The Facial Massage Debate

Beauty Jade Tool

Facial massage has been heralded as the one stop shop for plumping, firming and smoothing skin, as well as leaving it with a radiant glow. Unsurprisingly, plenty  of skincare experts advocate the use of massage in some way to improve the quality of your skin.

Most facials incorporate some form of massage too, be it a dedicated section of the treatment or an accompanying technique when the therapist is cleansing or moisturising your skin. The reason is that massaging the skin boosts your circulation and lymphatic drainage, which in turn reduces inflammation and puffiness.

Over the years, massage has evolved into a full workout for your face with some experts claiming that facial exercises could take years off of you. The vigorous massage techniques and pummeling are believed to tone and sculpt your facial muscles, as well as boost that fresh glow. Not everyone is on board though. There are some experts who stress that strong massage can actually breakdown your skin’s collagen and cause more damage than good.

In their book You: Being Beautiful, both Dr Oz and Dr Michael F. Roizen argue that: “Exercising the facial muscles is a sure way to increase wrinkles. The repetitive movements of the skin, over the years, combined with the normal thinning of the collagen and elastin of the dermis, will eventually crack the skin, causing wrinkles.”

So, how should you approach facial massage?

While you want it to supercharge your circulation and get the blood flowing, you don’t want to be too rough with your skin. Hayo’u founder and Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle developed the Beauty Restorer tool with this in mind. To work in harmony with traditional Chinese massage technique, the jade tool is perfectly shaped to fit into the natural curves of your face and helps you to gently but effectively increase circulation. Jade is renowned for its soothing, cooling powers as well.

How long should you massage your skin for?

It can be for as long or as short as you need. The Hayo’u method promotes one minute and longer 10 minute rituals depending on how much time you have to spare. Plenty of experts recommend using your hands and incorporating massage into simple tasks, such as cleansing. A cleansing oil or balm is the best texture to use as it encourages you to really work the formula into your skin.

Do you have to use tools?

Plenty of therapists use their hands rather than tools to massage their clients skin, so there’s no reason for you to invest in one in order to reap the benefits. However, if you’re not sure how to approach facial massage or want the cooling powers of jade, then we recommend looking into the Beauty Restorer.

An Ayurvedic Guide To Spring

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Lighter mornings and evenings; the popping up of crocuses and daffodils; the budding of trees –  all the newness and lush growth surrounding us in nature signifies it’s the perfect time to give ourselves a kick-start. However, coming out of winter into spring can feel quite harsh, there’s a sense that we should be bounding with energy, yet we’re not quite in full swing. This is very natural – all holistic health systems recognise the need to support the body during seasonal transition.

In Ayurveda (the Indian ‘science of life’), it’s recognised that our inner systems are affected by our outer environment and the cold, damp air of early spring increases our susceptibility to catarrh, mucus, sniffles and colds as well as allergic rhinitis, hay fever and asthma when trees and flowers begin to release their pollen. This is seen as kapha imbalance – kapha being one of the system’s three doshas; sets of qualities relating to constitution which need to be in balance for good health. Kapha tendencies also include lethargy, water retention and weight gain which makes sense of the sluggishness we often feel after months of hibernating from the cold and dark. We might feel melancholic too, and coming into the brightness of spring light can literally and metaphorically leave us blinking. The good news is the Ayurvedic approach is to adjust our eating, exercise and body care routines subtly so we gently shake off the vestiges of winter and emerge into the longer days slowly and gradually. Read More…

Five Fast Wellbeing Fixes

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Get your body & mind back on track in 2014, with Annee’s advice

If there’s one thing NOT to do in January/February, it’s detox!

After the extra mince pies, pud and stocking chocolates, your system won’t thank you for it. Instead, I simply make an effort to go back to my normal way of eating – nurturing my system with healing hot foods like soups, stews and broths, filled with seasonal vegetables and grains. Once your body is strengthened in this way, it does the job of detoxing itself very efficiently indeed, so there really is no need to go on a hunger strike. Some friends swear by going raw, or sticking to just juice in January, but I think it really puts a strain on the spleen – both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine believe that healing, warm foods are essential to staying healthy during the coldest months, and if you really want to go on a fast, wait until spring, when the warmer weather will aptly support your cleansing system. Read More…

The Great Night In

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Men have sheds. Women have – well, we have bathrooms. (And thank heavens for that.) Yes, the rest of the family are in and out of them, too. (Leaving their towels dripping on the floor.) But when it comes to finding sanctuary in the home, there is nowhere better: lock the door, run the taps, lie back and soak your cares and stresses away. Because while we may all fantasise about a fortnight at Chiva-Som (or some other faraway spa), in reality, a night in with some gorgeous bath and body treats is the closest most of us get to a wellbeing escape.

So we should be thankful, then. Because in the past few years, as a beauty editor I’ve been privileged to see first-hand how the beauty world has been falling over itself to offer us pampering potions for at-home treatments: bath oils, salt scrubs, foot treats, face masks – and more. All designed to offer the blissful benefits of a salon or spa visit – but with the bonus: we can enjoy, then flop into our own beds, afterwards. In a perfect world, we’d prepare for this experience by tumbling dry a vast pile of clean fluffy towels, and preparing a relaxing playlist on our iPhones. But because this isn’t a perfect world, all that’s really required is a lock on the bathroom door (or a chair that can be wedged under the door handle), to maximise our chances of privacy.

Whizz up a juice, unroll your yoga mat for a few smooth moves, beforehand – and retreat…

Start with water therapy. Physiologically, the relaxing effects of soaking in water are simple to understand: warm water displaces weight, making you feel light. As your capillaries dilate from its warmth, your blood pressure drops. What’s more, according to Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses, a soak in the tub is ‘a ritual that is restorative, sensuous, religious or calming.’ So: chuck out that ageing flannel. Pension off that rubber duck. And prepare experience splendour in the bath. Read More…