Get spa-level results at home for less.
Whether it’s swearing off alcohol for a month or excavating your closet, a clean-slate can give you the fresh start you need to instill some better habits in the future. The same goes for your face. If your routine has grown stale and no Vitamin C-infused serum or sheet mask seems to wake up your countenance, it might be time for more drastic measures.
But if you don’t have the funds or free-time for a professional facial, it’s possible to get the same results at home for a fraction of the cost, especially if your main concerns are clogged pores, dullness, or dry skin. While these products won’t fix more serious issues like melasma or deep-wrinkles, they can brighten, soften, and hydrate almost instantly.
Here are the at-home facial products we look to when we need a clean slate for our face.
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Let’s start off strong with the most powerful item on this list. This AHA-and-BHA intensive cream will take off the entire top layer of dead skin on your face, but not without some effort on your part. The first application can feel akin to a bad sunburn slapped repeatedly, and afterwards, your skin may not look any different, but within 24-36 hours, suddenly it will start to crack and flake off. While you should be careful about removing the dead skin (use a damp cotton washcloth to gently encourage it to pill up), the results are worth it. One pump bottle of this solution has lasted one of our editors 8 months since it isn’t for regular use.
If you aren’t using “HA” as the kids call it, you are missing out on perhaps the easiest way to make your skin ultra-hydrated. HA is naturally found in your cells, and this viscous, clear liquid version can instill ultra-dewy moisture, especially in skin that has recently been exfoliated or peeled. While HA serums abound at different price points, the best one we’ve used is from The Ordinary’s ultra-affordable line. It’s cheaper on their website, but also available for a small upcharge on Amazon.com if you want to Prime it to your house along with your latest summer read.
For those that want to take a gradual approach to acids, Elemis’ pads offer an easy way to take your at-home exfoliation to the next level. Soaked in a mix of enzymes (Beyonce’s preferred way to remove dead skin) and lactic acid, they dissolve dead skin on the surface more and more with each use instead of taking an entire layer in one pass. Perfect for those with sensitive skin.