Choices in Anti-Ageing: The Botox & Fillers Alternative


, , , , , , , , ,

A good analogy for the holistic approach I advocate for the face – personalised skincare routine, professional treatments and at-home facial exercise – is exercising the body. 
faceworkshops massage and accupressure
If we want to tone up and achieve a better silhouette, we have a choice of a) an instant tummy tuck or b) to engage in a bespoke exercise regime. The later requires more effort and personal commitment, and the results are delivered slowly in comparison to the former. I have been witness to the adverse side effects of Botox, fillers and facial fat transfer making me firmly believe that the holistic approach is a health-affirming, if longer-term path, to inner beauty.
  • When looking at the psychology of appearance, I refer to Dr Eileen Bradbury who said that undergoing cosmetic procedures often exposes us to a judgement of being vain; we receive little sympathy from our peers. Yet, we all strive to look attractive and struggle with ageing (see my survey).
  • Attractiveness is important in all walks of life – symmetry and evenness of facial skin and features signal our health. Yet, we often don’t see each other in movement, or when smiling, only static in the mirror. There is something disturbing about asymmetry – and as we age these asymmetries become more exaggerated. For example, sleeping on one side can contribute to more lines and a slightly ‘squashed’ appearance.
  • Aspirations to look “young again” and procedures that promise that seem to be within our reach. We feel that we want to be untouched by age. In a competitive situation, we want to provide “no information” about our inner feelings to the world. We want to hide the story we carry in our faces – our joy and sadness – not to be vulnerable. We strive to look alive & natural in order to be competitive and hope our looks will help us to deal with life challenges.
  • The power of expectations? Dr Bradbury says that women judge each other instantly on weight; a very contradictory topic in ageing when we want plumper faces yet slimmer bodies. Being able to afford to do “anti-ageing” is also an economic statement, opening us to risk and great vulnerability if the procedures go wrong. If a procedure does not deliver the expected results, women feel their sexuality and “their feminine power” has been diminished. People are often unaware of the risk when signing a consent form prior to a procedure – there is a “natural high” derived from expectations which can blind us to the risks. They often don’t have realistic expectations and six months after the procedure, they feel similar to how they did before. (Among people opting for cosmetic surgery, 19 % have pre-existing history of mental health issues versus 4 % in control group.)

Approaching life at a slower pace – relaxing, respecting and taking care of our face – represents a softer, yet better way forward. Injuring skin is a short-term quick fix and has trade-offs that we are yet to fully understand. Ageing is inevitable. Tools of mindfulness and engaging in the internal world of self – connecting with your body through skincare can be incredibly rewarding.


One-to-One Facial Yoga Tuition


, ,

Christmas Vouchers: One-to-One Facial Yoga £40

Anti-ageing facial exercise. Firm & plumper cheeks; improved jawline definition; brighter eye region and reduced lip lines.


60 minutes of individual tuition. Personalised at-home routine (10 minutes). Follow-up session in 4 – 6 weeks. 

Limited availability. Please book by email on

A Client’s Testimonial


I’m very much enjoying the new routine. It’s great to know that I’m actually targeting the areas I need, rather than just doing a long, generic routine from a book, especially as I was unsure if what I had been doing was effective or not. I think this is why it’s so useful to have a one-to-one session. It’s easy to do the five days out of seven, as the routine is very short and is handy to do straight after cleansing at night. RS, Manchester, November 2015

The Anti-Ageing Therapy Survey


, , , , , ,

The world of beauty therapy is becoming more fragmented with hands-on anti-ageing therapies, injectables and new devices being introduced to the salons. Having studied skin for more than 20 years, I promote professional and targeted hands-on massage as the ultimate therapy.

I like to explore consumer attitudes and their approach to facial ageing. The results of my survey are below – in this report I have considered only the answers of female participants!


“We all like to look our best and while the right clothes can go a long way to improve how the body looks, you cannot use that technique with the face..”

“It is hard emotionally to deal with the change. I have noticed that in the last year the change is accelerating…”

  • It reminds me of my age when I look in the mirror sometimes – AND I dont FEEL any different to when I was 25 years :)))
  • Lines don’t worry me at all but puffy eyes and blemishes do. 
  • I don’t like the deep creases from my mouth to my chin. I am wrinkly and line-y!
  • Fell like I am getting old & I hate growing old...
  • It makes me feel sad &  it is another sign that I am ageing.
  • I feel uncomfortable when with people, I feel they are looking at my chin area.
  • Because when I catch sight of myself in a mirror or a shop window I wonder who that person is….it affects my self-confidence
  • It makes me feel unattractive, diminished as a person.. Does not match my view on life.

Emotionally charged words – women often say they are sad about becoming invisible. Yet, this feeling does not always translate to looking after their skin better.

Age. The majority of participants were aged 45+. In Britain, this is usually the case and research confirms that the 4th decade is when facial skin ages the most. In France, women start looking after their skin almost two decades earlier.


Anti-ageing therapies differ in invasiveness. Bearing in mind I asked the questions, the results are biased towards hands-on therapy. Professional intensive massage, pampering and high-end facials, followed by fillers, acupuncture and dermabrasion are the most tried&tested among the participants.
aaspectrumOne-off vs. Ongoing. Most women understand that – like with the gym – it is the ongoing therapy that makes the difference. More invasive therapies often spell more dramatic consequences e.g. short-term swelling and bruising or in some cases also long-term uneven skin surface and broken capillaries. The participants who don’t have any therapy are either sceptical about the results or find them expensive.
The Survey was posted to Faceworkshops newsletter, blog, Facebook and LinkedIn. More about consumer expectations next time.. Please let us have your comments below.

New vs. Innovative


, , , , , , , ,

Launching new or innovative skincare products?

The beauty market is saturated, yet in perpetual need of NEW products (35 % of purchases annually) that are not always scientifically relevant or innovative..

  • PACKAGING. Creating value in the eyes of the consumer often stems from packaging – at least for people that don’t have difficult-to-treat skin types or too many ageing concerns.
  • CONVENIENCE. Mobile purchases are becoming more popular than  desktop and Google favours e-commerce sites that are mobile friendly. The online journey and feeling welcome on the site – as well as product reviews are becoming extremely important.

After all, the beauty industry is about talking to people..

Packaging needs to appeal, be simple and fit for purpose – but at the end of the day, it is only the outer shell of the product.

SKIN BIOLOGY, LIFESTYLE & COMPLIANCE. Buying skincare differs from other beauty purchases. Your skin type is unique and the factors that influence you individually depend on genetics and lifestyle – efficacy, the right choice of active ingredients and sensory aspects of skincare products come first! The price, quality, size and prestige attributes are secondary.

Go shopping when:

  1. you understand your skin type and active ingredients that alleviate your concerns
  2. know how to layer your products
  3. know how your skin changes during the day and seasons
  4. appreciate how does it feel when your skin is well hydrated.

Only then look at packaging and convenience of your store or e-store.

Be Smart About Anti-Ageing Skincare


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looking good for your age feels fabulous. And quality skincare does not have to break the bank – the results are also in your (and your facialist’s) hands. 

Facial creams are only a part of the solution. It is the professional facial massage (every 4 – 6 weeks) and a personalised daily “at home” care that make the difference!

  • 1. Go shopping for a PERSONALISED bargain. Ask questions of your beauty therapist so that you can respect their credibility. A good skincare specialist will be able to save you money on efficacious products. We all love a bargainbut only if it works!
  • 2. Save money by PROTECTION and PREVENTION – at any age. Be diligent with your skincare routines. Use a gentle cleanser and a serum underneath your moisturiser. Use a mask regularly and learn the art of skincare layering. Remember that skincare has a shelf life – change your products every season.
  • 3. RELAX YOUR FACE in the evening by bespoke facial yoga and a gentle massage routine.
  • 4. Invest in regular PROFESSIONAL TREATMENTS. Only 25 % of British women invest in facial treatments. The Brits worry about appearance and facial ageing but don’t do much about it. Having a facial has not been ingrained in women since childhood (as in France) or demanded by the society (e.g. USA).

faceworkshops anti-aging massage

As the Parisians say – enjoy the face you have today. It is the one you will wish to have 10 years from now.

Best Bargains for Skin Repair in Autumn


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Now the autumn air outside is nippy.. For some of you, your face might feel tight in the morning. That means your skin barrier is being challenged – your skin needs more nurture and hydration..

Looking for a bargain, we all have discovered TKMaxx even for beauty buys. In store, you can find many treasures ad hoc but these are the best seasonal buys online. Happy Shopping!

AromaWorks Nourishing Face Serum Oil 30ml


TKMaxx Price £14.99 – RRP £45 – Save £30 (66%)
Claims: Rejuvenating, smoothing and brightening luxurious face serum/oil.
Apply before moisturising to improve elasticity, reduce the signs of ageing.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyridoxine Cylic Phosphate, Sodium PCA, Anastatica Hierochuntica Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycosaminoglycans, Davidsonia Pruriens Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Arnica Montanta Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eluthero) Root Extract, Eqisetum Arvense Extract, Pentapeptide-34 Trifluoroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Centifolia Flower Oil, Bosweillia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrott) Seed Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) Fruit Oil, Angustisfolium Flower Oil,Limonene, Gernaniol, Citronellol,Linalool

My Recommendation: A natural anti-ageing night oil – combines anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory plant extracts, a peptide and a pore reducing active. Delivers hydration, wrinkle reduction and tightening of open pores. A few drops go a long way, massage in with gentle circular movements


ELIZABETH ARDEN Intervene Timefighting Radiance Serum 30 ml


TKMaxx Price £16.99 – RRP £45 – Save £28 (62%)

Claims: This time fighting serum has been formulated to bring radiance and luminosity to the skin. The serum contains natural time-fighting extracts to help combat the first signs of ageing. The product also creates the ideal base for make-up application.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Nylon-6, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Serine, C4-24 Dimethicone/Divinylmethicone Crosspolymer, Triolein, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceteareth-6 Olivate, Isohexadecane, Ppg-2 Isoceteth-20 Acetate, Sodium Pca, Trehalose, Urea, Avena Sativa (Oat) Peptide, Lecithin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phospholipids, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/Vp Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Steareth-20, Polyquaternium-51, Hexylene Glycol, Peg-8, Acacia Senegal Gum, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Bht, Sodium Metabisulfite, Disodium Edta, Mica, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Benzoic Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Chlorphenesin, Tin Oxi

My Recommendation: The sophisticated serum for Pre-Christmas glow. Delivers intensive hydration (algae, hyaluronic acid, urea), a spectrum of anti-oxidant and deep repair extracts, two peptides as well as skin barrier protecting lipids. Effective as a primer for radiant skin, can be used AM/PM

Charity Evening for Beverley Christmas Lights 


, , ,

– Only few tickets left – from Organic 33 or email me directly – 

In Support of Beverley Christmas Lights 
21st October 2015 – Evening with Skin Care Specialist

Beverley Christmas Appeal Groups are holding an evening of beauty tips for Winter incorporating skincare routines across brands with the best anti-ageing ingredients, facial yoga and relaxation & hair styling for the Festive season. 

Presented by Dr Katerina Steventon, Skincare Specialist
In Conjunction with Organic 33 Hair Salon

On 21st OCTOBER 2015 @ 7.30pm

At The North Bar Tea Rooms, 41 North Bar Within, Beverley HU17 8DG.

Tickets £8 inc coffee and cake available from: Jacks on Wednesday Market, Shirleys on Lairgate or Organics 33 Hair Salon on North Bar Within.

Please share this event with your friends & family

Japanese Lip Trainer MiniCase Study. The Results Are In!


, , , , , ,

Our participants, all female (aged 45 – 70), commented on their experience of using the Japanese Lip Trainer at the end of the 2-weeks long trial in August 2015.

Inexpensive, focusing your mind and a reminder to exercise – ideal for people that are new to anti-ageing facial exercise. It might be a little tricky to start with and does not taste that nice. However, please be mindful of the fact that there are people with whom the device does not agree at all. As the reviews say, you either love or hate it! Happy reading!





  • Easy to do. Quick to remember. It is not pleasant but ok and just do for a few minutes while sorting things out watching news on tv first thing..
  • Short and easy to do once checked doing it correctly
  • It is a focus, something to use rather than relying solely on massage.
  • It has a limited info enclosed. I found it difficult to keep in place. 
  • Did not feel I had exerted my facial muscles..
  • I wasn’t keen on the taste of the lip trainer, it made me slaver.


  • It’s fine to do once a day. I would prefer to use it twice a day for a minutes or two at most. After using it for a while, I would hope it will get easier.
  • This is ok and sometimes have managed a bit extra either longer in morning or do a few minutes in the evening.
  • Even once a day for 5 mins would be fine..
  • Just about right – suits me when something is easy to fit into my day. I’m more likely to stick to it that way.
  • It wasn’t too long or too onerous. Doing while making a pot of tea and getting breakfast things out.


  • I felt a definite ache in my face after the exercise, but this lessened over the 2 weeks. Stretched, it really feels like it has had a workout! My body feels tense, but this does disappear soon. I also find my neck feels stretched.
  • I can feel it in muscles on face after doing exercise. No changes to body.
  • To start with I felt a mild ache in my jaw after the exercises but as the trial went on, I felt it less.
  • I can tell I have used my facial muscles but they do not actually ache.
  • Haven’t noticed any feelings/changes.
  • No changes felt
  • Anyone who wants to work on lines around the corners of their lips.
  • Anyone over 40. It should, with regular use, keep wrinkles as bay.
  • If you are concerned with sagging facial muscles, I cannot see it doing any harm and may do some good.
  • Anyone with concern about sagging jaw line.
  • It’s cheap, quick and easy to use so I would say anyone committed to trying to prevent the usual negative effects of ageing should buy it.
  • It isn’t expensive so I think anyone could buy it. And not feel they were wasting money. It may work.






  • The gadget is useful as it focuses the mind, it is “something to actually see” and the effort involved is minimal.
  • The guide of the gadget makes you feel you are exercising correctly.
  • The advantage of a gadget is visibility – if left out, it reminds people to do it!
  • This is a morning routine – to compliment a regular evening massage.

The original link to trial invitation, August 2015. 

 – END-

Beautiful Plants & Words by The School of Life III.


, , , , ,

Last instalment of the work on plants & wise words created by The School of Life, London.



Rosemary has long been a symbol of both remembrance and love – perhaps because love is ultimately about remembering someone else’s best attributes, day after day. Hamlet’s Ophelia famously used this herb to remember the dead.

Our family, friends, and jobs – and, in nature, trees and clouds – could use a little more regular and mindful appreciation. We need to remember bad things too; only by recalling our setbacks and errors can we approach the world with more humility.




Early in life we’re extremely vulnerable, and we need – and often are given – truly unconditional and selfless love. We’re fed, bathed and soothed whenever we cry out. As adults, we often demand this sort of love from each other – and make a bitter discovery: that we cannot now re-find the love we knew or longed to know as children. We need the insights of the aster plant.

The aster is traditionally a symbol of love, but also of afterthought. It represents the kind of love that follows losses, regrets, and other unavoidable difficulties of loving relationships. This can sound depressing, but instead the aster should serve as an impetus for true maturity.



It sounds a small thing: to say ‘good wishes’. But there are times when every little bit of encouragement can help in the job of keeping our spirits up. Too often, amidst everyday distractions and frustrations, we forget to make the minor signs and gestures that show others we’re keeping them in mind and wishing them well with the business of life; that we do care, even though we’re currently feeling run off our feet.

Basil is a herbal antidote to unintended neglect. The plant is itself a good ‘companion’ to the tomato – each grows better in close proximity to the other (and are marvellous, together, on a plate). Today, the herb’s sweet, pungent scent invites us to be a little more like it is: a good companion to those we love.



In nineteenth-century England, primroses were symbols of youth and romance. And to offer, or wear, a primrose was often a special sign of confidence in one’s lover. We should adopt the same confidence in modern courtship, not only when wooing people, but also when seeking other things we desire.

Confidence isn’t arrogance. It’s based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything. Confidence is valuable because it helps set grander goals. It needn’t live in relation to our apparent success; it is instead meant to inoculate us against self-hatred and despair when things don’t go our way.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 589 other followers