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3 Tips for At-home (Korean) Facials

I love being snowed in. It’s cozy and soothing.

It’s actually not that different than well, just another quiet night in, and yet, it feels different. A part of it is that obviously there’s a foot of snow outside (in this case, 7 inches, I want my promised 2 feet of snow!) and inside there’s a stockpile of hot chocolate, fleece socks, and unopened weeklies asking to be read curled up on a couch. But another part of it is that any hint of FOMO is eliminated. You know, that very small but still nagging sense of guilt for not exploring that new gallery, for passing on an intimate in-person catch-up session with your bestie or not throwing them stilettos on and painting the town red.

Everyone else is also snowed in and that solidarity is comforting. It’s the perfect setup for a total at-home indulgence/veg-out fully knowing the only thing you’re not doing is going out there to make a snowman. And that’s fine by me.

Ahh, hello, unbridled quiet night-and-day-in. 

So! To take advantage of this down-time, here are 3 things you can do to get your skin to its happy place while you’re home:

1) The steamcial: This. Works. Every. Time.

I have very dry skin - my skin naturally lacks a lot of oils and therefore, my skin barrier gets weakened and then moisture leaves my face easily leaving my skin dehydrated on top of being dry. What happens next? Flakes, increased sensitivity, products won’t absorb. It’s bad. 

I discovered this trick to coax your skin back to suppleness from none other than celebrity esthetician, Estela Gilboe (for you NY-ers, she is one of the best skin magicians this city has, if you can squeeze into her packed schedule!) almost ten years ago now. I went running over to her when I couldn’t rid my skin of flakes or this slightly burning feeling whenever I would put on products because my skin had completely given up on retaining any moisture.

She whipped out her steam machine, and spent the next hour kneading my face with silky serums, velvety creams that melted onto the skin with the steam blowing into my face, patting on heavier creams and letting it sit there co-mingling with the steam. She gently revived my skin back to plumpness. 

Years after, I was in Korea at a traditional bathhouse and saw a group of women in the steam room with beauty products on their face. They were talking about how the steamcial never lets them down during wintry months. I piped in agreeing emphatically. The bond of fellow steamcial-ers is strong - we all passionately talked about how these steamcials saved our skin.

I have eczema. I have dry skin, naturally. But! Every winter, at least 2-3x a month, I spend a good half hour with my bathroom super steamed up, and will go through my entire regimen…twice. And in double portions. I knead and pat serums and creams into the skin and let the steam help coax it all in. Whenever people ask me how I keep my skin looking dewy in the winter, I only have one answer – the steamcial. No special directions, just do your skincare regimen as your normally would, but do it twice, and use a bit more than you normally would. And spend a little more time patting and kneading in with motions that go upwards and outwards (no downward tugging at the skin). 

Here’s one of my go-to steamcial products this winter:


2) The sheet mask sandwich:

Ready to take your sheet-masking up a notch for the ultimate at-home facial? 3 easy steps: 1) Take your sheet mask, use as you normally would, then instead of peeling off, lift gently and 2) Take one of your serums and apply onto your face in abundant portions under the mask, and 3) Pat your sheet mask back on and seal that serum in. 

Your freshly-sheet-masked face is hydrated and ready to absorb, so applying a serum right after sheet-masking and using the sheet mask on top to maximize absorption will give your face that intense boost you want in this weather.

Two products great for sheet-mask-sandwiching!




And I just had to include this here. =P

Having a little to much fun #sheemasksandwiching - let’s #sheetmaskselfie together



3) Peace time:

Hello, stress. Unfortunately, stress has been a close friend of mine these past few years building a company. No matter how much I feed my skin nourishing ingredients, stress comes around and snatches it right out of my skin. I’ve learned to double down on peace-time this past year and it’s made an enormous difference in everything - productivity, happiness, skin, sleep quality, even my hair. And when snowed in, it’s the perfect time to gain an extra bit of zen for the week or two to come. My peace-time almost always comes with tea. Green tea for the antioxidants, and because it tastes great. I’ve heard once in Korea, a lady saying as she was drinking her tea “this is my facial in a cup.” Extreme, but love it.

Here’s a recommendation for those looking for a green tea that has a full flavor:


And as always, if you have any questions, you can always email us at and we’re always happy to help!

xx- Alicia

Posted on July 06, 2015
by Alicia Yoon
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