocked like Sephora, do not despair. “It’s important to note that your pantry can be your best vanity. Reach for things like full fat Greek yogurt, oats, honey and cacao,” says Grant. “All of these things make incredible face masks.”
Step 5: Add a Serum
You’re in the home stretch. Tap on your daily serum, maximize the post-massage receptivity of your skin by treating it with a targeted brightening serum, or, if you’re prone to sensitivity, take down any post-facial pinkness with a calming solution. Grant’s go-tos include Chanel Sublimage L’Extrait, Augustinus Bader x Victoria Beckham Power Serum, and IS Clinical Pro Heal Serum.
Step 6: Moisturize
Now, lock all that goodness in. If it’s bedtime, a heavier, more occlusive cream might be in order, but morning DIY home facial artistes might want to sweep on a more light-weight, simple formula (Grant loves Chanel La Solution 10, because “it’s clean, gentle, plumping, and hydrating,” and has only ten ingredients). If it is daytime—whether you’re indoors or not—always top with an SPF of 30 or higher (yes, even if you’re just sitting at your computer).