Regular exercise is essential to keep the body healthy - the same goes for the face
(This article first appeared in Asia Spa Magazine)
Everyone knows how powerful massage can be for relieving tension and easing body and mind. While this centuries old panacea is as popular as ever, it is only relatively recently that the Western world is waking up to its benefits in tightening, toning and rejuvenating the face.
FaceGym may indeed be the dream therapy as it irons out creases and shapes the complexion from the comfort of your chair (albeit in the middle of Selfridges busy department store in London).
The technique is the brainchild of spa junkie and undercover serial facialist, Inge Theron, who over the past four years has been globetrotting with one agenda: to seek out the best therapies and report her experiences in the Financial Times How To Spend It.
“I have tried everything”, Theron explains, “from dragon’s blood, injecting my own blood back into my face, smearing lamb placenta thrice daily over my visage, having four golden threads stitched into my face and countless other treatments that have frozen, heated or even stunted muscles or never endings.” The outcome of Theron’s far-reaching research was that muscle stimulation methods or manually strengthening the muscles in the face was a winner every time.
Facial massage is not new (it has been practiced in ancient cultures for centuries,) but Theron’s contemporary twist is more of a facial workout than a facial. FaceGym cleverly blends time-tested techniques with modern science, choreographed to recreate a typical gym workout and delivered by your personal ‘Face Trainer’ and giving the ultimate non-invasive, finger face-lift.
“Facial muscles are crucial to the way we look and with regular stimulation can lift, tone and tighten the skin, boost blood circulation and collagen production giving a fresh youthful appearance,” she says. “There are over 650 muscles in the human body with roughly 50 concentrated in the face, it takes approximately 43 to frown, 17 to smile, but without proper stimulation, face muscles are prone to sagging.” And there is more as face trainers target deep into the muscles around key problem areas like the jowls, eyes and foreheads to lift and sculpt, Improving lymphatic drainage and reducing puffiness (especially around the eyes).
The signature GB£35/30 minute FaceGym treatment comprises four key stages: warm up, cardio, strength and cool down. First, the deep cleanse uses vigorous knuckling movements and skin brushing to remove dead skin cells and kick start the detox. Cardio uses a combination of high energy, quick, whipping strokes to stimulate blood circulation, collagen production and cell renewal, bringing a rosy glow to the face. Then deep muscle work using targeted sculpting and micro-contouring techniques, spliced with high-intensity percussion fingers, stimulates muscles to lift and tighten the face. Around the eyes is more gentle of course and rhythmic movements help drain the lymph to brighten and de-puff the eye contour. During the final cool down a cooling jade roller glides across the skin to even tone and drain excess fluid.
The Buccal technique is an optional add on. Wearing gloves the therapist massages deep inside the mouth, working on muscles especially around the jaw, to release tension. “It has a remarkably effect on appearance as the muscles in the jaw can get rather tight,” Theron qualifies.
FaceGym is seriously hardcore stimulation with little in the way of pampering - think squats lunges, kettle bells and much more for the face. In fact, the overall experience can be quite painful at times, as fingers and knuckles prod under the cheekbones kneading the stubborn knots. But the results speak for themselves. Quite profound actually as after a relatively short treatment I felt radiant, fresh faced and truly glowing (even at my age). But as with every effective gym workout – you get what you put in. After one session you will look and feel radiantly energized. Making FaceGym an essential part of your week will ensure that gorgeous glow remains. Theron is confident that FaceGym will soon launch in Hong Kong and other countries.
Celebrity facialist Su Man
Celebrity facialist Su-Man enjoys a cult following at her studios in London and Singapore. She too uses massage to bring facial muscles to life.
“If facial muscles are activated and toned then the skin reflects this and looks lifted and sculpted. It improves blood circulation; tones and firms face muscles and keeps the skin supple. If you do this with your skincare products, particularly moisturiser it ensures the products penetrate and protect the dermis. Massaging products into the skin enables them to work at a deeper level, blood and energy to flow to your face giving it a brightened appearance"
Also massaging the ears and scalp will work wonders for facial circulation. The end result is not only a face that looks wonderfully conditioned, healthy and radiant but is also open, expressive and happy.