The beauty industry constantly comes up with new ways to help us spend money. Yes, they pry on our insecurities and yes we women fall for it. On the other hand, I’m all for prevention if we can actually do it with products that work. I’m not talking about products which ‘give the impression of improving the appearance of the skin’ like the mainstream TV ads would lead you to believe.
I want to know about the products that actually really make a difference, whether we are talking about the skin tone, pore size, fine lines. And I’m talking about the results that are there a few days after using the product, not when you actually have the cream on.
Some of the treatments available are salon-based procedures such as massage, skin needling that inject vitamins, exfoliation and micro-current muscle and tone stimulation. A lot of those treatments work. The problems are not just the cost, but also time we are required to actually set aside to actually visit the clinics. I have no idea how the average woman manages all these maintenance appointments, we have hair, nails, waxing, eyebrow shaping, facials, tanning etc. Seriously. That’s just of the top of my head. It’s difficult and time-consuming to be a woman. Full stop.
So what are the salon alternatives for an average woman to use at home at her own convenience and that actually make a difference? I’ve tried quite a few, some I liked more than the others, but as always it’s also about the needs of my skin and my preferences.
The most affordable product I’ve tried was Sarah Chapman Facialift massager. Sarah Chapman is a famous facialist who has developed her signature skinesis radiance facial massage. The home version massager has eight heads and massaging nodules that, when used, replicate the massage that Sarah has created. Of course, it’s not the same, but if you’re not a dab hand at massage, it’s a nifty thing to use at home.
The Facialift relies heavily at lymphatic drainage and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re not familiar with massage or what lymph system does in our bodies, I’ll explain.
Lymphatic system is a secondary circulatory network system in the body that carries a clear fluid called lymph. Lymphatic massage helps body get rid of the waste and toxins, relieves tension and speeds up the metabolism. Lymph vessels and nodes are present in our bodies, as well as on our faces, mainly on the side and jaw line. The lymph vessels solely rely on our muscles to make them work, so they can always use a little nudge to make them work better.
If you want to feel the effect of lymphatic massage, then try and press the area just between cheekbones and jaw and on the temples. You should feel an immediate release of tension.
The Facialift massager makes this process really easy to use. The design of the massager targets the jaw line, stimulates toxin elimination and tones the muscles. It’s made out of plastic so it’s easy to clean.
You should not use it on dry and unmoisturised skin – you don’t want to stretch and damage the dry skin. Instead, try and use mild massage oil suitable for face and give it a go. With regular use your skin tone should improve and you should also get rid of any spots that are appearing on the jaw line. Massage is beneficial for all skin types and feels good. Yes the massager is not the same as the salon treatment but it’s a fraction of the price and so convenient to use when you’re at home watching TV.
Genuine Dermaroller is another product that has filtered down from the successful salon treatments and found its use in our DIY home treatments.
The roller contains micro needles that puncture the skin and stimulate the regeneration process and collagen production and also allow some nutrients to penetrate further into epidermis. Sounds scary? Only a little bit..
As the Dermaroller works by puncturing the skin, special care has to be taken with the hygiene, so you need to disinfect your roller before and after each use. The needles are superfine, and the way to use the roller, is to press gently on the skin using horizontal, vertical and diagonal movements. The gentle rolling should stimulate the skin enough and allow the penetration of products.
Yes, what you use with the Dermaroller is equally important as the microneedling. I personally like to use vitamic C serum that I make myself. It will sting in the beginning, but your skin should get used to it very quickly. Other products to try would be the face masks rich in hyalruonic acid, a well known plumping and mositurising agent. In any case, Genuine Dermaroller will improve the penetration and make the most out of your skincare products.
Although the results are cumulative, Alison Telfer, a dermaroller practicioner, advises using the roller a day or two before a big night out where you want your skin to look more radiant.
It would be a good idea to perhaps try the treatment in a salon that offers it, then you can be sure if that’s something you would actually use at home. The salon treatment uses longer needles so the effects should be more dramatic, but I’ve been happy with the results of my home use Genuine dermaroller. It really works. Once you get it, use it regularly, two-three times per week, and never share the roller with anyone. The roller is mainly targeted to use with wrinkles and scars so it’s not good for use with acne and rosacea and other skin irritations.
I’ve always preached that good cleansing is very underrated as it’s helps the skin ‘breathe’, it gets rid of the daily pollution and the dead skin cells. Cleansing and exfoliation helps the skin absorb the mositurisers. One product that is designed for this purpose is Magnitone Pulsar. Its especially good if you’re ageing and also plagued with spots and blackheads as well as fine lines.
It’s a cleansing brush attached to a battery-operated device that can massage, exfoliate and cleanse the skin. It will be weird to use at first, it reminds me of the first time I used an electric toothbrush, such a strange sensation that feels so normal to me now.
Magnitone is quite fabulous. Once you charge it, the battery should last for ages and just use it morning and night after taking make up off or in conjunction with the face wash if you use one. You will, of course, need to start slowly and get used to it. In the beginning the skin will feel dry and tight, you may also break out in spots, but after a few days it will settle and reveal a plump and soft skin. Your pores will shrink to nothing! Your make up will look amazing and you will end up using less of it. I have a combination skin and am quite lucky to be relatively smooth and wrinkle free at the age of 43, but I still get the odd spot and Magnitone has been brilliant. It also tones, has an exfoliation and a massage setting. Brushes can be easily replaced when worn and you can use it on your body too. I have to say I’m a total convert. Once you get over the initial tightness, the skin looks soft, clear and fabulous. The major plus point of use is that you can actually keep it in the shower – such a convenience. You can do your face and skin on the body – it’s amazing for preventing ingrown hairs after waxing.
The last home treatment I’ll cover is the CACI Microlift. I cannot stress enough that ageing is not all about wrinkles, it’s mainly about skin tone and sagging. You can be totally wrinkle free and have a sagging jaw line. Gravity sucks, I know. But you can have very toned and plump skin and have a few expression lines and still look amazing and young.
CACI Microlift is the treatment that will help to keep skin in the toned and plump shape. It’s not very cheap, but it is much cheaper than having an ongoing salon treatment. CACI salon treatment has been established for a long time as it works in keeping the skin lifted and plump. Plus it’s a good maintenance tool. So how does it work? The system emits tiny micro impulses at low frequencies that stimulate collagen and promote healing. The impulses work on the facial muscles that are either over stretched or slack, so it’s a bit like Pilates for your face. Gentle and redefining.
Word of warning - space out the treatments. Don’t go crazy and use everything at once. If you want to try microneedling, use it twice per week in the evening and definitely don’t use it straight after Magnitone or exfoliation. Your goal is to stimulate the skin, and not irritate it.
Your brand new skin is sensitive, so use a sun block. Your skin cell production is not unlimited. There is something called “a hayflick limit” and it basically tells us that the cell regeneration process is limited to a specific amount of times our skin cells can renew. In a nutshell, our skin cells are not immortal so can’t regenerate indefinitely. What it means, is that you can’t abuse the skin daily and expect your face not to suffer. Be sensible.