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Now We Are 40 - 13/04/2016

Best in Their Field: Emma Hardie

Most women our age know the name Emma Hardie.

If you’re not familiar with her, try this experiment.

Find a woman between the ages of 25-55 and in a call and response type fashion, say the name out loud. Chances are she will shout ‘Moringa Cleansing Balm!’ back at you with the evangelical zeal of a woman who has been converted by the skincare guru’s key product, a staple feature of every beauty fan’s bathroom cabinet.

Emma’s Moringa Balm has become known as the multiple use wonder product which dislodged Grand Dame Eve Lom off her lofty (if a little greasy) balm-cleansing perch and has won many fans worldwide with it’s various other talents; face mask, night treatment, hardcore moisturiser, to name but a few.

The heady blend of orange, neroli, mandarin, jasmine, rose, sweet almond oil, sea fennel and of course Moringa seed, has proved addictive for many and Hardie says she still gets hand written letters from fans saying it’s changed their lives.

But the rest of her carefully formulated products also seems to be hitting the spot with skincare cognoscenti.

Plus the range shifts massive amounts of units worldwide due to her early and cannily placed foothold in mega-sales platforms like QVC and the recently revamped Marks & Spencer Skincare, alongside niche curated online outlets like Cult Beauty.

But the image of business tour de force and charismatic saleswoman which we’ve seen on TV belies a deeply held commitment to holistic skincare and therapeutic treatments which she believes can alleviate skin and health concerns.

Despite the evident business acumen, she is first and foremost a facialist and a prime exponent of the belief that human touch and skilled massage takes precedence over product.

A friend told me about another friend who had suffered from long-term partial facial paralysis but after a facial from Emma the condition improved and she regained feeling and muscle function.

I told Emma and she remembered her of course, but I don’t think this is an uncommon story. At the risk of sounding like my mum some people just have healing hands.

Emma was very warm, calm and zen in person. She tailors the facial for each client on a diagnostic basis and impressively spotted the fact that I hold a lot of stress in my stomach and that this has been a problem lately, all just from looking at my skin.

Her Natural Lift and Sculpting Facial offers firmer, plumper skin without harsh ingredients or invasive techniques and it focuses on maximising the body’s own potential for cellular regeneration which reflects a growing trend in the beauty industry.

There seems to be massive growth in products and procedures which enable and support the skin in fulfilling it’s own natural function, rather than adding chemicals or substances to replace that function as it inevitably declines with age. This is definitely a key trend and one we’ll be talking about a lot more over the next couple of years.

But Emma was drawn to this idea years ago after her own long term, debilitating illness left her with a serious loss of muscle tone. While recouperating she became interested in cell regeneration and retrained as an aesthetician specialising in restorative health and beauty.

So, what did she do to my face?

My skin was thoroughly cleansed, then Emma used her manual skin and muscle softening technique helps to instantly release any restrictions and tension held in the face, enabling an unrestricted flow of energy, nutrients and oxygen to all areas of the skin and muscles.

She described this as deep stretches / yoga for the face.

Having woken the skin up, the natural frequencies used then stimulate the skin cells to rejuvenate and they start to repair, respire, expand and detoxify. The result is that the rejuvenated skin is softer, plumper, luminous and more elastic.

Then using a deep tissue technique, Emma’s fingers coax the muscles and surrounding tissue back into its original, more sculpted and youthful contours.

In keeping with the holistic vibe, the facial tackles more than the cosmetic.

Whilst in this deep state of relaxation, other regeneration can take place and many have said it has provided relief from migraines, sinus problems, head, neck and shoulder tension, depression, menopause, grief and insomnia.

Emma believes that stress and tension in your face and body can result in an imbalance in skin and organ health. We all experience muscle tension when stressed and this constricts and blocks flow of the brain to cell and cell to cell signals which enact regeneration.

So as well as trying to find time to relax with meditation or practising mindfulness, Emma’s method works to restore the body’s bio-electric system (by which it transmits it’s cell repair messages) and taps into our natural self-rejuvenating capabilities.

Her massage works following lines rather than circles on the face, working with the grain of the skin, similar to the weave of fabric. Since our muscle and collagen fibres are all linear, massaging in a linear rather than circular fashion should automatically encourage natural drainage, toning and smoothing.

I felt quite hyper and caffeinated at the start of the facial, after a day of running around, but by the end I was practically asleep.

At 40, I would say this would be one of the key components of a facial for me. When I was younger, I loved a thorough cleanse and extraction, the more sadistically eye-watering, the better.

But my skin doesn’t really need that nowadays. The chance to float off and have a few mins snoozing is far more valuable. One criteria which hasn’t changed, is that I want to walk out with a glowing, rosy complexion and Emma certainly delivered on that.

Here I am afterwards. I didn’t feel like I needed to wear make up for the journey home and my skin still looks much improved 24 hours later.

I do buy into the idea that therapeutic massage can alleviate a wide variety of health problems, so why shouldn’t it improve how your face looks too? Seems entirely logical.

Emma knows her stuff and I’m going to try and do her linear style of massage when I use my cleanser and oils from now on. If you fancy trying it have a look at some of the videos on her website.

If you would like to try an Emma Hardie facial, there are guest weeks at Urban Retreat in Harrods throughout the year and both Emma and her team do in-store skin consultations and mini facials at various Space NK & M&S stores.

To keep up to date with details of when and where these are, follow her on Instagram @emmahardieskincare / Twitter: @EmmaHardieUK and Facebook‘Emma Hardie Amazing Face.’

And let me know if you’ve had an Emma Hardie facial and what you thought, or what your favourite EH product is.

Bet it’s the Moringa Cleansing Balm ; p

Thanks for reading.

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