The anti-age­ing home work your lines want you to do

Friday - - Front Page -

IAs Natascha Hawke in­ves­ti­gates the 3,000-year-old facelift that you can do at

home, we can’t help but think this is a his­tory les­son you’ll like the sound of... mag­ine a world with­out pil­low cheeks, trout pouts and wind tun­nel faces, where our eter­nal quest for youth is achieved sim­ply by adding 30 min­utes on to a daily gym ses­sion to con­cen­trate on our faces. Ex­er­cis­ing, them, that is.

Sound like another flaky fad? Well it’s a no-brainer ac­cord­ing to a new wave of ther­a­pists across the globe who are ded­i­cated to help­ing us re­gain (or main­tain) the youth­ful, plumped-up face we once owned by con­tro­ver­sially shun­ning the popular face-freez­ing, or in­va­sive ap­proaches of Bo­tox or fillers in favour of a more nat­u­ral ap­proach – and re­sult – by fo­cus­ing un­der­neath the skin on the 50 or so mus­cles that sculpt the face.

Based on the con­cept that just as we have to work out reg­u­larly to main­tain a lean, toned physique by keep­ing our mus­cles ac­tive, the same should ap­ply to the mus­cles in our face. “We know that when we go to the gym our mus­cles tone and tighten and the skin pulls tight around them, lifting and smooth­ing. Ap­ply this method to the face and the same hap­pens. It’s not rocket sci­ence,” says Inge Theron, founder of Face Gym, which launched at London’s Sel­fridges depart­ment store in May this year.

Dur­ing her time spent trav­el­ling the globe writ­ing the Fi­nan­cial Times’s Spa Junkie beauty col­umn, re­view­ing ther­a­pies from Bo­tox to pla­centa fa­cials, Inge ex­pe­ri­enced some dis­tress­ing treat­ments that had less than de­sir­able re­sults and was in­spired to look for al­ter­na­tive op­tions in the fight against age­ing that didn’t in­volve nee­dles or any­thing in­va­sive.

“I was go­ing to get older, I was put off in­jecta­bles and I didn’t want another nee­dle near my face. Even with all the beauty creams in the world with dragon’s blood, lamb pla­centa, snake venom – your skin can only do so much. You can heal brown spots with cream, but when it comes to the ac­tual facelift­ing there’s lit­tle you can do,” she says. “If you don’t want to do Bo­tox, what else is there?” So she de­cided to do some re­search.

By spend­ing time with some of the world’s top holis­tic ther­a­pists such as Joëlle Ciocco, a bio­chemist in Paris de­voted to the study of the skin’s ecosys­tem, Dr Robert Klein, an acupunc­tur­ist who wrote the book The Em­press’s Se­cret (www. theem­presssse­cret.com) and Ya­muna Zake whose Body Rolling and Body Logic prac­tices are popular with high-pro­file celebri­ties, Inge com­bined what she learnt to de­velop the treat­ments at Face Gym.

“I dis­tilled the very best of a hun­dred dif­fer­ent fa­cials and mas­sages, fo­cus­ing on length­en­ing, ton­ing and tight­en­ing. It’s sim­ple, and it’s just like the gym.”

The ba­sis of Face Gym is a 30-minute pro­gramme that con­sists of a warm-up (cleans­ing), car­dio (sweat­ing the skin with pum­melling), strength (fo­cus­ing on prob­lem ar­eas) and a cool down (a cold roller is ap­plied). Her ‘train­ers’ use tech­niques such as pum­melling and fa­cial flick­ing to lift cheeks, drain ex­cess fluid and tone prob­lem ar­eas such as jowls, stim­u­lat­ing the mus­cles and boost­ing col­la­gen and cell re­newal – es­sen­tially wak­ing up the face. After a ba­sic work­out, there are more in­tense op­tions with a ma­chine that’s sim­i­lar to a Slen­der­tone but for your face, called the Pure Lift, which “strength­ens the mus­cles, like when you do a tummy crunch”.

So, why ex­er­cise our faces? As we age, we lose the plump round­ness known as con­vex­i­ties. “Con­vex­i­ties are what make you youth­ful,” says celebrity der­ma­tol­o­gist Ni­cholas Per­ri­cone, MD. “That is crit­i­cal. If you look at the cheek­bones, the fore­head,

‘Go­ing to the gym our mus­cles tone and tighten and skin pulls tight - the same ap­plies to the face’

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