They say the best things in life are free, and while money is essential for color-pop Bottega accessories and everything else on your wishlist, getting your glow on needn’t cost anything. Swot up on the hacks that help create the luminosity everyone desires – for free. Vogue breaks down five below.
1. Go for cold
Kate Moss famously relies on a skincare trick it couldn’t be easier to replicate at home. “The ice plunge is the best – fill a sink with ice cubes, cold water and slices of cucumber and hold your face in it for as long as you can,” she has said in the past. Cold temperatures are brilliant for boosting microcirculation, firming the skin, smoothing fine lines, tightening pores and upping luminosity, explains facialist Jasmina Vico, who has long advocated for the technique during her facials and at home. “In the long term it also helps significantly firm skin tissue, reduces fine lines, facial redness and inflammation.” If you’re suffering a breakout, it can help ease swelling and redness.
2. Massage your face
Kill two birds with one stone via the happy medium of facial massage, which not only relaxes the (often tense) jaw, temples and neck, but has myriad other benefits too. “Facial massages brightens the skin as you work,” says skin health specialist Annee de Mamiel. “The movement increases microcirculation, delivering blood and all its components – oxygen, vitamins and minerals – to the skin, while taking away lymph build-up (or puffiness) and toxins. It also breaks up muscle tension, builds tone and volume.” To ensure good slip on the skin, look to de Mamiel’s own range of skincare oils, which have an array of aromatherapeutic benefits and work as much on easing a stressed mind as they do on the skin.
• Start by releasing the neck – the key to a brightening massage is the speed and depth of the movement, so work deeply into your neck and shoulders. If you anchor your fingers into the neck, just above the collarbone, and stretch, you will be able to feel a stretch to the side of your neck which should feel really energizing and tension-relieving.
• Apply some oil to the face, warming it in your fingers beforehand, and inhale. You don’t need too much for this type of massage, because it’s key to create some friction on the surface of the skin. Tap firmly all over the mouth and down the neck to stimulate blood flow.
• With your whole hand, actively push the skin upwards at the sides of the face, taking this method all the way up to the forehead. Lift the brow and try to hook under the brow bone, pushing up the eye area.
• Focusing on one side of the face at a time, with two fingers, push upwards, one hand after the other. Work deeply. Do the same on any crow’s feet.
• Perform some friction moves across the forehead, zig-zagging with your flat fingertips.
• Finish with some full-face push-ups to brighten and energize the skin.
3. Make sure your skin is damp when you apply your skincare
Want to make the most of your skincare products? A simple hack to ensure they submerge quickly and efficiently is to apply them to damp skin – not dripping wet but gently patted post-cleanse. “The theory is that when your skin is damp, it’s topically hydrated and more permeable, meaning that products have the ability to absorb more easily,” explains facialist Katharine Mackenzie Paterson. “Anything that’s a humectant, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, has to work less hard to attract moisture as it’s already in your skin.” In fact, anyone who has a skin barrier condition, such as dermatitis or eczema, should make a habit of applying their products to damp skin.
Vico advises skin icing post-cleanse and before applying vitamin C in the morning, or as a means to depuff pre-event. “I use cooling balls in my treatments, but there are also now so many tools on the market which give the same effect,” she says. If you are willing to spend some money on icing tools, look no further than Charlotte Tilbury’s new Cryo-Recovery Face Mask, or Omorovicza’s Cooling Derma-Globes to do the hard work for you.
4. Hang upside down
If you’ve ever done yoga, you’ll know that inversions are poses that place the head below the heart and hips, from downward dog to headstands. Known to increase blood circulation and stimulate the body’s lymphatic drainage system, physically they are great for brain function, focus and a greater sense of calm, but they also work hard for your skin, too.
“Whilst you are upside down the circulatory system gets a helping hand, pumping fresh blood upwards to the face and brain,” explains Alana Murrin, head trainer at Psycle. “Although you may initially go a little red in the face, your skin will thank you for that extra oxygen and blood and you’ll soon notice an increased glow.” Restorative inversions can also help alleviate stress, which can in turn also lead to healthier skin.
Murrin advises trying a “legs up the wall” pose to start off with, whereby you lie with your back on the floor with legs upright against the wall. Other simple ways to boost your skin health are just by folding forwards and standing there. “This is an accessible way to try for anyone who is a beginner,” she adds.
5. Wash your pillowcase
If your skin isn’t playing ball and you can’t figure out why, the answer may just be lying on your pillowcase. “Whenever I have a client who is suffering persistent skin issues, I ask how often they are washing their bed linen,” says Mackenzie Paterson, who points out that acne can be exacerbated by sleeping on less than fresh bedding, while inflammatory skin conditions can be aggravated by the detergent you use to wash it. Her advice? “Use a silk pillowcase as they are breathable, and feel cool and soft on the skin. Always opt for a non-bio detergent – something gentle and fragrance-free – to wash your pillowcases. And finally, ensure they’re washed at least once a week to eliminate any bacteria or dust mites that may sit on the pillow.”
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk