Y’all. I love a good face mask. And a good bath. And a good moisturizer. (Okay, I just love being a girl.) Last Friday, the boyfriend was hunting, and I was spending my weekend “recharging.” I’m talking 6 episodes deep in Criminal Minds, watching from my bathtub, B&BW candles burning, wine in-hand, living for it.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite indulgent self-love products. PSA: These are NOT everyday products. These are products made for the ladies that have had the longest week and need to be refreshed. But I’m talking refreshed from within. Because these will sooth your soul.
Okay, let’s get started… Here’s your step-by-step recipe to your renewed self. (Grab a snack; this is a long one…)
Number 1: Bath products
So you’ve run your hot bath, and you’re ready to get started. Where do you start? Milk bath and Epsom salt. Honestly, these are game changers, and even when combined are cheaper than that trending glittery Lush bath bomb that’s sitting in your shopping cart.
This milk bath contains Shea butter and aloe, so it completely rejuvenates your skin. Along with hot water and newly opened pores, it gives way to the cleanest shave and smoothest legs you’ve ever had. The ingredients are completely natural, and the scents are very therapeutic. (Lavender and chamomile? Yes, please.) Not to mention, when you have a little bit of a sunburn, this is everything that you need.
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt with essential oil blends. There is a vast array of scents with different aroma-therapeutic designs, all of which smell intensely strong out of the bag, so don’t bother sniffing it. Pour about a one-half cup amount into your bath, and let it get to work. As a longtime Epsom salt lover, I’ve always enjoyed the non-scented versions as a home-remedy for sore muscles, but the lavender scents sooth your mind and body, and it’s doesn’t get any better than that after a long week.
Number 2: Exfoliation
I cannot express the importance of exfoliation, but you have to refrain from over-scrubbing. Exfoliation, when done properly, can eliminate that top layer of dead skin cells that can clog up your pores and cause breakouts. For me, buildup of old skin cells is the number one culprit behind breakouts. I’ve got a favorite remedy, and a sub-favorite.
I live for this stuff. It’s so amazing for top-layer scrub. It has a thick, rough consistency, but yet leaves your skin feeling smooth and new! (And that’s what this night is all about!) The only thing about this product is that it’s kind of hard to get. You can buy it on the website, but you have probably seen one-too-many Facebook posts about it, but it’s good stuff, and honestly, worth the hype from a MLM business.
This is a finer consistency, but still gritty. If you have sensitive skin, I would suggest this. It also comes in a variety of sizes, so you can test your exfoliation toes in the water before taking a deep dive into the hard stuff (above). While I notice a much more intrusive scrub from the R+F paste, I notice less blemishes after this scrub.
Number 3: Moisturizer
Post bath, clean skin, fresh shave, and open pores. It’s time to moisturize. Any body lotion will do. (I tend to prefer Aveeno for its rich moisture.) But for an intense face moisturizer that’s great for those nights where it’s time to take your suppleness up a notch, look no further than It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. I have yet to find a face moisturizer so thick that still sinks into pores, and when you’re looking to replenish, that’s what you want. It contains collagen and hyaluronic acid, so it plumps any and every line or wrinkle found in your face and décolleté. (Pro tip: always bring your face moisturizer down your neck. The more you moisturize that area, the longer that area will appear youthful.) While this is too thick of a cream for me to use as an everyday under-makeup moisturizer, it is everything that I want when I need to fill my dehydrated it’s-been-a-long-week face with new life.
Moisturize your body immediately upon dry skin, but if you have the extra time, let’s start on some mask(s). I’ve listed my favorite masks below for different needs, and remember, you can always mix and match. My skin has recently undergone a significant change where I need something more drying on my cheeks and nose, and something more moisturizing on my chin and forehead.
For acne: GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment
This isn’t a cheap product, but if you trust me, buy it, and if you don’t, go into your Sephora, ask for a sample, use it, fall in love, then go back and buy it. This is the best oil-focused acne clearing mask I have ever used. It has a proprietary blend of acne-clearing acids that dive deep into your problem areas, eliminating unwanted blemishes, bumps, etc., but unlike previous trials, it doesn’t strip your skin of all of its natural oils. Within one use, you will notice a difference.
For dryness: Fresh Rose Face Mask
This product is so feminine and delicate and makes me feel so soothed, especially as a “topper” mask after the GlamGlow mask. (Yes, I double mask.) It’s light, but you still receive intense hydration. It contains cucumber extract and Aloe Vera, which provides a cooling/calming effect to the skin, and the green tea antioxidants brighten the skin. I especially note this mask as a necessity for dry skin, but it is an amazing additional to any skin type regimen.
For texture: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer)
If I had to choose one mask to purchase out of this list, it would be this, because it provides a little bit of everything. It significantly brightens the skin, it exfoliates the skin to reveal new skin and rids the skin of congested pores, and polishes the new skin cells to create a bright, shiny, smoother, younger looking face. I’ve had several friends purchase this mask, and upon use, they have all complimented their own skin to me afterwards. It’s a crowd-pleaser. You need it.
For dullness: Freeman Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask
I started at the drugstore, and I’m (almost) ending at the drug store. While I love to invest in my skin and experiment with expensive products (and frequently fall in love with them), good skin doesn’t have to break the bank. This mask comes in sample packets that are sufficient for two uses, and you can get them anywhere – Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens. It absorbs oil, tones the skin back to its natural PH level, and calms the skin. The lemon and tea spritzes provide an ultimate refreshment for tired skin and wakes it up to reveal a rejuvenated, cheerful face, ready to take on another week (or a long weekend!)
Number 3.75: (Yes, I realize I’m being extra here…) Eye masks.
I suffer immensely from dry undereyes. Albeit, it’s probably due to a plethroa of reasons such as lack of sleep, dehydration, poor diet… (come on, I’m busy)… luckily for me, there’s an entire industry built on trying to make my tired eyes look alive and well! And the Shisedo Benefiance Pure Retinol Under-eye Masks are my holy grail. (And to be honest, at times, they’re the only reason that I look like I’ve slept in the last week.) This is an excellent product for literally any age. In just 15 minutes, your under-eyes will have been drenched in retinol treatment and hydration. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, an ingredient that promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production (which starts to decline in your 30s). As well as lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, retinol can also reverse some of the side effects of sun damage. It’s a vital anti-aging skincare tactic, and we all want to look younger, longer, right?…
The spa night doesn’t have to end here, but after a few glasses of wine and a few face masks, I’m not worth a whole lot more. Sometimes taking a few hours for yourself, or even something as simple as getting a full night’s rest, is all that your skin is looking for. However, I’ll never say that playing with a few new products will hurt! 😉 I hope that you all have enjoyed hearing about these products, and if you decide to go out and purchase them, please tell me what you think! And if you have any that you think I need to try, HASO, because you can never go too hard on a spa night!