It’s both rigorous and relaxing and a million miles away from surgical, but achieves some real results – with none of the next-day burn that yoga can bring. We sent Charlotte to Decléor’s boutique for some facial yoga…
I wasn’t sure what to expect of facial yoga. That it was by renowned French brand Decléor suggested good things, but I’m wary of gimmicky treatments when it comes to my face, and wasn’t sure what to imagine efficacy-wise. All I can say is I was blown away.
Decléor has two facial options in its Sculpting Series, each 75 minutes long. The first, Facial Pilates, targets the lower layers of the epidermis, making it a suitable anti-ageing option for more mature skin. Facial Yoga focuses more on the top layers, while also stimulating lower muscles with some rigorous facial massage. Being 28 but always after a glow, I opted for the latter.
It started with an extensive cleanse as I lay comfortably on a heated bed in the downstairs treatment room at Decléor’s beautiful Westbourne Grove site. The products used throughout the treatment come from its Prolagéne Lift range. Products include iris, which has an anti-glycation effect so promotes a youthful glow, and two types of lavender essential oils: lavandin, known for its healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties, and lavandula angustifolia essential from the south of France, special due to its terroir of soil, nutrients, sun and altitude.
This was followed by an exfoliation, using the nicest exfoliator I’ve ever tried. It contains clay rather than particles, so is less abrasive, and is ‘rubbed’ off with the fingers.
Next came a the signature Decléor back diagnostic, which felt like a massage, but is also super informative: my therapist (and Decléor’s education development manager) Rachel used holistic healing techniques to see which organs showed up as heated, and then checked to see if this matched what the face was showing: for example, if the large intestine was red and I had bumps around my jawline, these would correlate and may indicate a dietary shift was necessary. Thankfully, the only thing I was showing signs of was digesting lunch.
Back to the face and the yoga began. It’s around a 15 minute facial massage, using a variety of techniques inspired by the yin and yang elements of Vinyasa Flow Yoga, from strumming with the fingertips to using the entire forearm, always focusing on moving the skin outwards and upwards for a real lifting effect. There are stretching techniques and pressure is fairly strong and intense, using Kobido massage movements to stimulate the deeper skin tissue. Giving a sort of natural face lift effect, “Kobido is a method of massaging the muscles parallel to the wrinkles. By kneading every square centimetre, it sparks the muscle tonicity and the oxygenation of the epidermis. It also activates collagen and elastin synthesis. By drainage, it promotes the elimination of toxins,” says Fiona Brackenbury, Decléor skincare expert.
The ‘yoga’ massage is performed using an oil that leaves skin blissfully soft to the touch, but far from greasy. Particular attention is given to the eye area, around the brows and sockets, for serious drainage that helps promote reduction of dark circles. After Decléor’s famed one-minute flash mask is applied and a series of hydrating products (the eye gel is particular lovely) rubbed in, I head to the mirror. My skin is not only far brighter, it is visibly lifted around the brows and sides – as Rachel points out, my cheekbones are clearly defined and look to be right up by my eyes.
This is the treatment for you if your skin needs brightening, toning or a pre-event lift. It’s both rigorous and relaxing and a million miles away from surgical, but achieves some real results – with none of the next-day burn that yoga can bring.
£75 for 1 hour 15 minutes, visit the Notting Hill boutique here.