This might be my favorite post to write yet. Who doesn’t love an amazing facial? And I don’t hold back in this facial at all. In fact, this is the OFFICIAL MOSS FACIAL (for winter) that I will be sharing with moss’s estheticians – perhaps with slight modifications. It is a good long hour of pampering the skin, so be prepared for some amazingness. Good news – we’ll also suggest a completely homemade version of this facial for those of you DIYers. 🙂
Step One: Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Even before we do anything to our face, we start by draining lymph fluid. Congested and stagnant lymph fluid very often contributes to acne, to puffiness and loss of radiance. The crazy thing with this particular massage technique I really like is that you are not massaging your face. With other lymph grainage massage I’ve personally tried, I’ve never felt the effects like I do with these techniques AND they are simpler than the other techniques I’ve tried. You can literally feel the lymph draining down your throat. It’s so simple – like an incredibly basic neck massage and you don’t have to wonder if you’re doing it right. The beautiful thing is, you don’t have to touch your face, because the lymph draining from your neck has a suction-like effect and drains the lymph from the face and rest of the head. Here’s the video:
DIY Step 1: NA
Step Two: Cleanse
Remove makeup/dirt with the cleanser of your choice. We recommend using Vert Pur here. Yep, slather Vert on, over makeup and all, massage the skin gently in circular motions, then gently wipe off with a warm, wet washcloth. Trust me, this will get ALL the makeup off, especially if you wipe twice with the washcloth, rinsing it out in between. I like to use microfiber car cleansing cloths. Economical and lovely on the skin.
DIY Step 2 + 3: Olive oil works wonderfully honestly
Step Three: Massage
Once your skin is clean, reapply Vert Pur, and massage. You have many option for massage, but my favorite is the Tanaka massage. It is a special toning and lifting massage created by this eccentric Japanese beautician. What can I say? I’m a sucker for all things Japanese. Here are the videos that demo the Tanaka Method:
Step Four: Steam (Use Facial Tea)
The camps are definitely divided on steaming the face. Some find it drys out the skin and makes it red. Some (like myself) love it. I think it’s absolutely fine, especially once in a blue moon. I mean, let’s be real, you’re not going to be doing this insane facial every day. So try it before you knock it and decide if it is right for you. Here is WHY we steam, however. Steaming helps soften the skin AND all the gunk trapped in the skin, deep in the pores, making it easier to remove. It also “blooms” the skin, so that any nutrients, mask, oils, etc, we put on the skin absorb better and deeper.
You can use a facial tea or you can make your own. moss will be launching a facial tea soon, but in the meantime here are some teas I like to use:
Chamomile | Spearmint | Rose | Green Tea | Anything with Licorice Root
Be wary of teas that are spicy, cinnamon-y or ginger-y or anything that has artificial flavors or essential oils added to enhance the taste.
So: simply add one tea bag per one cup of water. I like to boil between 3-4 cups of water. I add the tea and let steep for a few minutes. You can mix and match tea bags for your own specific blend – I love to do 1/2 green tea, 1/4 chamomile, 1/4 spearmint (spearmint is gentler on the skin than mint). Some people like to hood their head with a towel to better trap the steam. I find that sometimes I need to do this and sometimes just putting my face over the pot is plenty steamy.
You don’t need to steam for too long, although sometimes I do it for a little longer cause it feels good. I say 5 minutes is a good amount of time.
An alternative for those of you with sensitive skin is to wet a washcloth in the tea, let it cool to hot-warm or warm, then drape it over the face and let it rest for a minute or two while it cools. You can repeat this as your skin tolerates, up to 4 times.
DIY Step 4: Use any herbal tea really, except spicy ones. Rooibos is another fun one
Step Five: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is much more effective right after steaming, cause everything has softened and is easier to dissolve. I love Harvest Illuminé for this task. It is a mask full of powerful enzymes that exfoliate without any physical abrasion. I MUCH prefer exfoliating with acids or enzymes to scrubbing – at least in this facial. Too me, there’s less chance of unnecessary irritation and damage. It’s kind of like the difference between using gravel to sand some wood vs. some sandpaper.
Harvest Illuminé you leave on for 7 minutes max, and you can put your face cloth into the tea instead of using plain water. You place the wet face cloth over the mask, so the mask stays wet. If it dries out, it is no longer active.
In fact, you will use this tea you made often throughout the rest of the facial. Like in the next step.
Rinse this step very well with plain water.
DIY Step 5: You can make so many amazing exfoliating masks out of food. Yogurt + Honey is a good mix. Bananas + Strawberries. Avocado + Lemon. Google is your friend.
Step Six: Hot Tea Mask + Aromatherapy
Re-measure how much tea water you now have. Some will have evaporated or some of you might have opted for the wet washcloth version of Step 3. Plus you’ll have used some tea previously with the mask, perhaps.
Now add 3 teaspoons glycerin for every 1 cup of water. You can get glycerin at Whole Foods or online – probably other places too. Mix well. Hopefully the tea is still hot. If not, ok to reheat. IMPORTANT: take a small amount – few teaspoons – and put in the fridge. Do it RIGHT NOW. You need it later to be nice and cool.
Wet a washcloth with this new moisturizing tea mixture. Place it over your face and let cool. Repeat up to four times. Glycerin will sting your eyes, so make sure you’ve wrung the washcloth out well enough so there is no dripping.
You can also – if you wish – add just a drop of your favorite aromatherapy blend to the washcloth (not to the tea) kind of right where your nose would be once you drape the washcloth over your face to get some lovely aroma therapy during your facial. Literally one drop will do. I’m loving both Shanti and Tannenbaum right now. For those of you with sensitive skin, I recommend Shanti or Shakti. Both are super “face safe.” (PS If you don’t feel like doing aromatherapy here, there is a chance later on too)
Do not rinse the face after this treatment.
DIY Step 6: NA
Step Seven: Clay Mask
This is the purification step and the final “cleansing” step. We will use a powerful detoxifying mask to draw impurities from the skin, even skin tone, and increase radiance. You can use your favorite clay mask, but of course I recommend Sacred Ground, which has MSM and turmeric and will not only detoxify but brings inflammation and redness down. Your face may be a little red after the steaming and exfoliation, so this will help with that.
Use your hydrating tea to turn the dry powder into a nice paste. Apply to skin. Let dry and rinse or leave for up to 20 minutes and then rinse. Dry face.
DIY Step 7: Any clay will do. French green clay is a good one
Step Eight: Hydrating Mask
My absolute favorite hydrating mask is a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of Healing Dew and Beurre Céleste. People often ask me, why all the mixing? Why not just make a product that is what you end up mixing together? Short answer – chemistry. Lots and lots of unneccessary preservatives and compounds needed to keep it stable at production scale. But if you just mix it in the moment and in such a small quantity, much more pure and fresh. Sorry – fresh, natural things don’t tend to be all that convenient.
You can also use just Beurre Céleste on its own. Or make your own – see the DIY.
Hydrating masks can be left on a long time – even up to an hour. Definitely do 10 minutes at least. Remove the hydrating mask of your choice with water, maybe a washcloth, especially if it has lots of lipids like Beurre Céleste.
DIY Step 8: You have options. Aloe vera gel mixed with honey and oil is lovely. Just honey + oil works well too. Even straight up ghee is a great option. If you have milk powder, this is also great. Google.
Step Nine: Cool Water Tone
Take out the little bit of tea water you stashed in the fridge and swipe your face with it, using a cotton pad or even your fingers. You can also sub any of the moss serums or essences at this point. The coolness helps bring down swelling and tighten pores. Plus it feels good!
Step 9 DIY: NA
Step Ten: Nourish Like Crazy
Use your favorite facial oil or balm here and apply just a few drops to the skin, massaging and pressing the oil into the skin. If the face feels too greasy, use an absorbing essence or your tea stuff OVER the oil to help draw the oil into the skin. You will feel oil and water emulsifying on the skin and turning dewy instead of greasy.
You can also get fancy and make a super serum by blending oils, serums and oil intensifs. Your imagination is the limit here. The winter limited edition face oil is perfect for this step, imho. And no blending necessary. I’ve done it for you. 😉
At this point, make sure your skin feels perfect – hydrated, but not saturated. Clean, but not dry. It’s all in how you balance your skincare. Not too much, not too little. Use oil and essence together. Like a dance.
Step 10 DIY: Olive oil mixed with Aloe gel is completely suitable here. Most organic, unprocessed oils you might have in your kitchen will work just fine. Borage, hemp seed, avocado, grape seed, ghee. All good. Especially if you just use a little, and follow up with an absorbing essence like the skin tea. DO NOT WORRY about clogging pores with ANY of the oils or treatments I mentioned. If they clogged pores, they wouldn’t be mentioned. Or…invest in a beautiful facial oil. Best investment of your life. 🙂
Step Eleven: Spot Treat
Apply Zen Physic or your favorite spot treatment to any active blemishes. You can also use Lavender essential oil neat or even Neroli, Geranium or Palmarosa. I don’t love Tea Tree. A better alternative is Niaouli. It is gentler yet still effective.
Step 11 DIY: Like I said, Zen is the bomb diggity, but you can also use other EOs neat – as above
Step Twelve: Breathing and Aromatherapy
I think ALL of the essential oils I mentioned in step 10 smell nice enough to double as your personal fragrance and raise your vibe, so there you go.
This is not an optional step. Do not skip this step people, though I know all of you will want to. You must take rest after this facial. It is absolutely a must. In the same way we always do a savasana in yoga, we must do a skin savasana.
For those of you who do not know what savasana is: after you do all your sweaty and hard yoga poses, you lay down close your eyes and completely relax. Corpse pose. This is important because it allows the energy to settle and strengthen. Yoga is about energetics. All the poses are designed to unblock and move energy. (Same with this facial. All the steps are designed to “unblock” and rejuvenate your skin). If you do not give that energy a chance to settle, it disspates. Like glass blowing. You blow molten glass, then you let it cool. Otherwise, no bueno. Otherwise, it drips all over the place in – literally – a hot mess.
SO. Sit still or lie down. Close your eyes. Take 10 deep slow breaths. Here is how to breath: Inhale through the nose. Inhale the air all the way THROUGH the chest into the BELLY. Feel the belly inflate like a balloon. This is how deep the breaths must be. For the first THREE exhales, sigh the air out through the mouth. Like a gust or a sigh. Sharp and fast. Release. For the next 3 exhales, exhale through the nose. For the final four exhales, try to slow and lengthen the exhales as much as possible without getting short of breath. Also through the nose.
And if you want to stay blissed out aroma wise and really go all out, at this point, you can go back to your aromatherapy oil, and apply it to your pulse points or the palms of your hands and run your hands through your hair. Remember – only a drop or two is needed!
Voila. Do NOT skip the breathing, people. Don’t do it. 😉
Now your skin is FREAKIN’ GLOWING. I know it.
PS: Let me know what you think of this perfect winter facial in the comments.