On a recent trip to New York, I was invited to Mario Badescu’s Manhattan Salon, where they offer face and body treatments for everything from acne to pigmentation. I experienced the signature European Facial, a deep-cleansing treatment which targets dullness and congestion. I’ve tried a lot of facials in my time as a beauty editor, but this one was in a league of its own – steaming and extractions are part of the procedure, so it’s far more than just having layers of products applied and removed. The result was skin that instantly appeared clear, bright, calm, and more even-toned.
While nothing can fully replicate a professional salon facial, when I got home I decided to pull out the big guns and replicate the facial in my own bathroom – after all, the best way to maintain skin is with regular facial treatments (and flying to NYC isn’t always an option).
Since not all tools and products are accessible outside of a spa, I’ve substituted for the salon procedures that can’t be duplicated. I’d also highly recommended to avoid at-home extractions, so leave that to the professionals.
1. To recreate the full spa experience, change into comfortable clothing, tie your hair back from your face, and make sure you have all your products out and ready to use. You could even dim the lights, play some quiet music, and light some candles.
2. Start by removing your makeup and cleansing your skin just as you normally would in your daily routine. Then soak a cotton pad in Glycolic Acid Toner and wipe gently over skin – this chemical exfoliant will help to remove deep-rooted buildup. Don’t forget to treat your neck exactly as you do the rest of your face.
3. To recreate the benefits of a face steamer, fill a bowl with boiling water and place your face a few inches above the bowl, then drape a towel over your head to trap the steam. Do this for 5-10 minutes to increase circulation and improve product absorption.
4. If you’re prone to breakouts, apply a thin layer of the Buffering Lotion over your skin. This contains niacinamide and zinc – healing ingredients which help to boost the mask to suit your skin.
5. Using your ring fingers, lightly dab the Hyaluronic Eye Cream around your eye area. The skin around your eyes is thin, delicate, and prone to dryness, but the eye cream will help to keep skin hydrated and prevent damage as you remove the mask.
6. Use an old (but clean!) makeup brush to apply the Drying Mask over your face and neck – it uses kaolin, sulfur, and calamine to treat blackheads, breakouts, and blocked pores. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, place cold cucumber slices on your eyes, and lie back and relax.
7. Spritz skin with the Facial Spray – this helps to loosen the formula and will ease removal. Gently soak off the mask with a warm flannel, then to remove any lingering residue, wipe the face with a cotton pad soaked in the Aloe Vera Toner.
8. In the spa-based facial, a pro-level vitamin C treatment is applied. To replicate the brightening effects of this treatment, apply either the Enzyme Revtialising Mask or Rose Hips Mask. Again, be sure to apply eye cream before masking and use the Facial Spray to aid removal.
9. Finish off by replenishing skin with moisture by applying the Facial Spray, Hyaluronic Eye Cream, and Herbal Hydration Serum onto skin. Press and pat the serum into your skin (rather than wipe) to improve absorption.