DIY Guide to At-Home Beauty with Expert Kate De Sousa

Right now, your skincare routine could be taking a back seat to other priorities, and you may be seeing those effects on your face. Breakouts and dryness are possible side effects of stress and diet changes due to anxiety around COVID-19. 

We have all probably tried an at-home treatment. I know I’ve tried drying out a pimple with toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide. You may have even seen a recipe on Pinterest for a mask made with lemon and brown sugar, but Kate De Sousa, owner of Pure + Simple in Waterloo, warns against using these remedies. 

“These ingredients can cause photosensitivity, damage and irritation to the skin,” she said. She also warned against baking soda, salt and crushed up vitamins or probiotic capsules.

What she did suggest was consistency, “keep up with your skincare routine. Consistency is key. This is a stressful time. Our schedules and diets are all off, so if your skin is freaking out show it some extra love. Don’t panic!”

Facial Massage

She also recommended, “taking this time to learn some facial massages to incorporate into your skincare regime.” 

A facial massage can be done at home using an oil or cream and will help to rejuvenate your skin by increasing circulation, eliminating dead skin cells and relieving tension. This treatment involves massaging key facial muscles and pressure points, like your jawline, cheekbones and forehead using your hands (or a stone roller if you have one). 

Plenty of great tutorials can be found online. Pure + Simple has a tutorial on facial message on their Instagram, but some basic steps include:

  1. Clean your face and hands.
  2. It should never feel like you are pulling or dragging your skin. Apply a small amount of product into your hands to evenly distribute it over your face.
  3. Use gentle but firm pressure.
  4. Using the tips of your fingers, massage the lymph nodes under your ears and along the sides of your neck. Use wide circles, sweeping from under your ears down toward your throat and back up along your jawline.
  5. Use circular motions to massage the perimeter of your face, along the sides of your jaw and up over your cheekbones. Push your skin up and out — not down.
  6. Press your fingers between your brows and slowly slide them up to your forehead. Repeat this motion across your forehead, gently pulling the skin up and out. Massaging against the lines will help to smooth them in the right direction.
  7. Be gentle around the eye area where the skin is thinner and more fragile. Position your fingers on either side of your nose and gently run them upwards toward your temples.
  8. Finish with your neck. Use light, vertical strokes to massage skin from your chest, up your neck and to your jawline.


De Sousa prefers to leave the creation of skincare to experts, but if she had to pick something from her cupboard for skincare she would use Manuka honey,  “it’s soothing and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. “Manuka honey can be used as a cleanser or mask,” De Sousa said.


Another product De Sousa suggested for an at-home beauty routine is apple cider vinegar, which can be used occasionally to give your scalp a cleanse. You may be thinking why ACV? Used as a remedy for thousands of years, ACV is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can also help kill bacteria and yeast on the skin related to conditions like acne, eczema, and dandruff. The vinegar is also known to be rich in vitamins C and B and various minerals. As an acidic substance, ACV helps lower pH and brings hair health back into balance. 

ACV Wash:

  1. Mix ½ to 4 of tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces (28 grams) of water. The amount of ACV will depend on your hair and will take some experimenting — dry hair likes less.
  2. After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair evenly, working it into your scalp.
  3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse out.
  5. Be careful and do not use it too often. Try once or twice a month, but everyone’s hair is different so judge accordingly.

If you are currently unfamiliar with Pure + Simple and the thought of finding the right skincare products is intimidating, you can connect with them through social media. Kate and the staff always offer skin consultations to help clients.

Since opening in September 2014, Pure + Simple has been offering facials, all-natural skincare and wellness products to the Region. Since COVID-19 forced them to find different ways to connect with customers, they are currently offering contactless curbside pick-up and local porch drop-offs. Guests can call and email or message them on Instagram or Facebook to place orders.  

Like many small businesses, “COVID-19 has totally flipped [our] world upside down,” and for De Sousa, they are “trying to stay positive and optimistic that everything will be okay.”  

As always, seek the advice of a professional. When it comes to your skin, DIY can be dangerous. Try taking her earlier advice, show yourself and others some love and don’t panic!

Claims about Honey and ACV are purely anecdotal. TCE recommends getting evaluated by your dermatologist first.