The past few days have a been a little more stressful than usual. A combination of finals for school, taking on a lot of projects for work, and the United States electing Donald Trump as our next president all left me a little more tightly wound than usual. To help myself unwind I’ve been taking my “spa days” rather seriously, as a nice self care step. I will be damned if we elect a racist, homophobic, misogynistic president AND I’m left with bad skin. Here’s a rundown of my spa day, which focuses not only on my face but also my body.
My spa nights are sacred to me, they are how I continue to be a reasonable person and manage my stress levels – they’re a full body experience that ends with me treating every part of my body with a little extra care. A massage with body oils, a sheet mask, a nice candle, all of these things come together to give me almost two hours of wind down time to melt my stress away.
It all begins right before my night time shower. I gather all of my items, line them up in a neat line, put on some music, and find the most comfy pajamas I have.
Shower: Where everything begins. I clean my body and my hair, followed by an oil infused scrub – Aveda’s Beautifying Radiance Polish. It has large pieces of salt that massage into the body and melt down. When using this, I step away from the water and scrub down my entire body before I rinse it off. The best part about this scrub is that the oils don’t washed away, leaving my body nicely hydrated when I step out of the shower. When I’m drying off I pat my body dry so that I don’t wipe off the oil.
Cleaning the face: Immediately after my shower I double cleanse my face and use a hydrating toner. I’m currently using:
- Oil Cleanser: Botanic Farm’s Cleansing Sherbet. This is a solid/balm oil cleanser that melts down once its rubbed into the skin. I love balm oil cleaners because they can’t drip between your fingers.
- Foam Cleanser: CosRX’s Good Morning Gel Cleanser. A gentle cleanser with a low pH. this cleanser foams up a little, and doesn’t leave my skin tight or dry at all.
- Toner: Innisfree’s Green Tea Balancing Skin: A toner that helps to cleanse anything that might be left over after my cleanse, while also providing a nice base layer of hydration.
Sebum Cleanup:Depending on the time of season and how my skin feels, I’ll follow with a clay mask or a BHA exfoliant. Both of them help clean out the gunk in my pores. I let either sit on my face for 15-20 minutes.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid: BHA’s are great because they penetrate the lining of your pores and clean them from the inside. Besides their blackhead busting power, BHA’s are also great for preventing future breakouts.
- Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: The standard clay mask that soaks up excess sebum build up. This one gets points for not drying out super fast, which can be abrasive to the skin.
Show the scalp and hair some love: As my BHA/clay mask is doing its thing, I turn my attention to my scalp. Much like the skin on my face, my scalp is on the dry side. To keep it nourished and flake free, I use a scalp serum. I really like the Kerastase Initialiste serum – it’s lightweight and has been adding a nice subtle glow to my hair. If my hair is feeling REALLY dry, Kerastase also has a hair oil that drenches my hair in goodness, leaving it feeling so soft that my face gets jealous.
Continue Skin Routine: If I’m clay masking, I rinse it off. If BHA, I move on to my next step. On nights like these I like to keep my serums pretty simple. I’ll typically use:
- CosRX Snail Mucin Power Essence: Snail is the closest to an all-kill I have. It leaves my skin soft, plump, smooth, reduces inflammation and hydrates. Bae ❤
- The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide serum: Niacinamide is a great ingredient that all around helps to promote a healthy skin barrier. It helps to reduce signs of photoaging and hyper pigmentation. I write more about why I like niacinamide here
- Tosowoong Propolis Sparkling Ampoule: This is what I attribute to giving me “the glow.” My skin drinks this in and it gives my dull face a nice lively boost while adding another layer of weightless hydration for my dry skin.
Sheet mask!: I have my everyday sheet mask, and then I have my special occasion sheet mask. The reason I tend to not use many serums on my spa nights is because I’ll use one of my ~fancy~ sheet mask.. Lately I’ve been really liking L’herboflore, their mask are thin and have a great selection of flavors that leave my skin bright, hydrated, and plump.
Body Care: While my sheet mask is on I take care of my body. By now, the oil from my body scrub has set in, so I pick something to really lock in that moisture. Depending on how dry my skin is, which is usually linked to the seasons, I’ll go for either a lotion or more oil. Most of my body care is Aveda, they make a great line of body oils in a variety of scents. I’ve been favoring the Blue Oil because it is mentholated and has what I call a “slow burn” – it slightly tingles over a long time, giving a nice muscle relaxing effect. It also leaves my skin soft thanks to the inclusion of jojoba oil. For the summer seasons, I’m really liking Tony Moly’s Pure Eco Snail Moisture Gel. It’s snailtastic, at 90% snail mucin, and super light on the body. This is a perfect summer moisturizer if you live in an area that has humid summers, like I do, and can’t stand feeling lotion on your body.
Heavy Cream: After my sheet mask has done its job, I remove it and massage the leftover essence into my face and wait for it all to absorb. I’ve been really favoring Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve cream. It’s intensely hydrating without being heavy. It also smells like cucumbers, which has always been a relaxing scent for me. My skin is kept hydrated and I never wake up to flaky skin thanks to this cream.
Sleeping Pack: Because I just spoiled my skin with one of my ~special~ sheet mask, I like to lock everything in with an occlusive sleeping pack. I’ve been using the tried and true Laneige sleeping mask to create a lightweight seal.
Foam roller: This foam roller is intense. It has huge knots that really dig into any stiff muscles. My upper body and back tend to always be tense, probably because I sit and stand like a caveman, so this in tandem with the tingle of the Blue Oil really helps my muscles to relax.
And I’m done! I do all of this while watching Netflix or Youtube to pass the time, and it’s such a great lead up to crawling into bed. Self care is very important, and I feel like those of us involved in skin care treat it as form of self care. Slap on that sheet mask and start relaxing!