Wellbeing: It's all about face

Each week Rachel Grunwell writes about wellbeing, health and fitness.

Products are key to a good facial.
Products are key to a good facial.

Who wouldn't love to have a plump, firm and bright complexion -- like that of a 20-something, skyscraper-tall supermodel?

Most of us don't have a hope of having model-like skin perfection, but there are things we can do to pull on the reins of our skin as it races through the ageing process.

Sleep. Care for yourself. Use sunscreen. Drink water. Exercise. Stress less. Eat your greens.

And skin treatments are a pick-me-up a lot of people indulge in. But how do they work?

I slipped in to visit Lucy and the Powder Room in Newmarket. The place is pearly white, and it's my kind of haven: fashionable, stylish, the place has a vintage/uber cool feel and it's all about pampering -- solo, or with friends.

So, for the sake of "work", I had a medi-facial infusion, which reduced me to a sleep-like state for 90 minutes (cost $165). I lay in a warm, cosy bed, in a dimly lit room and had my face cleansed, exfoliated, massaged, scrubbed and slathered in more than 10 creamy and liquidy products.

The dermal specialist treating me, Ashley Skiffington, tells me the products are key to a great facial. This salon uses the Osmosis range which, she raves, helps replenish and revive the skin.

I asked if facials can really can make people look younger? Her response: "Absolutely".

She says facials remove dead skin and help with detoxing, repairing and restoring nutrients. She believes they give an incredible fix "short-term", but the real results come with regular facials, boosted by good daily home skincare, too.

I left the place relaxed, with spring-like steps and, of course, slightly pink and shiny skin. I can tell you perhaps the biggest benefit was just lying still for so long. Oh, how good it feels to have "me time".

Meanwhile, one walking advertisement for great skin is Dr Libby Weaver, a holistic health expert. We connected at a yoga Wanderlust Festival (where she was a speaker) in Melbourne recently.

She makes her own facial cream (a mix of almond, avocado and borage oils).

She also recommends relaxation and restorative yoga as wonderful beauty practices that help her look and feel great.

I asked her for tips on getting great skin and she said there's no ultimate solution for everyone because each person's skin is unique. But she gave me five top tips that are generally super for skin:

• Include lemon in a glass of water. The vitamin C is incredible for stimulation and digestion.

• Devour avocados. They contain 19 nutrients and the fats are great for the body.

• Pick parsley and include it in meals -- for iron and oxygenation. It's also great for the blood.

• Choose organic butter. This is packed full of vitamins. It's also antibacterial and full of good fats.

• Buy the brassica family (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale) They support a healthy hormone balance.

Meanwhile, here are a few more tips of great things to eat to help you get that beautiful skin glowing, from Dr Libby's book Beauty from the Inside Out: almonds, walnuts, coconuts, apple cider vinegar, eggs, figs, sweet potato, tomatoes, watercress and peppermint tea.

Dr Libby has thousands more skin-boosting tips in this book, but she also tries to educate her fans to think about the bigger picture, like to love themselves more and take time to de-stress.

It's all "food for thought".

I'd recommend good food and the odd facial. Both help me feel fabulous.

• Lucy and the Powder Room has three Auckland locations in Newmarket, Ponsonby and Takapuna, stephenmarr.co.nz/powderroom/

• Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, author and speaker. To find out more about her advice, books and events check out www.drlibby.com

- Herald on Sunday

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