Just as a personal trainer with a killer body is a walking advertisement for his expertise, a facialist’s glowing skin is her business card. So naturally we wanted to know exactly how the experts get their complexions to be so perfect. Estheticians and spa gurus reveal the DIY skin-care recipes they use to stay fresh-faced in an industry where flawless skin is a non-negotiable:
1. Antioxidant Berry Mask
Why it’s a facialist fave: This mask is made of fresh organic blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries—all of which are packed with nutrients like damage-fighting vitamin C and antioxidants. “When I take the mask off, my skin is exfoliated, brighter, and very plump and supple,” says Cecilia Wong, holistic esthetician and founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare in New York City, who indulges in her homemade treatment about twice a week.
Make it yourself: Rinse 5 blueberries, 5 blackberries, and 5 raspberries before mixing and mashing them in a bowl. Keep stirring with a fork until it looks like a thick fruit juice, Wong says. Apply to your face with your fingers over your kitchen sink (in case you drop some berries) and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
2. Aloe & Rose Water Spritzer
Why it’s a facialist fave: Jeannie Jarnot, longtime spa director and founder of Spa Heroes, a monthly subscription service of non-toxic beauty products, is a fan of healing aloe vera—both inside and out: “I drink a about half a teaspoon of organic aloe juice a day,” Jarnot says. “I also keep a spray bottle of aloe vera juice mixed with rosewater in my fridge to mist my face with first thing in the morning while making coffee, after my morning shower, and once more before bed. It’s really hydrating and plumping.” And the benefits get better over time, Jarnot says. “The ritual has made a major improvement in my skin’s tone and color.”
Make it yourself: Combine 2 ounces of pure rosewater, available at health food stores, with 6 ounces of organic aloe vera juice in a 10-ounce reusable spray bottle, and store in your fridge to preserve the all-natural mixture. Shake well before misting.
3. Bee Pollen Face Mask
Why it’s a facialist fave: “I’m currently obsessed with the skin-plumping effects of all things bee-related for their collagen-stimulating and healing properties,” says Laura Dobi, an esthetician and founder of Green Revolution Skin Studio in Bethesda, Maryland, who regularly uses bee pollen masks for smoother skin—and a visible improvement in fine lines.
Make it yourself: Mix 2 tablespoons of bee pollen, ¼ cup of whole milk, 1 tablespoon raw honey, and ½ cup of mashed avocado in a bowl, apply with fingers to your face and neck, and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
4. Turmeric Face Mask
Why it’s a facialist fave: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory turmeric powder has been hailed as a beauty savior in India for hundreds of years thanks to its complexion-evening benefits, says Jarnot. And the scientific community agrees—a study in the Journal of Natural Remedies reveals that the spice inhibits tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the production of skin’s pigment. “This turmeric mask is my go-to before any special occasion,” Jarnot says. “The way it evens my skin tone is really impressive.”
Make it yourself:
Mix ½ teaspoon turmeric with 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, then use your fingers to apply the mixture to your entire face, neck, and décolleté. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove the paste with warm water (and a cloth you don’t mind staining).
5. Rosemary Salt Scrub
Why it’s a facialist fave: “As an esthetician I notice that no matter how good a face looks, the knees and elbows give the age away,” says Shawn Duss, an esthetician and makeup artist based in Austin, Texas. “This has made me extra passionate about caring for these parts of my body.” She uses this salt scrub a few times a week, paying special attention to her knees and elbows to exfoliate away dead skin, stimulate circulation, and moisturize skin with natural oils.
Make your own: Blend ½ cup of light oil grape seed or almond oil, ¼ cup of a heavier oil like avocado or olive oil, the contents of a 400 IU vitamin E capsule, and 10 to 15 drops of rosemary essential oil in small bowl. Then, add 1 cup fine-grain sea salt, mix well, and store in airtight container to use whenever you like (Duss recommends doing so at least once a week to see smoother skin). Just massage with your fingers in small circular motions over your entire body before you hop in the shower, then shower as usual—you’ll wash off enough of the emollient oil to avoid a greasy feeling, but your skin will still get the exfoliating and softening benefits.
6. Avocado & Pumpkin Face Mask
Why it’s a facialist fave: Fatty avocado flesh supports your skin cell’s lipid barrier, while pumpkin is high in vitamin A, a heavy hitter for anti-aging benefits, says Duss. For years, she’s been combining the two with a bit of hydrating hyaluronic acid for glowing skin.
Make it yourself: Dump a 15-ounce can of organic pumpkin into a bowl. Cut up one avocado (minus the pit and skin) and add it to the pumpkin. Mix and press the two ingredients together. Finally, add three pea-sized squirts of pure liquid hyaluronic acid, such as NOW Foods Hyaluronic Acid Liquid ($18, puritan.com). Smooth onto face with fingers and leave on for about 30 minutes before washing off with warm water and a cloth. You can use the all-natural mask morning or night, as often as you like, Duss says.
7. Strawberry Jam Eye Treatment
Why it’s a facialist fave: A fresh-face trick Dobi learned to rely on the morning after a late night is taking strawberry jam and putting it under her eyes. “When I wake up with dull skin, puffiness, and circles, I know I still have to show up to work with my skin looking its best,” Dobi says. Strawberries, which are rich in alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamin C, and antioxidants, quickly revive skin—even in jelly form, it seems. “It always works like a charm,” she says. “My eyes appear bright and refreshed.”
Make your own: Whenever your tired eyes need a pick-me-up, apply a thick coat of chilled organic strawberry jam beneath the eyes with a Q-tip, being careful to keep the sweet stuff out of your eyes. (You can even spread the jam around the outside of eyes and up around brow bone for a total eye treatment.) Let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes and rinse with cool water.