The Secret to a Spa-Worthy Facial

If you’re anything like me, you love a a nice self pampering— via a face mask in the comfort of your own home. You’re also like me if you drool over the spa treatment menu but can’t get yourself (or afford) to shell out $200+ weekly/monthly to indulge in them.

But do you ever feel cheated when you read the instructions and see you only get to soak this bad boy in for 10-12 minutes? I know I do. I want a mask that requires me to relax for as long as possible. If there was a 60 minute mask out there, I’d be all over it. Then it dawned on me… whenever I do convince myself I’ve earned that $250 oxygen facial with a pomegranate mask, they aren’t just using one product, it’s more like 5+!

So my research began. I was determined to replicate the results.

I’ve discovered that using just one face mask may actually be doing you more harm than good. For example, a pore-cleansing clay mask. Did you know that though the clay is clearing out all that gunk (sebum) from your pores, it’s also drying you out? Stealing all of your the good oils and moisture in the process? Yeah, me either. Even if you have naturally oily skin, when you use a product to “correct” the issue by cleansing all of it away, it can send your glands into overdrive, creating… you guessed it— MORE OIL.

There are actually a lot of dos and don’ts I found while searching for answers to a spa-worthy facial… I’ll share a few of those and then get into the good stuff.

  1. Do make it a fresh start: Before you began you’ll want to start with a squeaky clean canvas (face) and wash your hands. Otherwise you risk soaking in makeup with that pomegranate!

  2. Don’t over do it: Face masks have really stepped up their game visually. I know it’s tempting to pile on that shimmery green gel or plaster on a nice thick coat of mud-- but do your wallet a favor and go easy. A super thick layer won’t make it more effective and isn’t beneficial, unless you are using something like BOSCIA Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask… where when the time comes to peel it and you applied too thin a layer it feels like you are ripping off your skin. We can get in to those masks another time though.

  3. Do follow the directions: Ya know how I said I feel cheated when I read that a mask only requires 10 or so minutes to soak in before washing it off… well, they’ve tested this product and there is a darn good reason they are giving you directions! You’ll want to be especially careful with clay/mud or sensitive skin. Don’t let the mud/clay dry all the way if it hasn’t in the instructed time. Do shorten the soak time if you have very sensitive skin and/or things are feeling quite right! We are looking for soft, plump and supple skin, not a rash.

  4. Do tone, serum and moisturize: I always used to wonder when, if at all, I should apply my toner, serum or moisturizer after masking. Well, it’s pretty simple, and I was clearly overthinking things…. You carry on per usual once removing your mask! Once you finish rinsing your mask(s) off you’ll apply your toner, serum  (if you use one), and finish with your moisturize.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Now let’s get to the good stuff… What is the secret to a spa-worthy facial at home? There are three secrets actually!

  1. Start with an exfoliating mask/peel. This will remove dry and rough skin, the texture of the skin will be smoother and brighter and it allows the penetration of products to absorb better into the skin. When shopping for an exfoliating mask look for words like “exfoliating”, “resurfacing” or “peel” in the title or on the label.

  2. Follow with a pore refining mask. These masks will absorb oil, impurities, and environmental pollutants, tighten the skin with claims of shrinking pore— resulting in a clear, refreshed complexion and less visible pores. These masks aren’t always labeled in a way that it’s easy to know you are choosing a pore refining mask... You can look for words like “pore clearing”, “pore refining”, and cleansing” or read the description. Mud and clay masks usually fall into this category.

  3. Finish with a hydrating mask. This will replenish the moisture you’ve sucked out during the previous masks and hydrate your skin as well as further refine those pores. The benefits are endless with hydration— from reducing fine lines and firming to giving you a more even skin tone. These are also easy to spot, look for words like “moisturizing” and “hydrating” in the title or on the label.


There you have it! Adding in your typical routine of toning, applying serum, and moisturizing you have the secrets to a spa-worthy facial in the comfort of your own home. That’s 6 steps of elaborate skin pampering to last at least 30 minutes. You. Are. Welcome. Do yourself a favor and block your calendar for this treatment once a week. You won’t regret it!

TIPS & TRICKS:

Chemical peels are more precise and less irritating than scrub exfoliants.

Dry skin? Opt for mud masks rather than clay masks to avoid dehydrating your skin.

Mud masks also act as an exfoliator!

Clay masks draw out water and oil, making pores appear temporarily smaller.  

Cream masks plump the skin in addition to hydrating!

My current favorites:

Exfoliating masks/peels


Pore refining masks


Hydrating mark







Katie Schroeder