Beauty bible

Sea­sonal af­fec­tive dis­or­der is bad for your skin, too

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Celia Walden

How to avoid SAD skin this win­ter

DON’T YOU JUST LOVE it when af­ter long, com­plex and ex­pen­sive stud­ies ex­perts re­veal some­thing we’ve al­ways known? For ex­am­ple, ‘98 per cent of us are hap­pier af­ter a hol­i­day.’ ‘Ninety-two per cent of Bri­tish chil­dren pre­fer choco­late to broc­coli.’ The best non-rev­e­la­tions are in­vari­ably health and beauty re­lated – like last month’s bomb­shell: ‘Top der­ma­tol­ogy ex­pert re­veals that your skin can also suf­fer from sea­sonal af­fec­tive dis­or­der.’ This is dizzy­ing in­for­ma­tion. Do you mean to say that when it gets dark and cold your com­plex­ion might also get SAD?

The plus side of hav­ing iden­ti­fied this brand new an­nual com­plex­ion cri­sis, oh, 30-odd years ago, is that I know ex­actly how to treat SAD skin. And it starts with a tiny but ter­ri­fy­ing Tai­wanese woman named Su-man Hsu.

I’ve pretty much given up see­ing any­one but this su­per-fa­cial­ist, who is one of the few peo­ple able to re­set SAD skin in 60 min­utes with her sig­na­ture Skin Re­born Sculp­ture Fa­cial. In­cor­po­rat­ing, as it does, an up­ward mas­sage so vig­or­ous that it can feel as though you’re be­ing beaten beau­ti­ful, this treat­ment has never been for the faint-hearted. Which is why Su-man has just launched a gen­tler ver­sion, the Chi Flow Con­tour Fa­cial, which is ex­clu­sive to the San­der­son Ho­tel’s Agua Spa in Lon­don (£220 – for book­ings call 020-7300 1414).

Based on the same prin­ci­ples as her Re­born Sculp­ture – get­ting the cir­cu­la­tion mov­ing be­neath the skin, thereby boost­ing col­la­gen and elastin – the Chi Flow is fo­cused around skin-scrap­ing, which sounds scary but isn’t, and just means be­ing mas­saged by a smooth, curved stone, like jade. This feels much as you’d ex­pect be­ing stroked by a semi­precious gem­stone might feel: cool, calm­ing, di­vine. And leaves your skin lifted, tight­ened and rein­vig­o­rated.

With the tools avail­able on Ama­zon and tu­to­ri­als on Youtube, the cur­rent fad is home skin-scrap­ing, but Su-man ad­vises against this. ‘It’s a 2,000-year- old Chi­nese heal­ing tech­nique,’ she ex­plains, ‘which if done wrong could re­sult in loss of elas­tic­ity and bro­ken cap­il­lar­ies.’ If you ask nicely, how­ever, she will send you home with her own ‘magic hands’ tu­to­rial. Us­ing it daily in con­junc­tion with the five Sad-proof prod­ucts be­low, you’ll be able to smile through to April.

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