How to look younger in 60 minutes with a ‘virtual’ facial.
Can you really get sharper cheekbones and brighter skin through a facial lesson over Zoom?
Our beauty director Sonia Haria finds out.
A facial, over video chat? Surely not. But like many other service industries, the beauty world has had to adapt to working remotely with new, innovative ways to engage with their clients; you can have have live-chats with your hairdresser now as they talk you through cutting your fringe, or follow an expert tutorial on removing your own gel nail polish. With a little help from the experts, during lockdown we’ve all had to skill-up in the beauty stakes.
So a virtual facial? Why not. Especially when it's with the leading facialist Beata Aleksandrowicz, who usually commands a long waiting list for her clients at her London clinic. Since lockdown began last month, she's been offering one-hour video call sessions with clients old and new, for a virtual facial.
But can you really give yourself a face-lifting, skin-smoothing facial only with the guidance over the laptop? I was doubtful but it really did work. The hour video call over Zoom begins with Aleksandrowicz identifying where you are holding tension in your face. Like any good therapist worth her salt, she’s brilliantly intuitive and can spot your ageing trigger points a mile off (well, several miles off, in this case). For me, it turns out I hold tension in my jaw and forehead - something she's seen a lot of in clients since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Tension doesn't evaporate, so if we are stressed, it shows in our skin almost immediately,” she tells me. “ But if done correctly, facial massage can take years from the face.”
As a beauty journalist it's a pet peeve of mine when a ‘facial’ only consist of merely applying and removing three or four different cleansers and creams, without actually massaging the face or working the muscles. Sounds pretty basic, but facial massage really is the key to looking more youthful.
The beauty of this facial was I didn't need to use any expensive oils or lotions, just any face oil I already had at home ( I used the Almond Soothing Facial Oil by Weleda, £18.95) or even olive oil from the kitchen. Aleksandrowicz then guided me through a series of movements to help lift and brighten my skin combined with tailor-made face exercises. These are the three I found most useful and the exercises I've been continuing to do in the evenings.
Apply a few drops of oil on your palms. Use a sweeping motion from under your ear, down your neck and across to the opposite collarbone. This stimulates lymphatic drainage, which helps to drain fluid in the lymphatic system that can cause the face to look puffy or bloated. Repeat this sweeping motion 10 times on each side.
Using both index fingers, sweep up from the jawline to under the cheekbone in a repetitive motion, with one finger following the other in a quick motion. This made a big difference to my skin, making the muscles look more lifted, and it's something I've done since my one-to-one with Beata.
Take four fingers of both hands and meet them in the middle of your forehead in the vertical line. Using the tips of the fingers, sweep across to the temples and repeat 10 times. This helps to relieve tension in the head as well as soften any tension lines on the forehead if repeated often enough.