Transform your routine from purely perfunctory to calming and considered with our 12 top beauty tips for healthier skin and emotional well-being
These calming beauty hacks from those in the know will up your skincare and well-being game, reports Jess Lacey. Now that’s what we call #winning…
Calming beauty hacks: make cleansing mindful
‘Using the best cleanser has become functional when it could be a ritual that creates the mindset you need for a positive day,’ says Sarah Carr, lifestyle ambassador at Liz Earle. Warm an invigorating cleanser, like Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Mimosa & Angelica, £23.50 (Fabled.com), in your hands to release the scent. Next, close your eyes, cup your hands to your face and take three deep breaths in. Then, kick-start your lymphatic drainage system by pushing puffiness upwards and outwards. ‘Be present by concentrating on the motions, texture and smell. Deep breathing throughout also oxygenates the skin,’ says Carr.
Calming beauty hacks: use stress-relieving colours
In a world ruled by technology, you’d be forgiven for wondering what place traditional Chinese medicine has in your beauty cabinet. But as Prismologie founder Fatima Al-Sabah explains, we need it now more than ever: ‘We have little affinity with the natural world and don’t even take time to connect with ourselves.’ Colours have an instant effect on our brain receptors, so surrounding yourself with the right hues can be a great stress-management tool. Red invigorates, yellow energises, pink releases worry and indigo inspires introspective contemplation. Prismologie Meridian Balms, £86 each, link colour therapy with your body’s meridian channels. Run them along these lines to increase blood and energy flow, and transform your emotional state, while also nourishing your skin.
Calming beauty hacks: wash in well-being
Dubbed the Nespresso of showers, the Skinjay Discovery Kit, £130 (skinjay.com), is a world-first modular shower attachment created by perfumer Jean-Charles Sommerard. Click-in fragrance capsules release organic plant extracts and essential oils into your water stream, temporarily converting it into a fine fragrance mist to nourish your skin and mind.
Calming beauty hacks: find peace out, fast
Moments of extreme stress often arrive unannounced and during the working day, so you need a handy tool to combat negativity on the go. For an instant dose of composure, stash Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment, £73 (Spacenk.com), in your tote. ‘Applied to your palms, wrists and neck, then deeply inhaled, the frankincense reduces irritability, and promotes positivity and openness. It also helps reduce daily tension and inspires feelings of relaxation,’ explains Cara Bondi, Tata Harper’s vice president of research & development.
Calming beauty hacks: get up and glow
How ace is it that we now live in a world where face peels can be a relaxing bedtime treat? Hand the night shift over to Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Rose Drop Night Peeling Concentrate, £85 (Fabled.com), which contains glycolic acid to slough away dull skin, and argan and rose oils. Studies at Eastern Washington University found that essential oils have the highest electrical frequency of any known substance and rose oil vibrates at a crazy high rate, making it able to stop those negative racing thoughts and send you off to slumber with a positive mindset. A few drops massaged into tired skin will have you brighter by the morning, so you can get on with owning the day.
Calming beauty hacks: problem-solve in your sleep
The National Lifestyle Audit recently revealed that 96 per cent of British women suffer from poor sleep and, although you may not always be able to improve the number of hours you get, the quality is well within your grasp. In cosmetic trials, 88 per cent of women said applying Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil, £42 (Johnlewis.com), helped them catch better quality zzzs. Misting Roques O’Neil Therapie Slumber Pillow Spray, £29 (Roquesoneil.com), over your pillow helps you work past mental blocks. The blend of crystals, precious metals and hemp oil taps into the limbic system, creating solution-driven dreams, so you wake with a clear head and that bright idea.
Calming beauty hacks: see red
Don’t tell the Scandis, but when it comes to well-being, infra-red saunas beat the traditional sweat-box kind every time. Research shows they are more effective at releasing toxins, such as cholesterol and heavy metals from sweat, and the rays absorbed directly by the body reduce stress and inflammation and speed up your metabolism. A regime of 25 minutes, three times a week, is enough to significantly reduce chronic stress, and the personalised pods at KXU (kxu.co.uk) mean no hairy sweat mates, either.
Calming beauty hacks: turn on and tune out
It’s a well-known fact that acne is a manifestation of stress. But sporting the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask, £59.99, for ten minutes every day delivers red and blue light deep into the skin to kill bacteria. Plus, it comes with the Aura daily mindfulness app.
Calming beauty hacks: be selfish
Self-care is the buzzword for 2018, and just ten minutes each day can keep you energetically topped. There’s nothing to say that while you’re keeping a gratitude diary, practising deep inhalations or mastering meditation, you can’t treat your skin at the same time (that’s just good multitasking, after all). Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, £30 (Fabled.com), relaxes the mind, as well as taking the sting out of sensitive skin. Topical analgesic white mushroom extract blocks the brain’s pain receptors for instant relief, while Roman chamomile promotes a calming feeling for both skin and soul.
Calming beauty hacks: play the palm reader
Most of us have an absent-minded approach to applying hand cream, but the hands carry both muscular tension and emotional stress. The ancient Japanese technique of hand massage is based on each finger containing a different emotion: the thumb is worry, index finger is fear, middle finger is anger, ring finger is sadness and the little finger is self-esteem. Do a quick digit-al detox by grasping each finger in turn with the opposite hand, wrapping all the fingers and thumb around it, and squeeze for one minute each. Then, apply slight pressure in the centre of the palm with the thumb of the opposite hand and hold for at least a minute. Incorporate anti-ageing benefits as well by applying Susanne Kaufmann Hand Serum, £69 – it’s packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and coenzyme Q10 for smoother, plumper and all-round happier hands.
Calming beauty hacks: crave contact
No one’s advocating giving out free hugs on the bus, but we live in a ‘touch phobic’ society when research shows physical contact increases oxytocin in the brain and reduces stress levels. Regular massages and facials not only keep your skin on top form but also reduce anxiety. Aveda’s Tulasāra Skin Transformation Facial Experience, £57 for 30 mins, is designed for balanced skin and an optimum state of well-being. A full spectrum of massage – from deep tissue to precision acupressure – resets the nervous system. Give yourself a spa-level facial at home using Aveda Tulasāra Calm Concentrate, £45 (Fabled.com). Place your fingers between your brows and slide them up your forehead, repeating several times to cover the entire area. Using circular motions, massage from the centre of your face over your cheeks and to your ears. Repeat along the jawline.
Calming beauty hacks: open your heart
It’s time to get acquainted with your third eye (find it in between your other two) – a direct line to your heart chakra and one of seven energy centres of the body. ‘We use rose-quartz crystals on the third eye and forehead during our Inner Calm Massage [from £55 for 55 mins] to open up the heart chakra and encourage healing, restoring the body after physical or emotional stress,’ says Espa founder Sue Harmsworth. To improve your focus for the day, massage your third eye while applying your day cream each morning using a Rose Quartz Massage Tool, £16.50 (thecolourfuldotboutique.com).