There’s nothing like a good self-care session on the weekend to take the edge off a busy work week. Whether your routine is more centred around relaxation (like taking a long bath or dry brushing), or dedicated to prepping your face for a busy night ahead, the ritual of slowing down and focusing on yourself is an important time out. This Sunday morning routine is my favourite thing to do on waking up—it sets the tone for the week ahead, readying my skin for the early mornings, rushed nights and incessant makeup requirements of the coming week. The best part? It’s quick, easy to do, and you’ll feel so accomplished when you’re done. So, sip on some cucumber water and make these six steps a part of your Sunday skincare regimen to achieve that perfect lit-from-within glow.
My six-step at-home facial for radiant, luminous skin
First, I ice my face
If you have woken up with puffy eyes and face, fold a thin napkin over a few cubes of ice and dampen it with some water. Dab it on your face for five to 10 mins—the best way to do this is to make outward rolling motions as you massage your face. Due to the cold temperature, ice is able to sooth irritation and inflammation, which is important for those with redness-prone or puffy skin. Since cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, they lead to a shrinking effect on the appearance of pores. Let your face rest for another 10 mins before the next step.
Then, I cleanse
After icing, I cleanse my face. Use a dollop of your favourite cleanser and massage onto damp skin for a minute to dislodge all traces of grime, oil or last night’s skincare products left on the skin surface. In the morning, wash with a gentle cleanser that won’t rock the boat too much. If your skin already feels dry in the morning, just water or a swipe of toner will suffice. A good rule of thumb to know if you need to wash with water over a cleanser in the morning is to note if your face feels tight. If it does, skip the suds.
It’s time to steam
If you have a steamer, there’s nothing like it. But if you need to go the DIY route, there’s two things you can do. I usually put a towel over my head and hold my face over a pot of steaming hot water. Breathe in and out for five minutes to let the steam work its magic. Steam helps to dilate pores, and softens the sebum lodged inside. Plus, the heat leaves skin with a rosy glow almost immediately. This step improves the benefits of the next one—exfoliation.
Don’t forget to exfoliate
This cannot be skipped, especially if you have dull or dry skin. Dull skin is caused due to a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface, which don’t reflect light and lay dormant on the upper layers of the skin. If you want to take the physical scrub route, you can make one at home depending on your skin type. I like using orange peels, crushed walnuts or almonds to slough off the dead skin, especially when mixed with a soothing hydrator like olive oil or honey. I apply the scrub on my face, leave it on for five minutes and then scrub around my nose and chin, and in an upward motion from my cheeks to the temples. I massage it in for 10 minutes and rinse my face with cold water. This leaves my skin feeling soft to the touch and radiant. If you want to use a chemical exfoliator like an acid instead of a physical scrub, this would be a good time to implement the step.
Luxuriate in a face pack
Now, the fresh skin cells are ready to receive ingredients to sooth, brighten and hydrate. I like using a face pack and leaving it on for 20 minutes till it feels tacky to the touch. I usually choose a sandalwood, charcoal or dead sea pack. Packs with charcoal, muds or clays (like those with multani mitti) will further exfoliate the skin while tightening it. These masks will fight excess grease and congested pores. Once it feels dry, I gently rinse the pack off my face using circular motions. It is best to do this in the shower and wash your hair right after, because the face mask inevitably reaches my hair at the edges.
Finish with a sheet mask
After exfoliating, mattifying, tightening and detoxing, the skin can feel slightly raw. I like to finish with a hydrating sheet mask that puts moisture and balancing fatty acids back into the skin. I leave this on for 20 minutes (while I watch Netflix) and then take it off. In case you don’t know which sheet masks works best, our edit of the best budget-friendly sheet masks will get you started.