It’s that time of year when our bodies are being pushed to the limit, both mentally and physically. We are all crazy-busy between shopping, cooking, decorating, and maybe traveling. Add the endless parties, nice wines, and late nights, and who takes the real beating? Your skin! Then you need to look good all over again the next day, so what do you do? Booking a facial would be ideal, but let’s be serious: Squeezing in an appointment like that just isn’t feasible. Santa is the only who’s able to stop time around here.
Enter at-home facial treatments. I don’t reserve them strictly for this time of year; these products are my instant fixes whenever I need real, immediate results from a facial treatment. Each is different in their approach, as well as the skin situation that calls for them, but all of these are proven (by me!) to transform your skin with one treatment. I don’t have time things that don’t give me instant gratification!
1. Ole Henriksen POWER Peel PRO-strength Microdermabrasion/AHA Peel System: Think of this as spring cleaning on your face! I reviewed this before; it’s one of my favorites. The short story is it comes in three steps: scrub, peel, and calming cream. The scrub is serious business. It preps the surface of your skin so the peel can do its work. And I won’t lie; it stings and your face turns very rosy for the first couple of minutes after applying the peel. But the third step makes it all better. You apply the chamomile cream on top of the peel and you skin cools off and feels good again. The results are undeniable. Your skin regains a natural flush, it’s instantly brighter, and the texture is silky-smooth. This is perfect after you’ve worn heavy makeup for many days in a row when you really want to clear out all your pores. At Sephora for $16 for two treatments.
2. MBR Detoxifying Beautifier: This is a powerful hydrating mask that works wonders. When you really want to look amazing for a special event, it’s worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, it costs about the same, but it’s money well spent to thoroughly revive and impress. I would recommend brides to use this before their big day – it’s that good. This is not a peel. It doesn’t remove; it adds. The gel-like cream is truly transformative, and there’s nothing like a moisture boost like this to bring life, beauty, and youth back into your skin. To get my money’s worth, I kept it on longer than the 20 minutes MBR suggests (actually, I watched an entire episode of Jane the Virgin with it on). The most dramatic of all these treatments, I could not believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror. At MBR for $414.
3. Ling SparkLING Makeover Mask: I love this for traveling, and it’s extra-convenient because it comes in individually-packaged servings. The clear gel activates into foamy bubbles on your face after about a minute. It kind of feels tickly or itchy, depending on your reaction, but you can feel it doing things. Think of this as receiving an oxygen facial at home (or on the road). Those bubbles work to draw oxygen to the skin, which is good for circulation, purification, and rejuvenation; all of which are much needed after an exhausting trip. Your skin will be glowing, dewy, and clear, and you’ll get that pep back in your step in the process. At Ling for $80.
4. Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel: This is my and Tina’s favorite peel. It is easy to use and gets the job done every time. And it smells so good! It does create a bit of a sting when you first apply it, but it’s nothing that will actually bother you. This formula is a natural exfoliant, without any physical scrubbing required, which some people don’t like. For those of you with hyperpigmentation, Renée says to NOT use an abrasive scrub because it activates melanin, which will give you more spots! I love using this after a day at the beach to shed that grimy feeling that comes with a long time spent in the sun. At Renée Rouleau for $86.50.
5. Kat Burki Restorative Dual Acid Peel: When it comes to treatments, I like to know something is happening, so the sting of a peel is almost satisfying in a sick way. I didn’t think this peel was doing much at first because it wasn’t burning my face off. I had a nice, relaxing time reading my book while I waited. And then, magic happened. The results were so good, it seriously seemed like some sort of illusion. After I washed off the clear mask, even without my glasses on, I could see the dramatic difference in my complexion and texture. There was a velvety quality to my skin I’d never experienced, and my skin’s ashy dullness, from lack of sleep and too much wine, was transformed to bright, vibrant youthfulness. At Kat Burki for $125.