Victoria Adams is a full body and facial yoga practitioner, as well as a health coach, who specialises in helping clients to “live well”. Facial yoga, though you may not have heard of it, can include a series of movements and massages to help “lift and sculpt” the skin.
“Facial massage, done well, and consistently, not only helps sculpt and lift the contours of the face, it helps to rejuvenate the layers of the skin by boosting circulation of the blood, and the nutrients it supplies your skin’s cells,” Victoria told Express.co.uk.
“We produce less collagen and elastin as we get older, but diet and stress play a key part in the speed at which this takes place. By improving the circulation of your blood, your circulatory system will be able to better deliver nutrients such as collagen and elastin to your cells to maintain optimum health.
“Facial massage is also a great practice to include into your bedtime routine, or as a de-stress ritual. Perfect if you have just two minutes or 20.”
As well as using your hands to complete the massage, there are also certain tools which can benefit the skin including jade rollers and the Gua Sha.
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Both have been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine and are typically made from rose quartz or jade. It is thought that the routine can help to relax muscles, boost circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage.
In Chinese medicine, the stones have been used to treat heat stroke and even viruses in the body. However, in skincare, it is claimed to have aesthetic and relaxing benefits, although research remains fairly limited.
However, Victoria recommends incorporating the Gua Sha tool if you do have one to hand. “Gua Sha techniques offer benefits that are both curative and preventative,” she explained. “It’s important to learn proper technique, but this is a practice suitable for everyone. Beyond the aesthetics of skincare, Gua Sha is a fantastic tool for relaxation, improved circulation, and improved sleep – especially if you’re struggling.”
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She continued: “Your Gua Sha tool helps sculpt and lift the skin, facilitate lymphatic drainage and improve blood circulation. Always ensure the tool glides across your skin by using a lubricating product such as facial oil.
“Some serums also work well. It is important to use your tool efficiently and safely. This means using the flat wide part of the stone, as opposed to the very edge of the tool.
“Hold the flat of the stone at a 45-degree angle and gently glide across the contours of your face for three to nine strokes in each area.”
If you don’t happen to have a Gua Sha, Victoria says some household items can replicate the sensation. “If you’re not yet ready to invest in a Gua Sha, you can use spoons,” she said.
In a video posted to her Instagram, she shows how to use spoons to massage the face. To harness the power of cryotherapy, a practice which makes use of extreme cold to massage the face and stimulate new collagen, Victoria pops her spoons in the freezer first.
“My spoons have been stored in the freezer overnight,” she explained. “They can cool down quickly which is why I have got two of the big ones and one teaspoon for the eye area. Before practising you want to pop some facial serum or some facial oil on the face just so we have got that slip. You don’t want to be dragging the skin.”
She begins with the tablespoon, gliding it back and forth on the collarbone making sure to always use the smooth, curved side of the spoon. “You should find using the spoon really refreshing on the tissues,” she said.
You should make sure to move over the lymph nodes on the neck, including behind the ear. Then, move onto the jawline, gliding up towards the ear.
Victoria recommends following the same movements with a Gua Sha or a spoon. She then glides gently over the lips, on the cheeks, on the skin around the nose, under the eyes, over the eyebrows and finally over the forehead in a circular motion.
She added: “Practice it consistently for six days, and look in the mirror on day six: you’ll see the power of consistency from just five minutes a day and be far more likely to make this a regular part of your routine for life.”