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DIY: 5 Step Home Facial Routine

Every woman I know loves a good facial at the spa. Who wouldn’t? We women work hard and a facial is a nice way to treat ourselves to some much deserved pampering. But facials can get expensive. I also find that doing some basic maintenance once a week can help keep your skin in great condition. That way, you can go in and get a facial only when your skin really needs it. Once per change of season is good in my mind. So this is the 5 Step Home Facial Routine I follow to keep my skin in tip top shape.


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  1. Cleanse

I usually do my facial on a Saturday morning so my skin is already clean. But sometimes I do my facials after getting home from work. If that’s the case, then I would remove all of my makeup before doing anything else. I like to double cleanse. I remove most of my makeup with Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt and then do a second cleanse with a two ingredient cleanser I make at home.


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  1. Steam

A good steam opens your pores and gets all the junk out. I personally steam my face for five minutes or more. The length of the steam depends on the condition of my skin. Steam longer if your skin feels congested or looks dull. If you’re new to steaming or you have sensitive skin, you may want to steam for a shorter amount of time until you get used to it. I use a facial steamer like the one above by Conair. I’ve had this steamer for years. You can buy one at most department stores. I bought mine at The Bay. But it’s also available at Shop.ca and Amazon.ca.

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  1. Mask

Next up is putting on the mask of your choice. This of course depends on what your skin needs. If detoxing, use a clay mask. If your skin is dry a hydrating mask. If you skin is freaking out a calming mask. You get the idea. Let the mask sit on your face for the appropriate amount of time and then wash off with warm water. Above is one of my favourite detox masks by May Lindstrom, called the Problem Solver. Read my empties post on this mask here.


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  1. Exfoliate

After washing the mask off, I like to use an exfoliator. I know everyone says it’s better to exfoliate before you put on the mask. But I actually like to exfoliate afterwards. My skin feels a lot smoother if I use an exfoliator afterwards. Above is a picture of my favourite chemical exfoliator by Pure + Simple. It’s easy to use and gentle on the skin (Read review here).

  1. Moisturize

This is the last step of my home facial routine. After washing the exfoliator off my face I moisturize with a good facial oil like Lavina’s Barbary Fig Seed Oil (Read review here). Then if I’m going out I will put on my facial primer and apply makeup. If I’m staying in I’ll add a facial serum like Pure + Simple’s Pure Skin Face Serum.

That’s it for my home facial routine. What is your home facial routine like?

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Spa Review: Urb Organic Spa, January Facial Special

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Note: All images of the spa taken from Urb Organic Spa website.

There aren’t that many organic spas in Toronto. I stumbled across Urb Organic Spa when I was looking for places that carried Antipodes skin care products. It’s a lovely little spa in the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton area and easily accessible by bus in the cold winter months.  I’ve had three facials with them so far and my favourite is now the Microdermabrasion facial with Oxygen. So when Urb has a special price for January I booked my facial as soon as I could. Note: Urb Organic Spa is a women only spa.

urb-waiting area

The process:
After laying down on the spa bed Katrina, my esthetician cleansed and steamed my face, then examined my skin.  After that the Microdermabrasion began.  For those not familiar with Microdermabrasion it can be done with a variety of materials. Urb uses walnut grains.  Using short swiping motions the esthetician gently goes over your face avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes, nose, and lips. It feels slightly abrasive but not unbearably so.  Next up in the January special is the Urb Organic Facial which includes facial, scalp, neck and shoulder massage. This is the ultimate in relaxation.  Katrina has amazing hands and I was soon in a trance-like relaxed space as she massaged my face, head, neck and shoulders.  After the facial and massage is the oxygen treatment.  Pressurized oxygen combined with wrinkle fighting serum is sprayed onto your skin. It feels very cool and soothing.  Now it’s time for the high frequency treatment. The high frequency treatment can feel a little strange to first timers. After slathering your face with a moisturizing cream a gauze face mask is placed over your face and a glass wand is waved over your skin. It feels kind of like a fourth of July sparkler against your skin.  But again, the discomfort is minimal. The high frequency treatment helps to heal your skin and helps skin care products to penetrate deeper into your skin. Katrina then finished up with a little more massaging and then the whole January special spa experience was done.

urb-spa room

The results:
It’s a common misconception that Microdermabrasion has to be harsh and that you’ll emerge with bright red skin after the facial. If it’s done properly that totally isn’t the case.  I’ve had microdermabrasion facials twice at Urb and I’ve never come out looking like I’d gotten a bad burn. Rather, I always come out with softer, significantly smoother, brighter skin. The momentary discomfort of the Microdermabrasion and high frequency treatment is totally worth it. I actually hadn’t realized how dull my skin had gotten until I felt my face afterwards!

I had actually come in recovering from a cold. I called beforehand to make sure it was okay for me to come in despite the cold. The owner of the spa (Mirjana) assured me it was fine. She said the facial would actually help me feel better as it would detoxify me. I’m not sure if it was this facial plus the acupuncture treatment I had afterwards.  But by the next day I felt about so much better compared to before that. That night I also slept very well, which I’m sure was due to the relaxed state the facial put me in. My next microdermabrasion will probably be in May, for my birthday. I would totally recommend this facial to anyone!

urb-product shelves

Microdermabrasion + Urb Organic Facial + Oxygen
Urb Organic Spa, 701 Mt. Pleasant Road,
Cost: $150 CAD for 120 mins


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Spa Review: @UrbOrganicSpa, January Facial Special

front
Note: All images of the spa taken from Urb Organic Spa website.

There aren’t that many organic spas in Toronto. I stumbled across Urb Organic Spa when I was looking for places that carried Antipodes skin care products. It’s a lovely little spa in the Mount Pleasant & Eglinton area & easily accessible by bus in the cold winter months.  I’ve had three facials with them so far & my favourite is now the Microdermabrasion facial with Oxygen. So when Urb has a special price for January I booked my facial as soon as I could. Note: Urb Organic Spa is a women only spa.

urb-waiting area

The process:
After laying down on the spa bed Katrina, my esthetician cleansed & steamed my face, then examined my skin.  After that the Microdermabrasion began.  For those not familiar with Microdermabrasion it can be done with a variety of materials. Urb uses walnut grains.  Using short swiping motions the esthetician gently goes over your face avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes, nose, & lips. It feels slightly abrasive but not unbearably so.  Next up in the January special is the Urb Organic Facial which includes facial, scalp, neck & shoulder massage. This is the ultimate in relaxation.  Katrina has amazing hands & I was soon in a trance-like relaxed space as she massaged my face, head, neck & shoulders.  After the facial & massage is the oxygen treatment.  Pressurized oxygen combined with wrinkle fighting serum is sprayed onto your skin. It feels very cool & soothing.  Now it’s time for the high frequency treatment. The high frequency treatment can feel a little strange to first timers. After slathering your face with a moisturizing cream a gauze face mask is placed over your face & a glass wand is waved over your skin. It feels kind of like a fourth of July sparkler against your skin.  But again, the discomfort is minimal. The high frequency treatment helps to heal your skin & helps skin care products to penetrate deeper into your skin. Katrina then finished up with a little more massaging & then the whole January special spa experience was done.

urb-spa room

The results:
It’s a common misconception that Microdermabrasion has to be harsh & that you’ll emerge with bright red skin after the facial. If it’s done properly that totally isn’t the case.  I’ve had microdermabrasion facials twice at Urb & I’ve never come out looking like I’d gotten a bad burn. Rather, I always come out with softer, significantly smoother, brighter skin. The momentary discomfort of the Microdermabrasion & high frequency treatment is totally worth it. I actually hadn’t realized how dull my skin had gotten until I felt my face afterwards!

I had actually come in recovering from a cold. I called beforehand to make sure it was okay for me to come in despite the cold. The owner of the spa (Mirjana) assured me it was fine. She said the facial would actually help me feel better as it would detoxify me. I’m not sure if it was this facial plus the acupuncture treatment I had afterwards.  But by the next day I felt about so much better compared to before that. That night I also slept very well, which I’m sure was due to the relaxed state the facial put me in. My next microdermabrasion will probably be in May, for my birthday. I would totally recommend this facial to anyone!

urb-product shelves

Microdermabrasion + Urb Organic Facial + Oxygen
Urb Organic Spa, 701 Mt. Pleasant Road,
Cost: $150 CAD for 120 mins