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Thing of Beauty

Skin-Whisperer Joanna Vargas Will Teach You to Master the At-Home Facial

Thing of Beauty BY courtney conway 10/05/2017


Come on now: Who doesn’t want to give their complexion a boost? And we all want the help of Joanna Vargas, who regularly tends the cheeks and chins of Julianne Moore and Rachel Weisz. She also has some news: “At-home facials are trending—more women are doing rituals once a week to care for themselves.” On that note, here’s her guide to getting a Met Ball-ready glow, without having to actually go anywhere.



“At-home facials should be done on a weekly basis. I think that’s what people have a hard time with—your skin is just a window into your habits and routines. So if you start a good routine, you’re going to see a difference in your skin right away. It won’t be a year—it should only take a week or a few weeks. You’ll really see a difference in your skin if you’re using the right products.”



“The first thing is to start cleansing the skin. Do that before anything to remove any residue and dirt from your day, makeup, and sweat to start with a nice clean palette. I find that foaming face washes are easier for people to use because they’re easy to get off every last bit of dirt off the skin without leaving a residue, and they tend to work for all skin types.”




“Then follow with an exfoliating step. Everyone’s skin needs to be exfoliated—if you’re older, it accelerates collagen production, and if you’re young, you need it to keep your pores clean. And for anyone of any age, it helps to brighten and resurface the skin. Some people like to do fruit acid peels or a glycolic of some sort. I’m more of a fan of scrubs because I think they’re easier to utilize, they don’t cause as much redness or patchiness in the skin, and you can get everything, like blackheads, out of your pores. Scrubs tend to bring everything out more easily. My own exfoliating mask is a scrub that also has pineapple enzyme and lactic acid so you can leave it on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes.”




“Once you’re done exfoliating, I would do some sort of a beauty mask to address what your skin needs the most. This is the treatment aspect of the facial. It could be a stem cell mask, a hydrating mask, or a calming, antibacterial mask if you’re breaking out. I am in favor of multi-masking. I either mask different areas with different products, or I mix masks together. There are certainly no rules to it. If you’re breaking out on your chin, then you’re going to have a different concern there than you would have on your cheeks. And sometimes people need hydration but are super-sensitive, so you could combine a soothing mask with a hydrating mask and put that all over the face. Or you can take a probiotic acneic mask and mix it with a green mask so that you’re oxygenating and getting the circulation moving but you’re still killing the bacteria and healing the skin.”



“After masking, use a serum. My own rejuvenating one has olive oil that acts as a skin softener, neroli that increases circulation, and rosehip that protects against photoaging. You should choose something that treats and heals your particular skin concern.”


Bonus: Two Of Joanna’s Rad Recipes!



“I always tell people they should do a DIY mask before they do their makeup. It’s easy to use ingredients from the kitchen on your face, and if you are using fresh things they will work quicker. Leave a mask like the one below on for five minutes, and your skin will be glowing!”



  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ cup mashed strawberries
  • ¼ cup honey



  • 2 tablespoons of almond powder



“Mix together and apply to face and neck for 5 minutes. It's soothing and tightens pores. If you want to add some extra exfoliation, put two tablespoons of almond powder into this one and scrub it onto the skin with extra time spent on the T-zone, where most blackheads are found. Then leave it on as a beauty mask. The results will be amazing!”



“This bath treatment will make dry patches and redness will disappear overnight!”



  • 1 cup chamomile tea leaves
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves



“Add the leaves to a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cook these for fifteen minutes, strain, and add this water to your bath. Not only will you feel relaxed, but this potion will also soothe your skin like nothing else.”



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