Send slathering to the curb: “Piano fingers” are the best way to apply skin care


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Photo: Stocksy/Javier Diez

When I met with facialist Georgia Louise last night at an event—AKA the esthetician who adds a glow to the faces of Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, and plenty others—I had to pick her brain about all things skin. So I started with the most important question: What’s the one thing everyone should be doing to their complexion every single day?

Louise, who’s a La Mer Global Skincare Advisor, replied with two words: piano fingers. She then showed me what that meant by proceeding to tap each finger quickly across her face, from the chin to her forehead (as if she were playing her skin like a piano). “It’s an important massage technique and one that I really adore,” she tells me as she continues performing what looks like a Beethoven interlude on her face. I’m intrigued—especially because most of the facial massage methods I’ve seen are higher in intensity.

The secret’s actually in the soft touch. “The piano fingers motion really activates the microcirculation and really energizes the muscles,” says Louise. “Your microcirculation system is very superficial, so it doesn’t require a lot to activate it. Some people think you have to pull and tug your skin to get results, but actually the lightest touch is sometimes the strongest.”

“Actually the lightest touch is sometimes the strongest.” —Georgia Louise

Facial massage in general is a useful practice not only for stimulating circulation and collagen, and to lift and tone, but it’s also key for lymphatic drainage. “It’s a really powerful tool to help with drainage and microcirculation,” say Louise. To perform the piano method, all it requires is a simple tap-tap-tap with all of your fingers, starting with your neck and going up and out towards the forehead. “Piano it up after your serum, and then moisturize afterwards,” says Louise, who recommends La Mer’s The Concentrate ($490). “I’d say to do it for a minute to two minutes, all while going up. One minute’s good though.” So next time you slather on a serum, channel Chopin and get after it.

By the way, here’s how to tell if your skin’s purging or reacting to the products you’re using. And these are the skin-care ingredients to combine for your healthiest glow ever. 

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