Everyone I know is busy. All the time. With persistent, low level stress basically an intractable part of modern life at this point, it's important to develop strategies to unwind. Self-care means different things to different people. For those who find solace and joy in all things beauty, these tips on how to give yourself a facial massage may well be of assistance.
Growing up a tomboy, I was low-key very sceptical about spas: facials, massages, manicures just left me... meh. Of course, I'd never actually been to a spa or had so much as a hand massage, but that didn't stop 8-year-old me from having opinions. Needless to say, I've done a total 180. I was lucky enough to try a lot of beauty treatments in my previous job and quickly learned what I like: efficient, results driven, and stress-relieving. I recently tried The Ned's Urban Warrior Facial by skincare wizard Annee de Mamiel, and let me tell you, this is one of the goodies.
The treatment prioritises relieving tension and fixing the impact of pollution. "Facial tension is usually a sign of physical or emotional stress we are holding," Annee De Mamiel tells me over email. "This can result in physical symptoms such as things like headache, TMJ problems, neck stiffness and issues." Sound familiar? Same. Then there's the side effects of pollution to consider; namely, inflammation. De Mamiel explains:
"Inflammation is a defence mechanism in the body. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The issue with modern day life is chronic inflammation. An example of this is pollution, which we are constantly exposed to, but triggers the same inflammatory response as a bacterial infection."
As well as putting your skin through the ringer, "chronic inflammation can also increase sensitivity, irritation, dehydration, acne breakouts and pigmentation." Not ideal, but this is where a good facial massage comes in.
"Facial massage increases microcirculation, feeding the skin, increasing the delivery of blood and oxygen and the nutrients in the blood to the skin. It will also help drain away the built up fluid and lymph which creates puffiness. Depending on the massage it can also break down the build up of acids with in the muscles."
After trying de Mamiel's treatment at The Ned, I left with my skin glowing brighter than the North Star. I also felt like I'd got the relaxation and tension relief of a massage, which is a nice added bonus. While there's no comparison to getting the treatment IRL — The Ned's Cowshed Club Spa, where the treatment takes place, is refreshingly unstuffy and fun — you can give yourself a facial massage at home. I asked Annee de Mamiel how, and her words of wisdom don't disappoint.