If you’re anything like me, you already spent way too much money on Valentine’s Day gifts for loved ones (I’m guilty of purchasing a set of vintage perfumes, ingredients to make homemade nut butter, an old collection of Tom Wolfe essays, and a bunch of mason jars. I did, however, show a little restraint in not buying the glitter pens). So, while a pre-Valentine’s massage/facial/mani-pedi sounds amazing, it’s simply not in the financial cards for me.
Thank goodness for refrigerators and pantries! Trust me, everything you need to get your complexion ready for tomorrow is already lurking in your kitchen. This isn’t the Dark Ages, so we won’t be staining our cheeks with beet juice or anything, but if you need purify, exfoliate, moisturize, and refresh your complexion, it’s simple, easy, fun and free. Let’s walk you through it, shall we?
Step 1: Put on a sultry playlist.
What’s the fun of getting ready if you can’t dance around your apartment a little?
Step 2: Prep your face with olive oil.
Oh yeah. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a great way to loosen up clogged pores and rid your face of dirt, because it’s so gentle. No harsh soaps here, please! They strip away your face’s natural oils (which are necessary for healthy skin, though you may rail against them when they make your T-zone shiny). Pull your hair back, pour a puddle of oil into your hand, and gently massage your face. You may feel little clogs working their way out of your pores. Gross, but weirdly satisfying. When you finish massaging, run hot water over a washcloth, wring it out, and place over your face. Do this several times to gently remove the oil and steam out your pores.
Step 3: Exfoliate with sugar and milk.
Mix up a delicious little exfoliating scrub that smells good enough to eat. Start with 1/4 cup sugar, and enough milk to create a scrub-like consistency. Milk contains lactic acid–an alpha-hydroxy acid that moisturizes and helps dissolve dead skin cells. Sugar grains provide more exfoliating action, obviously. Gently massage into your face using circular motions. Now’s a good time to exfoliate your lips, too! Rinse with cold water.
Step 4: Hydrate with honey.
Honey, honey, honey. You magical thing! Honey is amazing for your skin–it’s a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture, and it’s antibacterial/antiviral/anti-fungal/anti-inflammatory, meaning it will fight any unpleasant little blemishes that are lurking around. Slather on a thick honey mask and leave it on for 20-60 mins. Warning: it can get drippy, so I recommend lying on your bed with your head on a towel, putting your laptop on your stomach, and watching a movie.
Step 5: Luxuriate in a hot shower.
Rinse off your honey mask and do whatever it is you kids do in the shower. Once you get out, pat your face with a few drops of oil or your favorite moisturizer. You are so ready for a valentine.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com; photo by Freerange Stock Archives