DIY skin and spa treatments: Just because you're locked down, it doesn't mean your pores have to be

Don't forget to mask and massage. Images via Getty. Collage by Afika Jadezweni
Don't forget to mask and massage. Images via Getty. Collage by Afika Jadezweni

The lockdown that began at midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020, will probably change the way we navigate the humdrum of our daily lives beyond the prescribed 21 days of physical distancing. 

It's already changed a few of our habits - cleaning, cooking, our approach to leisure, and even our beauty treatments and pampering routines. I might even go as far as saying the latter falls into the category of the most compromised non-essential essentials because yes, while going for a hair treatment is necessary to keep your tresses healthy, it's not essential for survival.

READ MORE: No alcohol for 21 days? Your skin might thank you later 

You might have already noticed that some of the stores which are still operating to sell essential supplies, have blocked off the cosmetics section. This isn't too jarring in terms of makeup, but skincare ought to still be available for purchase (a conversation for another day perhaps). Alas, if you find yourself unable to meet your skin and pampering needs in whatever capacity, there are a few things you can still do at home. 

Home sweet home spa 

Experts at Amani Spa at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, dished out some good advice about how to set up your own treatments at home for yourself and anyone else in your household. Nthabiseng Shongwe, Brand Manager of Amani Spas, shares her guide below.

Use good quality products 

There’s a reason that you feel so relaxed after an hour or two on the massage table. But seeing as you’re unable to get to Amani Spa (or any spa) right now, you could make some homemade treatments from ingredients in your cupboard that have similar properties such as, coconut oil for balms and body butters, and various scented oils for aromatherapy. Most of these oils and butter bases are easy to find on Google, but be extra careful with your ingredients, as some people may suffer from allergies. 

READ MORE: Must we throw away all our coconut oil hair/skin products now that a Harvard professor has likened the cult ingredient to poison?

Ensure that there is good hydration for before and after the treatment 

You can do this by creating your own infused water or tea. With water, you can mix in fruits such as berries or oranges, while tea is extra tasty and nutritious when you add lemon, honey or ginger. Not only is this important for hydration, but it’s also the type of treatment you would get at a spa in person, so adding this to your home-spa activity will give it that added feeling of a real spa. 

Time to achieve porefection 

Heidi Cerfontyne, Education Curriculum Manager at Nimue Skin Technology, shares three steps to maintain healthy glowing skin during the lockdown.

Getting a professional facial treatment or chemical peel is the best thing you can do for your skin. However, as the world grapples with the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, health authorities have advised that social-distancing and self-isolation practices are crucial to help stop the spread of the virus. Your skin shouldn’t bear the brunt of skipping your usual monthly treatment. While you're indoors, there is no reason why you can’t recreate the facial experience at home with the skincare products you already have. 


Cleansing is critical to remove dirt, oil and makeup to give your skin a clean slate. Consider using a soap-free, dual cleanser that gently removes make-up, impurities and provides light exfoliation. This allows all other products to penetrate optimally into the deeper layers of the skin. 


Exfoliate using a gentle exfoliator that removes dead skin cells and promotes cell renewal. Consider using chemical and enzymatic exfoliators that include ingredients such as salicylic acid and papaya enzymes. These ingredients gently break down and loosen the bonds between dead cells to exfoliate without causing irritation, which is especially beneficial for sensitive and acne-prone skin. 

READ MORE: Your skin can be healthy even with blemishes, blackheads, acne and pimples


You need to choose a mask most suitable for your skin needs. A moisture-rich, cream mask that hydrates and soothes is great for dry and dehydrated skin. An anti-bacterial mask that absorbs excess oil and purifies the skin is perfect for oily skin. Apply your mask and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. While you sit back and relax, you can also apply some eye cream to the eye area and cover with wet cotton pads (that you could put in the fridge five minutes prior to your treatment).

Wash the mask off with warm water and apply your facial moisturiser. “Remember to apply a broad-spectrum SPF daily, even during periods of [physical distnacing] to keep skin protected against indoor lights and light reflection through your windows," concludes Heidi.

The Laser Beautique also shares some tips on how to enjoy your own DIY facial treatment. 

DIY facial steps 

1. Firstly let’s start by cleansing our skins, free of any make-up or dirt on your skin so that our products can be more effective.  

2. Begin with an exfoliation mask. This allows you to get rid of all that dead skin. Although a home peel or exfoliant mask is not as strong as a peel you would have in clinic, it’s still extremely beneficial. You don’t want to let your skin go. Especially if you have been looking after your skin and having regular tech facials.  

3. After your exfoliation mask, use your face wash to wash away all that debris that isn't welcome. 

4. Now that your skin is ready to open up. Have your bath or shower. The steam will naturally get your pores to loosen and open. After the shower/ bath put on your robe, start to feel like you in a 5-star medi spa and get stuck into unwinding.  

5. Apply a rehydrating or anti-ageing mask and relax, get your favourite magazine, pop on your favourite sitcom and let your mask to its job.   

6. After 10-15 minutes, cleanse and give yourself a much needed massage. 

7. Apply moisturiser by massaging it in. Massaging refines the pores, warms up the skin, brings blood flow which allow products to better penetrate

W24 recommends using a jade roller or blue balls à la Tracee Ellis Ross, if you have for these last two steps. 

Additional information and images courtesy of Irvine Partners, The Laser Beautique, and Nimue Skin Technology. 

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