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As you may know already, I’m a big fan of the Gua Sha facial and of Face Yoga. Both incorporate the benefits of exercising and stimulating your facial muscles – a bit like taking your face to the gym and with 43 main muscles present in the face, a regular workout can be incredibly beneficial. Some of our facial muscles get used more than others as a result of our how we express ourselves (smiling, frowning, eyebrow raising), while others are used less frequently, resulting in facial drooping and sagging. I’ve lost count of the number of middle-aged people that I’ve seen with amazingly fit, regularly exercised bodies but whose faces have been neglected!
The beauty industry has transformed how we age in the 21st century, with a huge focus on anti-aging – or age-defying – products and treatments. And judging by how much better middle-aged women look today by comparison to those of my mum’s generation, something is working. Women in their 40s and 50s definitely look younger than our mothers’ generation did. Of course, there are so many more options available to us, from botox and fillers to lasers and facial peels. But for those who don’t want to go down that route and prefer a natural approach to aging, techniques like Face Yoga and Gua Sha facials are increasingly popular alternatives. I’ve been exploring facial massage as an age preventative and I’m an admirer of celebrity facialist, Nichola Joss, whose clients include Keira Knightley and Kate Moss. Nichola is an advocate and practitioner of facial massage – I follow her daily Instagram posts demonstrating her effective firming and toning techniques. She also offers a Bespoke Sculpting Inner Facial at her London and New York beauty rooms which incorporates deep lymphatic drainage massage and contouring techniques that she has designed to firm up the facial contours and restore radiance by targeting sagging facial muscles. The facial involves massaging inside the mouth to de-stress the muscle tissue and to improve the elasticity and firmness of the facial muscles. This also encourages the muscles to ‘lift’, giving the face more volume and helping to restore youthfulness. For more details, visit www.nicholajoss.com.
Through my research into facial massage, I have also discovered another celebrity facialist, Lynn Taylor, who happens to live in my neck of the woods in Kent. Like Nichola, Lynn looks after a host of familiar faces such as Janet Street-Porter (who I have to say looks AMAZING for 72!) Kate Garraway, Hayley Atwell and Chemmy Alcott. Clients travel from all over the county to visit Lynn and to be treated by her magical hands, and for some, her treatments are an absolute must. Former World Cup Alpine ski racer, broadcaster Chemmy Alcott, won’t make a TV appearance or have a big meeting without seeing Lynn first for her “face lift” effect facial (and she has had massages all over the world). Lynn has been a facialist for over 15 years, developing her own unique style of facial massage after years of practicing a variety techniques and studying faces. When I was invited to experience one of Lynn’s facials, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
When I arrived, I found Lynn to be very approachable and friendly, immediately putting me at my ease. I turned up a bit frazzled as I am juggling so many things at the moment, so it was lovely to lie down in Lynn’s peaceful room – and relax. Lynn had a look at my skin and pointed out where it was dehydrated and explained what she would be doing, all in a very gentle, reassuring manner, (not at all like a trip to the hairdresser when you are asked ‘WHO did your hair last time?’ or ‘HAVE you been using Head and Shoulders again?’). Once she has diagnosed my skin and determined its needs, she quickly got on with working her magic. The main issues that Lynn was going to tackle included the slightly drooping skin and fine lines around my eyes. I also wanted my skin to feel and look fresher, and be more moisturised.
Lynn’s facials last a full 2 hours and have the added benefit of being very relaxing. In some areas, the massage is much more intense but still pleasurable, and she also uses some very gentle and softer strokes. I was able to unwind immediately as I felt comfortable in Lynn’s hands and in her home. Lynn is also a Reiki Master, so her facial feels very healing as well as anti-aging. I think I was snoring at one point, so I was definitely relaxed! Along with her hands, Lynn also uses a variety of tools along the way too depending on your needs including an LED face mask (as used by Madonna) a CACI machine, and even a CACI Wrinkle Comb!
In the before photo, my skin is a bit grey and dull and there is visible ‘drooping’ around the eye area.
In the after photo, my eyes are more open and awake, and the skin around the eye area looks much more taut (although a bit shiny!). Overall, my skin is much fresher and brighter and definitely looks more youthful. The texture was also improved and it felt really soft and smooth, as well as being hydrated. I looked and felt like a new woman after Lynn’s facial.
Lynn recommends having a facial every 4 weeks, along with a home care package of skincare products that she selects for each client.
The facials, £120, are expensive but worth it, and Lynn has kindly offered all my subscribers a generous 20% discount. To book your facial, contact her here quoting the reference SHIRLAW to obtain your discount. Lynn is located in Whitstable, Kent.