Hands up if you’ve ever relied on having to wear a heavy face full of make up before you leave the house to mask what’s going on underneath it all on your skin? If so, you’re not alone: Sudden breakouts, dark under eye circles, washed out and puffy skin are something that all of us suffer at some point in our lives, but the good news is that they can be avoided.
Parisian dermatologist Joëlle Ciocco has seen every skin problem imaginable at her practice, which is just off Place de la Madeleine in the city of lights and boasts a client list that is packed with famous names. The French biochemist has spent over thirty years studying the art of great skin, and instead of using lasers to blast away dead skin cells and needles to freeze wrinkles, she takes a more holistic approach to making faces glow.
The first thing that she tells her clients to do if they want to change their skin? – Avoid stress. That’s right, those spots and unwanted lines and wrinkles are often down to you being stressed out. Why? – inflammation. And inflammation weakens collagen, dilates the blood capillaries on the surface of the skin and can even clog your pores, so it can mean long-term damage if you’re not careful.
But it’s not just stress that she says to cut back on, Joëlle puts her clients on balanced diets, because foods that are loaded with refined sugar and fat can cause inflammation to develop throughout the entire body, and more often than not the result of this will show up in your face.
Joëlle prescribes high quality nutritional supplements (like Lumity) and also encourages clients to balance their hormones, get lots of sleep and spend 15 minutes every morning and night on skin cleansing. The reason for this is that the smog and pollution in cities is so bad these days that environmental factors also cause inflammation, so, like top London facialists, in Paris they’re also advising that clients double cleanse, followed by a high quality serum or botanical facial oil (we like Vintner’s Daughter and May Lindstrom).
Another tip? don’t just wash your face in the shower using a gel or body wash, because that too can cause your skin to flare up. Joëlle is a huge fan of essential oils, which she incorporates in her own bespoke skincare range and says to adapt your skincare products according to your environment, so you use an extra rich cream in winter for dry skin and in hotter weather focus on serums containing aloe vera (and of course SPF).
After a month on the new inflammation-busting regime of stress reduction, Joëlle then starts clients on monthly buccal massages. Touted as the ‘no knife facelift’, this facial massage technique is only practiced by a handful of facialists in the US and very few globally. But beloved of Kate Winslet and Kate Moss, and apparently the secret to their killer cheekbones, it’s said to work because it temporarily lifts the muscles in your face and boosts your circulation – so goodbye pale sallow skin and hello glowing, youthful skin.
You can do it yourself at home and add it to the end of your skincare routine. Joëlle says to warm several drops of a quality facial oil in the palm of your hands and then after taking several deep breaths, start massaging your face gently from the center of the face, working outward and upward in small circular motions. Tone your jawline by massaging along your jawline to under your ears in a sweeping motion and improve facial contours by placing the pads of your thumbs under your cheekbones with your palms facing outward and gently push up.
If you go for the treatment at Joëlle’s Parisian office, this takes a whopping two hours, but you need only take a few minutes if you do this at home and you’re ready to glow – French style.