HOW FIT IS YOUR FACE? WHY A FIT FACE COULD BE THE KEY TO LOOKING YOUNGER

Abbey Clancy uses cool laser to tone and tighten, Stephanie Beacham has Forma to lift and firm, Lysette Anthony uses radio frequency and massage to glow, Anthea Turner/Jennifer Aniston do facial exercises….

Shape up and face up! Fitness is generally a word that we attribute to our bodies but having a fit face promises to be a key anti ageing trend this year. Facial massage along with gadgets to tone cheek and neck muscles, potent lotions to sculpt and tighten the skin and Pilates-style facials to lift and stretch the complexion to create a more contoured look are now a being seen as an effective anti ageing alternative to surgery.

Model Abbey Clancy, 31, swears by her regular Cool Skin laser sessions to tone and tighten her skin while Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony, 53, and actress Stephanie Beacham, 69, regularly book in for radio frequency treatments and massage facials to sculpt and restore a radiant glow.

So what is fit skin? We don’t think twice about toning our muscles at the gym, so why think differently about the face?  But unlike the ‘real’ gym, when it comes to the face, encouraging plumpness and toned muscles is key to diminishing wrinkles and looking younger. Investing in firming and tightening potions combined with regular skin massage and cutting edge products and treatments that will help train your skin to act differently will all help towards facial fitness. So discover the secret to ageing gracefully… Here’s our face saving guide to fitness  – try a combination of treatments to get best results.

Warm Up with Massage                                                                                                                Facial massage has been practiced in ancient cultures for centuries – it was once the secret of Chinese Empresses practiced 3,000 years ago to increase circulation of blood and “chi” to the face. Today, the single most important part of a facial is the massage which can instantly breathe new life into the skin and when done properly can give an amazing lift to the face. A good massage is like a stress free workout for the face and eases muscle tension, soothes eyestrain, decreases puffiness and can even alleviates sinus issues. But it’s the lifted appearance that’s most noticeable. Book a professional facial massage once a week for four weeks and see the difference or dry a DIY session at home. Try…

*Decleor Orexcellent Pilates Massage Facial – Decleor’s new Pilates facial helps visibly lift and reshape the contours of the face. The facial includes a back massage to help you completely unwind & release the mind. After a deep cleansing, three facial massage ‘ workouts’, using moves to warm up tone and stretch the facial muscles, leave the skin revived, rejuvenated and glowing with rosy youthfulness. £75 for 75 minutes. To find your nearest salon go to www.decleor.co.uk

DIY Face/neck Massage  – * This will help decrease puffiness in the face and neck and boost circulation. Place your fingers on either side of your neck right under your ears, then gently move the skin in a downward motion towards the back of your neck. Repeat ten times, gradually moving your fingers down and further away from your ears. Next place your fingers on top of your shoulders, either side of your neck, and gently massage by bringing the skin closer to your collarbone. Repeat five times once or twice a week.

Have a Facial Workout                                                                                                                  There are roughly 50 muscles in the face and regular stimulation can lift, tone and tighten the skin, boost blood circulation and collagen production giving a fresh youthful appearance to the skin. Facial muscles can also be trained to be firm and strong through exercise. Try….

*DIY Facial Exercises – You will need to spend at least five to six minutes twice a day- morning and evening – to kick-start a facial toning programme and once muscles are stronger gradually reduce to two days. Results will depend on age and the amount of loose skin but whatever your age, your skin will improve. Repeat the simple exercises below but for more routines and tips, get a copy of The Ultimate Facercise by Carole Maggio, by Pan £12.99.

*Close the eyes and look (cross-eyed) toward the nose, then squint with eyelids still closed – holding for a few seconds.

*Open the lips while clenching the teeth and pulling the corners of the mouth sideways with the index fingers to make the bottom teeth visible. This improves the tone of the mouth and chin.

*Sit up straight and tilt your head back so you’re looking at the ceiling. Keep your lips closed. Next, make your lips round and hold for a count of 20, then relax and bring your head back to the normal position. Aim to do this three to five times.

Tone and Tighten                                                                                                                              Like strength training for the skin, the new laser skin tightening procedures are much gentler and safe for all skin types. They take around 30 minutes and when used on the face, they can tighten skin in a way that is really natural. With each treatment (around four to six every two weeks to four weeks are recommended) the skin tightens as new collagen is formed, making skin plumper, tighter and more radiant. Try….

*Smart-xide Cool Skin Rejuvenation Laser – Thirty-one year one model Abbey Clancy regularly has 30-minute skin rejuvenating laser sessions to keep her skin toned, tight and line free. The Co2 laser uses fractional dot technology and targets areas of the face with a wand like device – the laser also heats the dermis to boost collagen. No downtime, only slight redness which can easily be covered with mineral make up. From £350 each or £1400 for a course of 5 0207 436 4441

*Forma – Actress Stephanie Beacham and Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony use new skin fitness treatment Forma to improve skin tone and help lift and sculpt facial contours. The procedure uses radio frequency to stimulate new collagen and for best results a course of 6 weekly sessions required. From £300 per treatment or a course of 6 £1500 0207 436 4441

*Elizabeth Arden Face Firming sessions – The 15 minute session uses a LED device with four lights to help restore a glow and firmer looking skin and is ideal to enhance the results of other facial treatments. £20 and available at selected Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide or see elizabetharden.co.uk

*Crystal Clear Rewind 10 – A new face and neck moisturiser which comes with a sonic neck wand which uses sonic vibrations to firm the skin and help the moisturiser penetrate into the skin £79.99 www.crystalclear.co.uk

Sculpting Skincare                                                                                                                                 If you use the right ingredients, you can’ train ‘your skin to act differently to help renew and firm complexion. Look for products that offer an instant firming effect. Try….

*Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Concentrate (£52 origins.co.uk) contains potent plant anti-agers to lift, firm and pump up the skin for more volume. Apply several drops morning and night and you’ll feel a gentle tightening as the serum gets to work.   

*Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream  (£79 harrods.com) formulated with goji fruit extract and black tea to help firm and strengthen the skin.

*B.Lifted Contouring Cream (£12.99 from Superdrug), a new yoga inspired cream which gives an instant tightening effect on the skin leaving your complexion firmer he formula contains Soy Isoflavones which are clinically proven to increase the skin’s own collagen and elastin production. This in turn helps to sculpt the skin making it look smoother and more youthful in just four weeks.

*Clinique Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask (£37 boots.com) a creamy mask packed with moisturising ingredients to plump and firm and leave skin- hydrated and radiant.

Go on a Skin Diet                                                                                                                                  By simply changing your diet and including certain super foods you can improve your skin and help slow down the ageing process.  While genetics and lifestyle play a major role in skin health, the right foods can also help fight wrinkles, improve hydration and help keep skin firm and elastic. Try to include:

*Whole-grain bread, enriched with B vitamins, will help keep the skin’s circulation strong.

*Vegetables that are high in beta-carotene, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are the food equivalents of retinol and help promote cell turnover.

*Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies act as a first line of defence and barrier for the skin.

* Plump up lines with plenty of skin-friendly fats found in plant oils such as olive, rapeseed and flax. Add a spoonful to juices or smoothies, or drizzle neat over soups.

*Boost radiance with oily fish, especially salmon.

www.harleystreetskinclinic.com/treatment-areas/face/

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