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        Louise Whitbread
        Tuesday 04 August 2020 08:02
        Treat yourself to a facial with these expert-recommended products and tools
        Treat yourself to a facial with these expert-recommended products and tools(iStock)

        Lockdown has taken its toll on our beauty routines. From ditching the makeup products to barely brushing our hair some days, a stripped-back approach has been embraced.

        Our skin has taken a hit too. Dr Susan Mayou, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic, previously spoke to The Independent about why many people have seen an increase in dryness and spots.

        “Stress is a recognised trigger for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, so it’s unsurprising that more people are reporting breakouts at this uncertain and very stressful time,” she says, adding that mindfulness, meditation and exercise are all great ways to relax and refocus.

        Pre lockdown, you might have booked in a facial, where an expert can personalise treatments for you and identify what your skin needs.

        However as we slowly emerge from lockdown and hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and art galleries have reopened, many beauty salons have not been permitted to.

        Close contact services which include everything from face waxing, sugaring or threading services, facial treatments, advanced facial technicals (electrical or mechanical), eyelash treatments, make-up application, dermarolling, dermaplaning, microblading, electrolysis on the face and eyebrow treatments, were initially given the green light to open on 1 August but the day before, the prime minister announced this would be postponed to 15 August in a bid to keep the number of coronavirus cases under control.

        It's a decision that has been described as sexist as while only treatments below the neck are permitted, beard trims are allowed. Especially as many beauty salons already practice hygiene, cleanliness, preparation and sterilisation.

        On 3 August, the British Beauty Council, British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, beauty experts and influencers launched Beauty Backed, an initiative to raise funds and support for the many businesses and people impacted by the lockdown restrictions.

        While we continue to wait for salons to reopen, you can also book a virtual consultation with aestheticians and skincare brands, some free and some fee-paying, so you can put your questions to the experts.

        But for a little TLC in your own bathroom, give yourself an at-home facial using a selection of expert-approved products and tools.

        You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.


        Whether you’re wearing make-up or are bare-faced, to begin with, a cleanser is the first step. Pfeffer advocates using two, an oil cleanser first to dissolve debris from the day including makeup, SPF, or excess oil on the skin.

        “The second cleanse will really clean the skin so it’s a blank canvas for your products to follow,” she says.

        For a brightening agent in your cleanser, the Super Facialist Vitamin C + brighten skin renew cleansing oil (Feel Unique, ?7.30) is superb for a dose of vitamin C that’s inexpensive yet feels a lot more luxurious than the price tag suggests.

        This vitamin C infused cleansing oil leaves skin silky soft, brighter and smoother(Feel Unique)

        Apply to dry skin and remove using a warm flannel or reusable cotton pad.

        Opt for lightweight formulas for a second cleanse, such as this gel texture(Pfeffer Sal)

        She recommends using the Botane whipped cleanser (Pfeffer Sal, ?54) for the second cleanse, a lightweight gel texture that will suit sensitive or congested skin.


        Show all 6


        To round off your facial, apply oil and massage into the skin, which according to Pfeffer helps remove toxins, release tension and boost circulation to leave with a glowing complexion.

        The Elemis superfood facial oil (Elemis, ?45) came top in our IndyBest review of face oils. It is rich in antioxidants, flaxseed, carrot, rosemary and nut oils that will leave you with plump and glowy skin come morning and is perfect for an evening facial.

        The Elemis superfood facial oil will leave you with plump, glowy and radiant skin the next day (Elemis)

        Bolder recommends squeezing five to six drops onto your palms and rub together to warm the oil. “Bending your fingers on both hands, using your index and middle finger knuckles pinch your jaw and slide outwards from the chin to behind the ear 30 times each side using a firm pressure.”

        Then she says, place your palms over your cheekbone starting at the nose, sweep the heel of your hand outwards and upwards (underneath the cheekbone) towards the ears using a firm pressure to lift the cheek. Repeat this six times on each side.

        “Slide up to the forehead, again using your palms one at a time to work from the centre and glide outwards to the temple applying a firm pressure to stretch the forehead, repeat this 30 times,” she says.

        To finish, she advises to bring your hands back down to your cheekbones, make a fist and place your finger knuckles directly underneath your cheekbones and lean down onto your hands pressing deeply inwards and upwards. “Hold for 10 seconds then repeat six times.


        Once you've treated and massaged skin, apply a luxurious lip balm before you head to bed, as a treat and to keep dry, chapped lips at bay.

        We’d recommend the new Huda Beauty silk balm (Cult Beauty, ?18) which is packaged in a lip-gloss style tube with a doe-foot applicator.

        This lip balm gives a glossy, hydrating finish - the perfect last step of an indulgent at-home facial(Cult Beauty)

        It saves you from getting sticky fingers as you would with a salve in a pot, and has a blush pink sheer tint which leaves a gloss-like shine without the stickiness.

        The soybean and liquorice extract enriched formulas will keep your lips looking and feeling smooth until morning.

        IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.