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6 Fabulous At-Home Facials

Get a pro-inspired glow from home.
Photo: Shutterstock

When it comes to my favorite type of spa service, facials always come out on top. I love a good massage or body treatment, but nothing makes me happier than a wonderful facial. I’m never more confident than when I depart a spa with a gorgeous post-skincare service glow. Plus, working as a spa and wellness editor for the last 15-plus years has given me access to some of the most incredible facials and facialists on the planet, something for which my skin and I are eternally grateful. So, the fact that I have not had a facial for almost a year (thanks, COVID) has been a huge personal bummer. While nothing will replace the gifted hands of a talented esthetician, I decided to embark on a mission to bring at least some of the benefits of professional skincare home and try my hand at a few at-home facials. Lucky for me, some of my favorite skincare brands have recognized that many of their clients are in the same boat and have gotten creative by coming up with incredible, easy-to-use kits with relatively dummy-proof instructions to bring the spa skincare experience home. Several of them even offer virtual access to skincare pros to make the process even easier. Believe me, my skills can’t hold a candle to the incredible estheticians who I have worked with in the past. I’m counting the minutes until I can return to the spa and let the professionals take over. But in the meantime, here are some pretty amazing alternatives.

Eminence
What We Love
  • Gentle enzyme exfoliant offered just the right amount of scrub without feeling harsh
  • Arctic Berry blend (cloudberry seed, Arctic roseroot, Arctic meadowsweet, and juniper sprouts) feels particularly perfect for wintertime skincare regimens
  • Enticing fragrance and texture
Featured Products
  • Arctic Berry Enzyme Exfoliant
  • Arctic Berry Advanced Peel Activator MA10
  • Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream

I’ve long been a fan of Eminence products and find their professional services to always offer excellent results. I also love how thoughtful their formulations are and enjoy the creative and effective use of natural ingredients. Unsurprisingly, this three-product kit did not disappoint. The simple three-step routine—Exfoliate, Activate, Illuminate—was easy to follow, and I liked being able to ramp up the power of the peel with a second dropperful of the peel activator following the first face massage.

Immunocologie Facial
What We Love
  • Access to the brand founder for a personalized video consultation and guided facial
  • A chance to try all of the company’s hero products, a favorite of which is the Super 7 Elixir made with the buzzy (and wildly effective) ingredient snail mucin
  • Beyond the facial, the Oxygen Treatment Crème is a great overnight treatment a few times a week to wake up with a brighter, more even complexion
Featured Products
  • Cleansing Lotion
  • Ionic Mist
  • Vital Clay Mask
  • Oxygen Treatment Crème
  • Super 7 Elixir
  • Night Protection

As a consultant to the brand, I’ve had the pleasure of actually receiving a pre-COVID, in-person facial from Immunocologie founder Karen Ballou, and I can assure you she knows her stuff. In fact, she is a master esthetician with a flair for finding exactly what your skin needs. So, having her personally walk you through the elements of this facial is a true treat. The kit includes sample sizes of everything you need to do a complete home facial, as well as some enticing extras that you will find yourself using beyond the facial experience. Plus, after hearing Karen share the story of the brand and delve into the “why” behind the products, you will want to immediately stock up. Good thing this kit also includes a one-time code for 20 percent off your next purchase.

Kerstin Florian
What We Love
  • Full-sized products allow this kit to last through many home facials.
  • The deeply nourishing one-two punch of the algae mask and the Super Crème is powerful enough to battle even the most dehydrated winter skin.
  • Keeping the professional market in mind, this kit is only available through Kerstin Florian brand partners
Featured Products
  • Rejuvenating Cleansing Gel
  • Clarifying Probiotic Mineral Tonic
  • Rehydrating Algae Gel Masque
  • ANDA Super Crème
  • Correcting Brightening Eye Crème

Kerstin Florian has created a kit that helps clients perform a facial at home with five full-sized hero products that are used in the treatment room. It’s part of several kits the brand created to encourage “self-care anywhere.” To help support their partners navigating the pandemic, this kit is only available at participating spas and retailers.

Monastery_Kit2-mobile_640x640_crop_center
What We Love
  • Amazing texture and intoxicating fragrance from the cleansing oil and serum
  • 10% glycolic leaves skin clear and bright, but the rose water base keeps it from feeling too harsh
  • Heavenly botanical oil serum provides the perfect hydrating conclusion to the home facial experience.
Featured Products
  • Rose Cleansing Oil
  • XX Rose Glycolic Gel
  • Gold Botanical Oil Serum

This facial was born in the Monastery Skincare Studio in San Francisco and is the brainchild of esthetician and brand formulator and founder Athena Hewett. Along with the three hero products that are part of the facial, it also comes with two one-time-use masks that are used exclusively in the treatment room as well as a 45-minute Zoom facial consultation to guide clients through the steps of the Signature Facial as well as discuss the best use for the products. A particular highlight for me was the glycolic, which was gentle enough to leave on as an overnight mask.

PCA
What We Love
  • The Detoxifying Mask was incredibly effective at removing impurities—the pores on my nose virtually disappeared after one application
  • The Enzymatic Treatment was gentle yet effective, making it an ideal solution for newbie at-home facialists
  • The post-peel glow lasted for days
Featured Products
  • Facial Wash
  • Hydrating Toner
  • Detoxifying Mask
  • Enzymatic Treatment
  • Rejuvenating Serum
  • Rebalance
  • Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

Due to the sensitivity of my skin, I tend to reserve peels for the pros who can select an option that won’t turn me into a tomato for several hours post-facial. So, knowing the power of PCA peels in the treatment room, I was a little nervous to give this a try at home. I needn’t have worried. This carefully concocted kit, which is available for purchase only through a PCA pro and was developed by skincare professionals, is an excellent first-time treatment for those looking for professional-grade, visible results at home. This peel was gentle, yet effective, resulting in a brighter complexion and rejuvenated skin. And the handy Protocol Booklet made following the steps simple. My skintone was noticeably improved and more radiant.

Skin Authority Facial Club: Keep Calm Mask on Kit ($49 for members, $89 for non-members)

Skin Authority
What We Love
  • The creative multi-masking combo of a calming and rejuvenating mask is perfect for combination skin
  • The Fear Free peel was extremely gentle yet quite effective
  • The Facial Club concept is a brilliant way to keep up a quality skincare routine and build a community with like-minded skincare lovers
Featured Products
  • Fear Free Peel
  • Calming Mask
  • Rejuvenating Mask
  • VitaD Fortified Topical Elixir
  • Daily Defense Moisturizer (SPF 30)

This soothing self-guided session works to immediately improve skin texture and pore refinement while deeply hydrating the skin. Following a quick and effective leave-on peel, the focal point of this facial is a double clay-masking experience, which incorporates the Calming Mask with clarifying eucalyptus sulfur and the Rejuvenating Mask with sea-based ingredients for deep hydration. There are also many ways to tap into the company’s professional skincare gurus to ensure a great treatment, including one-on-one video consultations, social media facial parties with friends led by a skin coach, group facials, and more. Those who sign up for Skin Authority’s innovative Facial Club receive a kit every other month as well as access to ongoing skincare education via a video coaching library or live access Master classes conducted by their coaches monthly. Bonus: enrollment in the Facial Club Pro Treatment Membership includes the first kit for free.

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.