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Menopause can have the double whammy of reminding you of the passing of time while also taking you back to spots and bad skin. Add to that the sleepless nights, hormones going la-la and the everyday pressure of modern life – parents growing older or children leaving the nest or figuring out how to juggle decorating, work and life with binge-watching the next series of Killing Eve (that one just me? Okay) – and the stress of our lives can really show.
So when, after looking in the mirror and not recognising the woman staring back at me, a new skincare range got in touch offering to help, it’s fair to say I was interested. Okay, I would have beaten any of Usain Bolt’s records replying to them.
It helped that Gorgias London has the prettiest packaging, with beautifully designed floral boxes and elegant jars and bottles. If you’re after something that looks good on your bathroom window, you’re on to a winner straight away.
Aesthetics aside, Gorgias more importantly offers clear, jargon-free writing – no having to google a word with more consonants in it than my latest Scrabble round. Plus each of its products tells you what percentage of its ingredients is natural and its vegan or vegetarian status (they are cruelty-free).
Honesty is at the heart of Gorgias. Its founders set out to provide botanical-based, ingredient-led, ethical and effective skincare (and haircare) with natural ingredients at its very core. Its signature The ‘O’ Range is created with carefully selected cold-pressed oils, chosen because they have been proven to work.
According to the website, the facial oils have a “high retention of naturally occurring nutrients, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants to give a healthy, radiant skin”. Now I’m not a fan of facial oils – I find they either leave my skin looking like an oils slick or bright red because they just don’t rub in properly.
But Berry Blend, which features strawberry, cranberry and raspberry seed oils to nourish and kickstart collagen production, as well as linoleic acid to clear clogged pores and acne, was a finalist in this year’s Pure Beauty Global Awards so I was prepared to put my prejudices aside.
I love it.
It is a rich, luxurious oil that glides on your face easily and sinks it in a couple of minutes. No eco-disaster on my face here. I apply about three drops morning and night and after more than three months, there’s still plenty left.
I used it with the carrot and sea buckthorn oil moisturiser said to balance the skin’s pH and reduces early signs of ageing, especially for oily skin. Carrot seed oil contains natural vitamin A, E, and beta-carotene to hydrate, while the sea buckthorn oil heals skin damage.
After a month I noticed a difference. No, of course I didn’t look 20 years younger – this is skincare, not a Harley St doctor with a scalpel and staple gun. But I noticed I was starting to use less foundation and concealer. In fact, somedays I’m quite happy going out without any on at all – even to the bar. Having suffered from spots in my 20s and always been aware of my skin, I can’t tell you how liberating that is.
Meanwhile, yesterday at work, one of the young girls complimented my skin. Even Mr 50Sense was impressed – so much so that I found him helping himself to the moisturiser!
I’m just glad that oils baffle him.
How to do a facial massage
When I’m being really indulgent, or just feel I need a pick-me-up, I really go for it and use the oil for a facial massage.
To begin with, I put my hair under a very sexy shower cap (you can probably just tie yours back!) and give it a good cleanse. I’m using the No7 Radiant Results Revitalising Hot Cloth Cleanser at the moment because I got it for Christmas. But to be honest, it’s £13 and I see no difference between it and Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser for less than £3.
Now that you’re cleansed, rub a little oil in your hands to make it nice and warm and if you’re sitting comfortably, we can begin…
Starting at your jawline, apply a thin layer of oil up and over your face in light movements, using both hands. You’re after a gliding, swooping movement where the hands follow each other.
Then do the same on your neck, moving upwards all the time. Start at one side and work round to the other. I love this part. I find it so relaxing and it feels as if I’m tightening my skin here..
Go back to the face and, with more oil if you need it, start up from the jawline again in small, circular movements. You want to finish at your hairline. Pay special attention to where you most have fine lines, so in my case that’s the sides of my eyes and also that horrible frown line between my eyebrows. I wish I didn’t have such an expressive face!
Using your ring finger, gently circle the eyes – making sure you don’t get any oil in them! Go from the eyebrows by the bridge of your nose across to the outer edges of your eyes and then round, down and backup. I apply a bit more pressure on the upwards movement but be gentle. This is delicate skin. And remember, three is the lucky number.
To finish, I do long, upwards stroking movements over all the face, again from the jawline up, then add a moisturiser.
And don’t forget to recycle your empties when you’re done.
What are your skincare tips? Don’t forget to leave a comment below.
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