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Celebs On Sunday - 21/03/2010

THE ANTI-AGEING TOOL AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Expensive gadgets aren't the only things you can use in the fight against wrinkles. Your hands make a clever, no-cost addition to your anti-ageing arsenal - all you need is a little know-how...

It's not just indulgence that sees models backstage at Fashion Week receiving finely tuned massages from world-feted facialists. No, when it comes to perking up a tired complexion or banishing bags and lines, experts say a few minutes of fingertip action is unbeatable.

'Facial massage is a serious contender in the anti-ageing arena and greatly underestimated,' says Noella Gabriel, Director Of Treatment Development at Elemis. 'Think of it as taking your face to the gym. It makes the skin taught and tight, as well as stimulating microcirculation to get it glowing.' More good news - not only can it tackle particular complexion imperfections, it can turbo-charge our skincare too.

'Using massage to stretch the deep tissue makes the skin function better, so whatever you apply either during or after will work harder too,' explains facialist Emma Hardie. The result is a complexion that looks more energised and younger than by using skincare alone.'

As with any massage, preparation is key. 'Drink a large glass of warm water beforehand, says Dr Mariano Spiezia, founder of inlight organic skincare. 'During the massage breathe deeply - this helps the system discharge toxins rather than let them build up elsewhere.'

FINGERTIP TIPS

Massage works best when you use a bit of moisturiser, such as your usual day or eye cream, to give your fingers lubrication. In case you fancy treating yourself to something new, for each of these techniques we've suggested products that complement it. The exercises don't take long, so try to do them every day.

THE BROW SMOOTHER

'The most effective way to plump up the forehead is a friction movement,' says Aromatherapy Associates' Louise Riby. 'The pressure boosts blood flow and is also deeply de-stressing.'

THE TECHNIQUE:

  1. Start with index fingers pointing towards each other between your brows.
  2. Slowly draw them horizontally outwards, to the hairline at the side of your temple, then back to the centre. Move slowly using firm pressure.
  3. Repeat the horizontal strokes, moving up the forehead until you reach the hairline. Start from the beginning and repeat 4 times.

THE PRODUCTS:

A cleansing balm will give enough slip to ease lines and soothe stress after a tough day. Try Inlight Organic Face Cleanser, £25.95, or Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser, £3.99.

THE EYE DE-PUFFER

Skin around the eyes is fine and fragile, so use your middle finger for the lightest touch. 'This area is prone to puffiness, but responds to the tiniest pressure,' says Noella.

THE TECHNIQUE:

  1. Start at the inner corner, move underneath then back around the top, tapping gently.
  2. Repeat four times to revitalize the eyes and stimulate the muscles to drain puffiness.
  3. If your eyes are strained, lie back with a warm eye pillow or facecloth over the eyes as an added stress-buster.

THE PRODUCTS:

To avoid dragging the delicate skin, using and eye cream is essential. We like Marks & Spencer Formula Sensitive Skin Eye Gel, £2.75, or Elemis Absolute Eye Serum, £26.

THE CHEEK LIFTER

If you're starting to resemble Deputy Dawg, Emma recommends this trick first thing in the morning to regain sculpted cheekbones.

THE TECHNIQUE:

  1. Pinch your cheeks, placing your thumb firmly under the bone and two fingers on top, starting where your cheekbone meets your nose.
  2. Hold the pinch for a count of 3 and in your mind's eye see and feel muscles relaxing and toning.
  3. Move along the cheekbone to the outside of your face, and repeat 3 times.

THE PRODUCTS:

This instant fix can be done on dry skin, or you can combine it with your moisturiser. Emma Hardie Moisturising Cream, £36, is ideal.

THE LIPLINE SMOOTHER

These wrinkles run from nose to mouth creating pursed lips and are a smoker's giveaway. Louise recommends:

THE TECHNIQUE:

  1. Use the middle and index fingers of one hand.
  2. Walk them sideways (like a crab) down one side of your lipline, pushing skin up over the teeth (to lift and lengthen the smiling muscles to plump and soften skin above the mouth).
  3. Repeat three times on each side.

THE PRODUCTS:

A face oil will work beautifully here to help fingers slip easily across skin. Aromatherapy Associates Fine Line Face Oil, £38.75, has added ant-ageing ingredients, but for a cheap fix, olive oil works too.

THE JAW DEFINER

'Excess fluid can puff up the face, but this helps drain it to create a more defined jawline,' explains facialist Vaishaly Patel.

THE TECHNIQUE:

  1. Work along from the chin to the earlobes with your fingertips, moving in small circles.
  2. Press firmly to really help tone the muscle.
  3. Repeat three or four times.

THE PRODUCTS:

Your own moisturiser will give you enough slip to move up the jaw without dragging the skin. We rate L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream, £14.99, or Organic Surge Overnight Sensation Night Cream, £7.99.