The soft touch
‘The biggest discovery of my career? Lymphatic drainage – a gentle massage to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system, which helps to remove fluid and waste from the body. It will also regenerate skin tissue and boost the immune system. I also believe that these massage movements have an anti-ageing effect as they help to boost skin cell turnover, which slows as we age. The quicker your cell turnover, the plumper and more glowing your skin, because the cells are fresh and resilient.
Regular facial massages also make skin look radiant, as they stimulate blood circulation to the face. They encourage the flow of fluid through your lymphatic system too, removing toxins. Using a good product can boost the power of a facial. One of my favourites is a product I helped develop – Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse Facial Lipid Recovery Facial Oil, £22 (1). It contains a complex of lipids [fats that encourage plumpness] to firm and nourish skin.”
Can’t afford a swanky facial? Give yourself a relaxing facial massage using Nichola’s DIY method:
*Apply facial oil, or a moisturising face mask, to the palms of your hands. Sweep across your chest and up to your neck, one palm after the other.
*Lightly hold your jaw between the thumb and forefingers of one hand, then with the other hand, press your fingers along the jaw up to the ears in a circular motion.
*To fight sagging jowls, sweep your palms across your face from the side of your nose out to your ears, on both sides at the same time.
*Use your index and middle fingers to sweep up and over each cheek, one at a time, lifting and flicking the muscles.
*Smooth lines around the lips by using the flat of your right index and middle fingers, sweeping them from the left to the right side of your mouth. Then use your left fingers to do the right to the left side of your mouth.
*Finish by alternately sweeping your hands over your forehead from brow to hairline, to smooth out wrinkles.
I included the extract exclusively in my Simon Thérapie Gold Acid-Free Micropeel, £120 (2). The first of its kind, this at-home-product uses Phytocytes to eliminate layers of dead skin and stimulate cell renewal, which in turn reduces the appearance of surface wrinkles, preserves skin tone and stops skin slackening. Used two to three times a week, it was proven by Clinical Research Laboratories Inc USA to reduce lines and wrinkles by 61 per cent after seven weeks.
I believe moisturising is vital. Using the best ingredients
on dehydrated skin will have a limited effect – much like feeding but not watering a plant. I swear by moisturisers and serums that contain hyaluronic acid. This is a natural acid found in the body that is in charge of skin renewal and hydration, but is depleted by things like sun damage so needs topping up. A fab product for this is Skinceuticals Emollience, £55.”