Tackle Problem Areas
De-puffing, de-stressing and detoxing skin can all be down to technique.
Liz explains: ‘Lymph fluid moves all over the body, collecting toxins and unwanted cell debris and returning them to the blood circulation to be dealt with. If the process slows up – which it does naturally, overnight, or through exposure to pollutants, lack of exercise or a poor diet – it causes puffiness.’
To remedy your puffy eyes in the morning, Nichola advises: ‘Massage around the outer contours of the eye area in circular motions using your middle or ring finger. This reduces puffiness and brightens whites of eyes as it stimulates lymphatic drainage process which keeps skin clear of toxins and water retention and speeds up natural drainage process.’
Take care not to rub, pull or drag the skin in your eye area as it is more fragile and use minimal amounts of product directly near it.
When skin needs a little boost, face masks are perfect for revitalising, replenishing and promoting radiance. Target your skin’s needs by keeping a variety of masks on hand for all occasions.
Get the most from your mask by massaging it into skin. ‘Massaging the face mask on helps to activate ingredients and help the mask penetrate skin as deep as possible. It also stimulates skin and makes it more responsive to the mask’s formula,’ says Nichola.
Use the same massage technique as the oils and really take the time to work it into skin. Then simply leave it on to do its work.
‘Don’t forget you can also mix your masks together for a truly bespoke treatment, apply different masks to specific areas of your face to target and treat, and also mix masks with your usual skincare for double the benefits,’ advises Liz.
* Avoid blobbing the moisturiser directly onto the key areas and then working in. It’s better to warm it up first in your hands and then massage in circular movements across your face.
* Try not to over-use your products. Each skincare product should be used in different amounts, so for cleansers, moisturisers, serums and oils be careful to only use the right quantity to achieve optimum results.
* Don’t drag, rub, pull or scrub skin. Dab, pat and massage skin instead.
* Always make sure you have clean hands when applying your products.
* Don’t work with gravity, work against it. Lift skin up to stimulate it rather than dragging it down.
‘The more you massage, the better you will become,’ says Nichola. ‘Work organically and freely around your face and if a movement feels good keep doing it!’
Liz Earle’s Five-Minute Fingertip Facial
Liz says: ‘If I’m tired and headachy at the end of the day, I do this five-minute routine which is fantastic for de-stressing the head and reviving your complexion. The most important part of the fingertip facial is the lymphatic draining movements.
‘These small but precise moves help speed the flow of lymph through your face, immediately helping to reduce eye bags, boost blood circulation and encourage skin cell renewal.’
Step 1: After cleansing and toning, apply a generous amount of facial oil or moisturiser to your palm and gently warm between both hands. Scoop the oil or cream with your fingertips and apply first to the décolleté. Work up the neck and face with the fingertips of both hands, using upward and outward movements. Press quite firmly, but comfortably.
Step 2: With the tips of your middle and ring fingers, start from the bridge of your nose and lightly stroke around the eyes, using sweeping movements upwards and around the sockets, along the rim of the orbital bones. Repeat several times.
Step 3: Next, with your ring finger, gently press the inner corner of the eye, using fingertip tapping movements to work down and out across the curve of the cheekbones, up past your temples to the outer edge of your eyebrows. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
Step 4: Using the tips of your thumbs and forefingers, gently pinch along each eyebrow, starting at the bridge of the nose and working outwards. Repeat at least twice.
Step 5: Finish by gently sweeping your fingertips up over the upper chest, neck and cheeks. When working on the chest and neck, it’s easiest to alternate one hand after the other, moving from side to side. Then put both sets of fingertips on your chin and sweep fingertips and palms over jaw and cheekbones.
Step 6: Take a few moments to rotate your shoulders; also let your head droop from side to side and massage the upper neck area to relieve stiffness and tension. Finish by consciously relaxing your face – letting go of every tense, tired muscle – so any lines and furrows soften.
This article originally appeared in InStyle magazine