Living in Manhattan and traveling through Asia has allowed me to encounter some less than mainstream, but totally awesome beauty products. I think some secrets are way too good to be left to themselves, and wanted to share seven skincare treatments every girl should consider at least once or twice! Who knows, you might uncover a product that makes your skin glow like nothing else you've found before.
One of the funnier tips I learned was last year in Thailand while getting a peculiar facial from this elderly woman with completely radiant skin. She was rubbing my face in something that definitely had coconut oil in it (shocker) and then started straight up slapping my face. While I was totally shocked in the moment, my friend later explained that facial slapping is totally a thing. Apparently, the light slapping helps moisturizer absorb better and increases blood flow to your face? Who knew man.
The round up below includes a list of treatments you should definitely seek out with a professional, as well as a few you can order online. All of them have either been tested by me or my close pals so you can trust that each treatment is worth the cost!
1. Hot Stone Facial
Full disclosure, the reason I tried a hot stone facial was after a week of hardcore crying over the first ex I was really in love with. My eyes were puffy AF and my friend in San Francisco recommended it to reduce the puffiness faster than cucumbers. #Praise it worked.
The treatment generally takes about half an hour to forty five minutes, and involves essential oils, hot stones being strategically placed around your face and body, and finishes with a light massage.
Costs really vary on this (mine was around $70), so just consult with a salon that offers it near you directly.
Part of what I did while teaching abroad in Japan was run this adult speaking class every Wednesday night. It was mostly grandmas, and the night quickly turned into a mixed language mess about food and beauty. We'd swap recipes and products, and one of my favorite skincare treatments they shared to brighten and hydrate your face was simply putting dried nori seaweed sheets on your face after dampening it a bit with water. Leave the seaweed on for about twenty minutes, and then rinse with water. I do this weekly now and it's such a cheap little luxury!
3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne System
(Effaclar Dermatological Acne System, $29.99, La Roche-Posay)
This skin care trio won one of Allure's Best Of Awards for 2015, and with good reason. I found out about it from a former roomie whose skin was always SO clear. I didn't have major pimple issues until about a year ago (thanks early twenties hormones). While I was nervous about using this with sensitive skin, all I can say is I had a noticeable difference within about two weeks and no harsh skin reactions. Definitely consider it if you're struggling with outbreaks!
4. Essential Oils
(Tea Tree Oil, $10, The Body Shop)
You know how the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding uses Windex on everything? That was totally my dad with tea tree oil. I still use tea tree oil as a spot treatment all the time, but have also expanded to include a slew of essential oils into my weekly regimen.
And don't let the word oil put you off! It's just a matter of finding one for your needs so your pores don't get clogged. My current favorite is pumpkin seed for its brightening effects!
5. Ayurvedic Facial
As explained in Yoga International, Ayurveda uses "ubtans (pastes made from herbs, flours, and legumes) to cleanse and exfoliate the skin." Ayurveda takes into account that skin type and internal life journey must be considered when determining the right treatment path, so finding a facialist willing to consult with you is a must.
6. Coffee Exfoliating Scrub
The DIY lip scrub I suggested for chapped lips (1 tablespoon ground coffee mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons softened coconut oil) can also work wonders to moisturize and brighten your skin when the weather is cold. Just scrub it over your entire face and rinse. The coffee sloughs away dead skin cells, while the coconut oil moisturized dried out skin. EASIEST DIY FACIAL EVER.
7. Float Lab
I know, what's a float lab doing in a list of skin care treatments? Hear me out. It's a known fact stress can exacerbate skin conditions and cause deep, mean cyst-like pimples. This is where float labs come in.
Float therapy, or REST (restricted environment stimulation technique) involves floating in a pitch black tank of water for an hour to two hours, and is one of the most relaxing meditative spaces I've ever encountered. There's science to back me up here, and Mens Journal shared how "Ongoing clinical and psychological studies of REST float therapy have shown multiple payoffs, such as reducing stress by lowering cortisol levels; managing chronic pain, injury, and illness; fighting addiction and depression; elevating mood; and even improving sports performance." Yeah, that's what's up.
Beyond all the epic benefits above, less stress equals clearer skin. If you live near a float lab, I would absolutely encourage you to book an appointment.