Our faces store tension and it really shows, often when you want to look your most relaxed – for a wedding, say. Relaxing your facial muscles and bringing more oxygen to the skin is the key to softening and plumping your face and restoring radiance. Facial reflexologist Ziggie Bergman has developed Zone Face Lift, a targeted pressure-point massage that can transform a tired, tense-looking face.
Ziggie has now devised a D-I-Y version with simple moves that combine facial reflexology and Japanese facelift massage to lift your face and spirits. I could see the effect immediately. Practise daily first thing in the morning and the cumulative result is face- and life-enhancing. ‘It stimulates collagen and elastin to plump and tighten skin, increase oxygen and blood flow, and also calm your mind,’ Ziggie explains.
• Ziggie Bergman practises in London at Triyoga and Grace Belgravia, and her trained associates offer Zone Face Lift nationwide/zonefacelift.com
Before starting, apply a few drops of your favourite facial serum or oil.
1 Smooth your forehead. Lay the middle and ring fingertips of each hand on your forehead and, in darting movements, move in the direction of the black lines on the photograph above, alternating hands. This is particularly good on vertical brow furrows.
2 Work on pressure points. Breathing slowly and rhythmically, press on the coloured-dot areas with the pads of your middle fingers and hold for three seconds. Repeat twice.
3 Release emotional tension. As you press on the heart reflex point (orange dot), let go of any negative feelings and open yourself to love.
4 Soothe tired eyes. Using a finger on either side, press in and upward on the eye reflex points (blue dots) using a tiny circular movement.
5 Lift your mood. Press inwards and upward with medium pressure on the adrenal reflex points (purple dots) to stimulate happy hormones.
6 Relax your facial muscles. Press in and under both cheekbones (the diaphragm reflex, along the blue lines), working from either side of your nose to your ears.
And here’s how to de-puff your eyes… Ziggie suggests putting two teaspoons in a mug of ice for five minutes. Dry, then lay one under each eye, curved-side down, and move them in little circles from the inside out towards your ears, then back over your cheekbones. Repeat until puffiness diminishes.
Q. My daughter has dark facial hair on her upper lip and sideburn area, which has made her anxious and withdrawn. She is 19. Is there an effective treatment?
A. Facial hair can be very distressing. It may be a symptom of a hormone imbalance so your daughter should consult her GP. Temporary solutions include depilatory creams, bleaches, waxing and threading, but the right laser treatment can tackle excess hair long-term. Consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe of London’s Cranley Clinic (drnicklowe.com) recommends two types of laser, depending on skin colour. The Nd:Yag is safer for olive or tanned skin while the Alexandrite laser is suitable for lighter skin. Both work well on dark hair.
Targeted laser treatment can provide long-term reduction in the majority of cases. According to the journal Dermatologic Surgery, a minimum of three treatments with the Alexandrite laser gives an average of 74 per cent permanent hair reduction. ‘Patients will get greater reduction after more sessions,’ says Dr. Lowe. Count on at least six treatments at six-week intervals. You can extend the time between sessions with Vaniqa, a prescription cream that reduces hair growth from the follicles.
Beauty salons may recommend intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment but Dr. Lowe counsels against this because it only gives temporary reduction of hair growth Also, there is a greater risk of burning, blistering and pigment disturbance. With the Nd:Yag and Alexandrite lasers there is little risk of these side effects and patients will only need to use routine sun protection. For a consultation, Dr. Lowe recommends the Sk:n clinics, sknclinics.co.uk.