Updated: Jan 22
If there's anything good that's come out of these multiple lockdowns, it's the time to focus on a proper skincare routine! I've done my homework and thoroughly researched the various techniques and technologies that can be done or used at home to advance your skincare routine. I've listed below my favorite and most effective at-home beauty treatments that I started at the beginning of 2020 and continued till now with near-miraculous results. Happy pampering :)
1. Face Massaging / Gua sha
This is a technique I learned a few months ago, and ever since I started, I’ve seen the most noticeable differences in my skin complexion and elasticity. Face massaging for skincare is rooted in the ancient Chinese art of gua sha, which theorizes that by stimulating certain acupressure points throughout the face and body, a better flow of energy (or chi) is promoted. In turn, by releasing “stagnant” blood, circulation is improved and contributes towards overall health, well-being and even appearance. Using a rounded-edge tool is crucial for this treatment, as the hard, blunt ends help to dig in and hit areas that fingers just can’t reach.
The massaging technique: I use a TATCHA face massager every day in the morning (for around 5 minutes) after toner and serum to work off the bloat and to prep my skin for makeup. I use a good serum as a base, and move the massager first from under the sides of my nostrils in a “U” motion to my ears on both sides. Then I go from the tops of the sides of my nose and swipe along underneath my brow bone to the temples on both sides. Then I repeat the same motion but for above the brow bone, and keep going higher up on my forehead. I also swipe upwards from the sides of the bottom of my chin to my ear to define the jawline. Finally, I go from under my earlobes downwards, till I hit the collarbone. Or, just follow the below diagram! :)
The result? Cinched, glowing skin that only improves with time and consistency. The mini workout is amazing for working facial muscles, and helps to tighten them, while the digging motion also helps to promote collagen production at the dermis level.
Recommended product: TATCHA Akari Gold Massager
I’ve been using a RUMI handheld at-home RF device for being unable to go to my usual clinic once a month. The at-home version is of course a little lower in intensity, so I’m able to use it more often – around 3-4 times a week, with a few days of downtime to give my skin a chance to rebuild.
How it works: RF stands for radiofrequency, which is a type of low frequency radiation that converts to heat and stimulates collagen production at the dermis level. Antiaging benefits of this include preventing/treating sagging, wrinkling, and improving tightness, but RF is better known for restoring volume and plumpness where it is lost from aging. This is in contrast to HIFU, which is better known for lifting & zapping fat in the process. Restoring volume gives skin that rosy youthful plumpness, and RF helps to achieve this by boosting tissue re-modelling under the skin.
3. LED Light Therapy
This is one of the latest hype beauty treatments taking the industry by storm, and I am alllll for it. The best part about using this at-home device is you can do this while reading a book, watching your favourite show or scrolling through IG as it works its magic. And you save tons of trips to the clinic & money by having your own home device.
How it works: The technology is straightforward – there are various colours (aka wavelengths / frequencies) of light that have different skin healing properties. Fun fact - this technology was originally used by the US navy seals to speed up wound repair and tissue regeneration, and the same idea is used for aesthetic / skincare purposes to reduce the appearance of damage from the sun (age spots, wrinkles) or acne.
The different lights & their uses are below:
· Red light: Works on the deepest layers of skin to speed up collagen production and enhance cell repair/turnover (which slows dramatically with age, or once we hit 25). Also proven to calm inflammation and redness.
· Green light: Used to improve skin tone, targeting melanocytes to slow down the production of melanin so less pigment reaches the outer layers of skin. This means it’s most effective for age spots and freckles.
· Blue light: Scientifically proven to reduce sebaceous gland activity (leading to less oils that can plug hair follicles), and to kill p.acnes bacteria, which is the main acne-causing bacteria.
· Combination light: Fusing lights have been seen to provide the most successful results, e.g. red & blue light together to fight acne + reduce inflammation.
Recommended product: Deesse LED Phototherapy Face Mask at THEA Home Beauty
Retinol is one of the only scientifically proven effective antiaging ingredients in skincare. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and can be easily confused with other retinoids like Retinaldehyde or Retinoic Acid – and the difference is in strength. I made the stupid mistake of starting with Retinoic Acid thinking it was the same as Retinol, and the result was not pretty to say the least! It scared me off Retinol for a while, but after hunkering down and doing my research, made the switch to Retinol creams (and zero regrets since then!). Retinol is used to combat all kinds of aging signs by speeding up cell turnover and stimulating collagen and elastin production. My biggest advice is to start using this product in your 20’s. But first, your skin needs to build up a tolerance to it.
How to use it: Start with a retinol cream that has a lower strength of 0.1-0.2%. I started with Origins Plantscription night cream which has 0.2% retinol. I started by using it once every 3 days for 2 weeks just to see how my skin reacted (it broke out, got red and inflamed and weird and dry-ish), and then increased usage to once every 2 nights thereafter. Once I made it through the adapting stage, the condition of my skin felt better than ever. Super soft and bouncy skin, shrunken pores, reduced acne flare-ups, the works! Don’t mix with AHA / BHA / acid formulas as the retinol is potent enough on its own. I’m thinking of bumping up the retinol concentration to the 1% Drunk Elephant A-Passoni formula – but still assessing reviews of it as of now.
Recommended product: Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer by ORIGINS
5. Sheet Masks
One of my favourite things to do lately is to literally penetrate my dry skin with moisture directly via masks at the end of the day. Winter heaters have been killing the good work of my skincare routine lately, so traditional face masking has made a comeback for me. The few key things to look out for in a good mask is active ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful moisturizing ingredient that is absorbed easily into the skin as it’s something your body produces naturally, vitamin C, niacinamide, squalene, and more. I prefer the more expensive biocellulose sheet masks, which are made with all-natural materials and stick like a second skin while delivering essential nutrients into the skin. I really hate cheap masks that not only sting from the use of parabens and other chemicals, but feel uncomfortable from not being able to adhere properly to the skin. I usually put on toner and serum straight out of the shower, apply the mask, and keep it on for 20-30 minutes!
Recommended product: Medik8 Biocellulose Mask, which is FREE or artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and alcohol!
For questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram @furellie xx