It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I don’t know about you, but this year’s brutal winter has been giving me major Eeyore vibes. Lately, I’ve been feeling sluggish, tired, and sulky.
Not only has this bleak weather been affecting my mood, it’s also been giving me dull, dry, and lifeless skin. I am, unfortunately, afflicted with a resting bitch face. There is no way I’m dealing with dry and dull resting bitch face. Nope, this bitch face will glow.
Although I am very thankful to my weekly flash-deal subscriptions, $60 facials just don’t seem like a bargain to me, especially when it’s something I’d like to afford to do on a consistent basis. Drugstore products aren’t much help either because most of them contain ingredients that irritate my skin and/or are overpriced. I’m in dire need of a regular skin-care routine that won’t break the bank or my skin.
I did some digging on the Internet for some easy and effective at-home remedies for dry and dull skin; of course, all the YouTube gurus and Pinterest goddesses had amazing skin-care recipes that included a laundry list of shit I don’t have. Who even buys aloe vera juice? Like, how is that a common item to have in your fridge? I can be a bit lazy when it comes to beauty regimens; I like remedies that are fast, easy, and don’t require me to make a trip to Whole Foods.
So I thought, What is something natural, pure, and accessible right now? Water! We shower with it, we clean all of our produce with it, we drink it — water is the source of all things perfect. Water is bae. I never imagined I would resort to something so simple, but it’s true: You can get an amazing facial using water.
The water-facial routine I am about to share with you includes no obscure or hard-to-find ingredients. It’s something you can immediately do right after reading this article. Of course, none of the steps included are anything new, but it’s amazing to find simple remedies and puzzle-piece them together for great results. I just applied my previous knowledge to some other cool water-based beauty tricks I’ve heard about to create this three-step process.
What You’ll Need:
- 3–4 cups of boiling water
- 2–3 ice cubes
- ½ cup of regular tap water
- ½ lemon OR 2–3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- Herbal tea (optional)
- A large bowl
- A large T-shirt or towel
- A small cloth or block of paper towel
- Cotton balls
- A small towel
Prep: Wash your face with your gentle cleanser of choice. It’s important to have a fresh, clean face before performing this facial. This three-step regimen includes a facial steam that will open up your pores, so an unclean face may cause irritation. Pat dry with a clean towel.
Step One: The Steam
I first discovered the magic of steaming after a horrible fake-eyelash episode. (Long story short, steam is the best way to remove a stubborn fake lash.) Pour 3–4 cups of boiling water into a large bowl. Grab your large T-shirt or large towel to drape over your head as you close your eyes and hover over the bowl. Allow the shirt or towel to trap in the steam. This is best done at a desk or dining table for obvious reasons.
If this is your first time steaming your face, you may feel a bit suffocated. It’s fine to peep out of your personal sauna for some air until you get comfortable. The steam portion takes the most time out of this three-step routine; you should steam for 7–10 minutes. You should also keep at a safe distance from the water; you should feel steamed not burned.
If you really want to get your spa on, add some essential oils like lavender or mint to your water. After the steam, rinse your face with cold water. (You may also apply a facial mask of your choice before rinsing if you’d like.)
Benefits: The heat stimulates blood circulation, bringing a vibrant color to dull skin. The steam also opens your pores and increases perspiration, which helps extract dead-skin cells, bacteria, and other stuff that causes breakouts. This step is like a reset button for your face, as whatever you apply to your skin afterwards will be better absorbed.
Step Two: The Ice
That splash of cold water leads us to the next step: ice-cubing. Simply take two or three ice cubes and massage your entire face with them. To avoid damaging the small capillaries under the skin, it is advisable to encase the ice cubes in a paper towel or cloth, rather than applying them directly to your face. Personally, I prefer the ice-to-bare-skin method, but I massage with caution, especially around the eyes. Allow your skin to dry naturally.
Benefits: The ice-cube facial has become a bit of a thing lately. Tia Mowry attributes her beautiful, glowy skin to green tea ice cubes. No offense, sister, but you don’t need to use tea to get equally glowy results. Sure, the almighty green tea has added benefits, but the magic is all in the temperature. Ice cubes hydrate dry skin, and tighten and minimizes pores, for a flawless and smooth look. My favorite benefit is that they reduce swelling and puffiness around the eyes. The coldness also helps promote blood circulation, bringing life back into that pretty little face of yours.
Step Three: The DIY Astringent
This step requires a little creativity. Half a cup of water and a squeeze of half a lemon — which I know is controversial, so you can also use a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar if you are anti-lemon-on-skin — is all you really need for a great astringent. I also had one obscure ingredient in my pantry that I just had to use: hyssop tea. You can replace the ½ cup of water with any herbal tea; just research what produces the benefits you desire.
Apply your astringent with a cotton ball and allow your face to air-dry. Once your face is dry, apply your moisturizer of choice. Bottle up your elixir and store it in a cool dry place for up to 10 days (or longer depending on your ingredients).
Benefits: Lemon is believed to brighten dull skin and reduce redness; it also further tightens your pores and adds some extra cleansing to your skin. Apple cider vinegar balances your skin’s pH level and helps even out skin tone. I used hyssop tea because it’s antibacterial, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and promotes a clear complexion.
When I did this three-step facial for the first time, I was amazed! My skin felt energized, awake, and fresh. I even got compliments on my glowy resting bitch face.
I try to do this facial at least once a week. When I’m short on time, I just steam my face while taking a hot shower and then splash on some ice-cold water before moisturizing. Who knew something so ordinary like water could solve even the most annoying beauty woes?
All steps mentioned above are totally adjustable. Try using natural fruit-juice cubes instead of regular ice cubes. Create your astringent using witch hazel. The options are endless. Basically, don’t spend money on beauty products when Mother Earth is giving out incredible treatments for free.