You know those people who never wash their face, eat whatever they like, and have never so much as touched a tube of sunscreen, yet their skin still looks amazing all. the. time? Why does life have to be so unfair?
I wish gorgeous skin was a given, but some of us have to try harder (a lot harder) than others to get radiant skin – and I’m definitely one of those people. I would get a full-on spa facial everyday if I could, but with two businesses, a family and lots of fur babies begging for attention, I rarely get an afternoon off for a trip to the spa.
Instead, I’ve mastered the art of the DIY oxygen facial. Not your basic 15-minute face mask routine, this 5-step facial helps infuse your skin with oxygen, making you look fresh, well-rested and totally reinvigorated—all from the comfort of your bathroom.
How to DIY an Oxygen Facial
When performed at a spa, oxygen facials use a fancy machine to deliver a pressurized stream of oxygen and soothing ingredients directly into the upper layers of the skin. The topical lotions and potions applied prior to the treatment are usually tailored to each person, but things like moisturizer, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides are the go-tos at most salons and spas because these ingredients benefit all skin types.
Rejuvenating oxygen and nourishing ingredients are said to make skin look plump and radiant, diminishing the look of fine lines, balancing skin tone and calming acne. And like most salon beauty treatments, this one can be pretty pricey, which is why it pays to do it yourself at home.
Even without a fancy machine, you can still get some of the benefits at home by following the same basic steps: opening pores, infusing your skin with oxygen, applying vitamins and boosting circulation. Like any DIY beauty treatment, the results aren’t going to be as drastic as a visit to the spa—so don’t expect to suddenly look 10 years younger afterwards.
But an at-home oxygen facial will help give you that fresh, rosy glow you’d get from the high-powered tools in less time and for less money. Here’s how to do it.
1. Cleanse skin
First, with an organic oil (sweet almond is always a favorite) to get rid of dirt and makeup. Next, with a gentle foaming cleanser to make sure my skin is squeaky clean.
2. Steam pores
There are a lot of benefits of steam when it comes to healthy, vibrant skin. Not only does steaming open pores so nutrients can sink in, but it also blankets the face in extra oxygen (a component of good ol’ H2O).
Plus, it cleanses pores, removes toxins, promotes relaxation and enhances circulation. It should be noted that increased circulation helps boost oxygen in the skin from inside the body by bringing oxygen-rich blood to the skin’s surface. It also gives you that rosy, baby-faced glow that makes facials so popular.
If you don’t own a facial steam machine, just grab a large bowl, a towel and about 5 cups of boiling water. You can also grab some essential oils, like lavender or chamomile, and some dried flower petals if you like, but it’s not necessary.
Pour the water in the bowl, add your oils and petals, place the towel over your head and lean over the bowl. With your head about 12 inches above the water (be sure you’re far enough away to not get burned by the steam) and the towel trapping the steam over the bowl, let the steam blanket your face for 15 minutes.
3. Apply a nutrient-rich face mask
With blood flow increased and pores open, now is the perfect time to apply nutrients in the form of a face mask. You can use any mask you like, but I use a simple homemade mask with bentonite clay, rose water, finely ground oatmeal and a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide.
Like the name suggests, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is loaded with oxygen which then sinks in and boosts oxygen levels in the skin. It can be a little harsh when applied directly, but a drop or two mixed with other nourishing ingredients can enable you to reap the benefits of extra oxygen without the irritation. More isn’t better in this case, and it can actually be harmful.
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
- 1 tablespoon finely ground oats
- 2 drops hydrogen peroxide
- 2-3 drops rosehip, chamomile, or carrotseed essential oil (see this guide for the best essential oils for your skin type)
- Rose water as needed to get the preferred consistency
- Small bowl
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon (avoid using metal with clay). I had trouble getting my particular brand of bentonite clay to blend well, so I mixed everything in a small blender until I got a smooth consistency. Apply liberally to skin.
Not ready to DIY? Try Dr. Brandt Skincare Skin Care Oxygen Facial Flash Recovery Mask or this Triple Oxygen Bubble Mask
4. Seal mask with warm compress
With the mask still on, place a warm, damp washcloth or towel over your face for about 5-10 minutes, re-wetting the washcloth as needed to keep it warm. The steam from the washcloth helps open pores so the oxygen and nutrients can really sink in. But if you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip this step so you don’t exacerbate irritation.
After 10 minutes, wash the mask off using fresh water and blot skin dry.
5. Massage serum or moisturizer into skin
Finish by applying hyaluronic acid or a simple moisturizer to seal the skin and keep it looking fresh and dewy. While not totally necessary, a quick face massage encourages nutrients to sink in and releases tension in the face so you look younger and more revitalized.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.100