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Heavy lifting

Does the natural approach to firm, plump and youthful-looking skin work as well as injectables? These experts think so

Facial reflexologist Ziggie Bergman: “There has been a revolution within the beauty industry and a shift towards more healing mind and body experiences.”

Facial reflexologist Ziggie Bergman: “There has been a revolution within the beauty industry and a shift towards more healing mind and body experiences.”


We’re going organic with our veg, turning down plastic straws and opting for natural beauty products. As well as becoming more environmentally conscious, we’re also becoming aware of what goes into our bodies, be that via our diet or our cosmetic procedures.

While our caution is growing around procedures like Botox and fillers, there are many of us who still search for the smooth, plump and glowing result that those methods give. Ziggie Bergman is a facial reflexologist and creator of the Zone Facelift, a method of face massage which she says offers a different route to softer frown lines, smoother skin and a glowing complexion.

“There has been a revolution within the beauty industry and a shift towards more healing mind and body experiences. I believe women want a solution,” says Bergman. “They want to age well, not look angry when they are not, and look the best versions of themselves. I worked in the past alongside two of the world’s leading aesthetic doctors at Grace Belgravia, and was certainly reported as holding my own!”

She says her methods have seen unusually active uptake in Ireland, too.

“Irish women in particular want a natural way to age well and look after their skin which is reflected in number of bookings reported from those reflexologists whom I train in Ireland. The response has been extraordinary and unlike any other county,” she adds.

The humble face massage has been given a facelift of its own of late, with operators like FaceGym offering “a non invasive workout targeting the forgotten 40 muscles of the face” and Bergman’s Zone method promoting the use of Gun Sha tools and quartz crystals as a means to a glowing end.

Inside the mouth

Celebrity facialist and skin expert Michaella Bolder has an interesting practice she uses on her devoted clients, which involves using her hands inside the mouth.

“Inside the mouth are pressure points and muscles that, when lifted and gently manipulated, help to remind the muscle where they should sit. Working on the inside to complement the massage already taking place on the outside helps to lift and sculpt the facial contours and release tension in the jaw,” she explains.

“That all results in a natural lift in the face, while helping to relieve eye strain, jaw pain and even headaches,” Bolder continues.

But does it work? In truth, the results one sees from a procedure like Botox are immediate and quite long-lasting. However, for those seeking a natural approach and thinking longer term, facial massage is the next best thing. It has been around for years because of its many benefits.

Bolder explains: “Not only does massage stimulate blood circulation which encourages collagen growth, but brightens the skin, eyes and keeps your muscular tone healthy and young. Using massage techniques daily for only a few minutes can work absolute wonders on product absorption too.”

If the idea of Botox or other injectables is not for you but you want to maintain a more youthful, toned and glowing appearance for longer, face massage can and should have a place in every skincare routine.

“I teach all my clients – and therapists I train – a one-minute morning ritual,” says Bergman.

“Everyone who washes their face can fit in one minute of Zone Face Lift techniques and this ‘ritual’ is about connecting to oneself in the mirror, stimulating blood flow and nutrients to the facial muscles, and relaxing the face through letting go of any worries. This way, clients start the day looking and feeling their best.”

Get your own glow

There are face massage techniques you can work on at home to stimulate and plump the skin. Michaella Bolder has this advice.

– “Get to know your face so you know how much pressure you can use without feeling uncomfortable. Work deep into the muscle as opposed to the bone and work outwards and upwards using finger tips and knuckles.

– “Glide your finger knuckles along your jaw from the chin to the ears, pressing in deep, and then circle over the big masseter muscle near the ears and repeat six times.

– “Next sit your finger knuckles underneath your cheek bone and rest your face down, pressing in and up, hold for 10 then release – repeat six times.

– “Slide up to the eyebrows, resting your thumbs under your jaw, index fingers on the temples and glide your middle finger around the eye socket using a deep pressure, particularly over the eyebrow to release any eye strain. Repeat this six times.”