Ever look in the mirror and groan, bewildered as to how your face can be, at the same time, grey and pallid yet red and blotchy? Most of us have lifestyles that play havoc with our complexion. Stress, working in air-conditioned offices, exacerbated by the odd couple of weeks of harsh attack from sun and sea all takes its toll. Yet, there is hope. Eve Lom OBE, founder of Eve Lom Skincare, is one of the Britain’s most successful businesswomen in the beauty industry, whose reputation is such that she has a four-month waiting list for appointments and counts many a top model, actress and celebrity amongst her clientele, has the answer.
We live in polluted atmospheres, work in germ-laden offices and get through the day on a hastily snatched sandwich and eight cups of coffee. Throw in too much alcohol and not enough sleep and it’s no wonder our skin looks less than lustrous.The doyenne of beauty therapists has an unusual, but convincing approach to skincare and beauty treatments, which goes far beyond the superficiality of a lick of moisturiser and the odd face-pack. Lom, whose own skin is more than convincing propaganda for her philosophy, might seem to be doing herself out of a job when she tells us that we all make too much fuss about our skin.
“Your skin is an external reflection of what’s going on inside. It is affected more by your lifestyle – what you eat and drink, stress and your posture than by what you put on the outside.”
Lom recommends simplicity as far as skincare is concerned and in accordance with this her eponymous line of skincare consists of just seven, natural-ingredient products including a miraculous, one-step cleanser that removes make-up, exfoliates and unblocks pores in one fell swoop. Even the most hardened disco diva should be able to manage so simple a cleansing routine before falling into bed, but if not Lom’s range includes a superb, natural spot treatment that sends pimples shrinking back into angry pores
Lom’s no-nonsense approach – Lom is of Czechoslovakian origin and there is a certain Eastern European practicality about her, also includes cutting out the buckets of moisturiser we believe will feed our skin and prevent wrinkles. Over-moisturising is the biggest crime you can commit against your complexion, warns Lom.
“It clogs pores and causes spots. You should never put moisturiser on your forehead, nose or chin, unless your skin is exceptionally dry.” Although this dictum somewhat flies in the face of common belief, it could be worth a try. It makes sense, if you acknowledge that spots are caused by clogged pores, not to clog them further.
The most interesting part of Lom’s philosophy, however is the idea that good skin comes from what you put inside not what you slap on the outside. “Skin is fed from within” she claims. The way you eat, breathe, deal with stress and even sit at your computer all affect your general health, including the state of your skin, the body’s largest organ.
When I walked in to her clinic for her consultation she immediately commanded “shoulders back!” And as far as sitting at my laptop for long hours, something we all know puts tremendous stress on our bodies, Lom advises: “Sit with your legs apart, never crossed.” Inelegant as it seems, she’s right. If you plant your feet just over hip width apart, knees at right-angles to the floor, you immediately force your shoulders back and fill your lungs.
And the facial is more than just a quick clay mask. A detailed history is taken, questions about diet and lifestyle are documented and Lom includes cranial osteopathy, (an energy-releasing ‘hands on body’ treatment) as part of the facial. Interestingly Lom dismisses the history somewhat claiming that ‘I can tell all I need to know by feeling the body’. And it certainly seems to work. When I left the treatment rooms I felt as if I was walking on
air, fortunately Lom had warned me to be careful about wandering in front of rogue taxis.
I have always been a great believer in a natural and holistic approach to health, so I need little convincing that my skin reflects my state of mind. I get a whole series of tiny red bumps on my forehead when I’m over-worked and it didn’t surprise me to find out that spots on your forehead mean stress.
The best thing about Lom is that she acknowledges that we don’t live in a bubble, nor should we want to. She told me a charming story about having spent time in a retreat, meditating and eating a vegetarian diet. When she returned to London she felt lacklustre and her friends commented on how low her energy levels were. Shortly afterwards, on her first date with her husband, Lom’s good intentions to eat fish flew out of the window as he ordered steak and she couldn’t resist joining him. Definitely a woman after my own heart – bring on the steak, I can feel my spots clearing up already!
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