Scottish-born, London-based facialist Nichola Joss made her third visit to Toronto’s Lac + Beauty this past week to perform her facials that include her signature massage method that she’s come to be known for in part due to high praise from Meghan Markle. Though Joss had to remain mum on her betrothed client—it looks like Kensington Palace has been in touch—she did tell us more about her technique, her can’t-live-without-product and her thoughts on aging:
1. She learned her massage technique while living in Asia, where she met a massage healer who looked predominantly after cancer patients. He would ease their pain, give them better energy and relieve muscle tissue of negative emotion. “What I gained from him was an understanding of how to manipulate the muscles from inside the mouth to release and relieve toxins and stimulate the lymphatic system,” she says. After seeing how lifted, contoured and happy his patients looked, she tweaked it and added to it and made it a facial.
2. That’s why an essential component to the facial involves Joss going inside your mouth. Wearing gloves, she works in a “wave movement” beginning along the jaw up to under the cheekbone, working from the lips to the inner jaw area. She addresses muscle tension along the jaw line and under the cheekbone, working her way to the back of the jaw where you would grind and clench your teeth. And working the master muscle, which is the cheek muscle “can really improve the contours”.
3. Though she travels with an international kit that includes everything from jade rollers to cleansing waters, if she was only allowed to carry one product it would be facial oil. “It does everything from cleanse your skin to hydrate and nourish and encourage you to massage.” One of her favourites is Lumity Facial Oil. “Gorgeous product.”
4. If you only have a month to get a glow for a big event, like ahem a royal wedding, Joss likes a good glycolic exfoliation or a gentle peel. She also really likes the peptide Matrixyl. “It works like a life jacket, so it keeps the skin cells plump and young.” She’s also big on probiotic supplements, believing skincare is 50% what we put in our mouth. “The probiotic looks after your gut and your gut looks after your main living organs. Your skin is your largest one.”
5. Your hands are your best tool for facial massage at home. “You get the best out of them because you get complete touch and you really get to know your facial structure.” Start at the center of your face working outwards and upwards, taking your index and middle finger along the jawline, getting the jawbone in between the fingers. After that, bend the knuckles to intensify pressure. But the easiest one to do is to find your cheekbones with the heels of your palms and drop your head into them. Don’t push the skin up into the eye area, just support your head so you really feel pressure. “The muscle tissue has great memory, so it will start to remember, and it wants to sit where it should,” she says. “It doesn’t want to be heavy with tension.”
6. She is not an advocate of anti-aging “It’s negative and I think if we’re going to move forward as women, we need to have each other’s backs and encourage each other to age and be on this planet.” That said, she acknowledges that we all want to look our best, herself included, which is why massage is so essential; it keeps the muscles healthy, preventing them from sagging, which brings a sadness to face. “But we have to start to regard ourselves as beautiful in our 40s, 50s or 60s because if we don’t, we’re ignoring that age group and we’re all going to hopefully get there.”