When it comes to taking care of our skin, it seems that what counts is not only our choice of products but how we apply them.
Just as important as the products themselves, your skincare techniques can make all the difference in getting the most out of everything you put on your skin.
Activating, massaging, soothing and de-stressing, putting that little bit more time into the way you apply can turbo-charge your products and tackle those everyday skin problems head-on.
‘It’s all about the delivery,’ says skincare guru and facialist-to-the-stars Nichola Joss, who’s worked her magic on A-listers like Angelina Jolie. ‘Massaging in products delivers them deeper into skin and also makes skin cells ready for delivery of ingredients. And skin loves it.’
From cleansing to moisturising, oils to face masks, we’ve asked top skin care experts for their insider tips on how to really work those products for radiant, beautiful skin.
It’s All In Your Hands
When it comes to skincare on the face, many of us tend to be cautious, concerned about over-working the skin or causing wrinkles. But with the right kind of technique, we can encourage drainage and de-puff and de-stress skin.
‘Taking the time to massage in your moisturiser or facial oil will help to detox and rejuvenate the skin by promoting lymphatic drainage, which in turn reduces puffiness, redness and evens skin tone, leaving the skin with renewed radiance and beauty,’ skincare expert Liz Earle explains.
Cleansing skin thoroughly twice a day is a hands-on way to improve radiance and achieve a clear complexion.
To get the most out of your cleanser, Chantecaille’s therapist Cristina Coelho advises: ‘Apply your cleanser onto a cotton pad, repeat gentle circular movements around the face and neck until the last of the cotton pads looks clean. This will help clean your skin of all make-up, surface pollution and other daytime products. It’s important that you put the cleanser onto the cotton pad and not straight onto your face which prevents the cleanser from being able to lift the dirt from the face.’
The same technique can be used with your toner. She adds: ‘Always double cleanse at night.’
For foaming cleansers, start by working the product with your hands first to get it active and then apply to the face using light, circular movements with your fingertips. You may prefer to leave the cleanser on for half a minute for deep cleansing.
Thorough rinsing off of the cleanser is crucial and if you’re not using a muslin cloth, make sure to rinse skin with around handfuls of tepid water.
To exfoliate, pat skin dry after cleansing but leave it moist. Add a small amount of product to hands and gently massage onto your face in upward circles. Try adding a little water as you go to help the formula activate.
We’re all guilty of switching our moisturisers when we don’t see instant results, but spending that little bit of extra time working with the product can help it bring out the best in your skin.
Apply your moisturiser immediately after cleansing when skin is still slightly damp as this helps lock in the water, preventing evaporation.
Nichola says: ‘With CLEAN hands take a good amount of product into your fingers and apply to palms of hands and gently rub together. Then taking palms onto face, press product onto skin. Start massaging in the moisturiser in the same way as cleansing massage, avoiding eye area as this is done with eye cream, and also sweeping down the sides of the neck. Apply more product if needed and finally finish by sweeping the remainder of the product into the back of your hands. Always treat the backs of your hands the same way you would treat your face.’
She adds: ‘When massaging your face, always work with small circular motions, outwards and upwards, opening up the face. Use enough pressure to feel for tension.’
Remember to work your moisturiser onto your neck and décolletage also in upwards movements to help stimulate circulation and give skin a lift.
While those of us with combination or oily skin may be a bit wary, oils can be hugely beneficial for all skin types, just as long as they’re applied in the right way.
‘Oils should be applied at night onto clean dry skin,’ says Nichola. ‘With clean hands put a few drops of oil into palms, rub together and then press into face using fingertips to massage in small, firm circular motions from the centre of the face outwards and upwards using a scissor technique with the index and middle fingers along your jaw line. Tap fingers around outer eye contour area, using upper cheekbone and brow bone eyebrow area for guidance.’
She adds: ‘Spend around five minutes gently but with a decent amount of pressure massaging face and neck and décolletage area. Feel for areas of pressure and stress and work more on these points.’
Remember to apply oil after cleansing but before moisturising.