If a facial is rated by Vogue and used backstage at the bequest of Lisa Eldridge, then you know it's going to be something special. Likewise, if it's got anything to do with cult Japanese beauty brand SUQQU, then you can be confident that your skin is going to see some seriously chic action.

A little bit of background : The name SUQQU is derived from the Japanese word sukku-to, meaning 'posture and attitude' - the notion of beauty as a lifestyle, embodied through composure, elegance, and wellbeing. This concept is reflected throughout SUQQU's range of sophisticated skincare and makeup products [which are designed to enhance natural beauty] and most especially in the patented Gankin massage, which allows the brand's devotees to incorporate the concept of beauty as wellbeing into their daily routines.

Your Sunday night facial just gained an extra step, and it's a luxe one.

Between misused skincare, overloaded makeup, weather, central heating, and just general life, our skin goes through some pretty traumatic experiences on a day-to-day basis. Rescuing it is far from simple, and is best achieved by booking in with a professional. We all know and love that radiantly clean post-facial sensation [soft to touch, brilliantly glowy, makeup sits better for days, etc etc], but three months of slack skincare down the line and we're once again despairing over a lacklustre complexion. Cue a slippery slope towards sinking your hard-earned pennies into salons across the city.

That is, until now.

SUQQU's Gankin massage is the at-home massage you've all been waiting for. It takes just three-minutes to perform, and when practised on a twice daily basis leads to sharper facial definition, improved circulation, and a brighter complexion. Think : A no-nasties face lift without breaking the bank.

The intense massage is something of a workout for the face [expect to be pummelled] but leaves you with a feeling of toned and tightened muscles, which in turn improves circulation and releases tension and stiffness. Using the knuckles and fingertips, the treatment targets the pressure points, draining the lymph nodes [where the waste which causes sagging skin and puffiness gathers].

The massage is best performed with SUQQU's Musculate Massage & Mask Cream* which is designed to provide the perfect texture for the pressure required of the massage. Enriched with green tea and medicinal herbs, this luxurious mask can also be used as an intensive moisture treatment. Boasting anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, it instantly increases hydration levels, leaving skin soft and supple. Post-massage I leave the cream on my face for around five minutes before removing it with the accompanying sponge cloth [possibly the most luxurious face cloth in existence]. I then use a cotton pad soaked in the brand's best-selling Face Refresher* [a refreshing and non-drying solution] which removes any excess oil and allows improved penetration of any products consequently applied [you can also pick up the Limited Edition Massage Kit which as well as the above contains the Moisture Repair EssenceFace Protector, and Dual Eye Balm].

You can see why Lisa Eldridge commissions SUQQU's staff to perform the massage on models prior to their makeup application, and why the products themselves are backstage favourites. Together, they leave the skin feeling plump and supple; with a notable radiance and a silky soft texture which makes consequent makeup application a dream. Users are advised to perform the massage both day and night, and to expect to see facial definition results within two months. I've been performing the Gankin as often as I can [at least once a day] for the past month, and whilst I'm as yet to notice any visual changes in my face [it's almost impossible to judge in yourself anyway!] my facial muscles feel much more flexible and present [that post-back massage feel, but in your face]. I've also noticed that my skin looks and feels healthier; it's brighter, less congested, and devoid of both dry patches and those pesky under the skin bumps left behind by blemishes [due to the lymph gland drainage]. The Gankin truly is inside out beauty at its best.

I was fortunate enough to first experience the Gankin at the hands of a professional*, and would advise anyone who wishes to commit to incorporating the massage into their routine to visit their nearest SUQQU counter [locations can be found here] and experience the massage from an expert before trying it at home. You can book a Gankin tutorial at any of their UK counters for £40 [redeemable against purchase], and if you're in London you can even experience the luxe treatment in the brand's private treatment room at Fenwicks.

For those as yet unable to make it to a counter, a print-out which enables you to perform the massage from your own home can be found here, and this video is especially useful in determining the speed and movements required of the massage if you're more of a kinetic learner. The degree of pressure itself is difficult to gauge from both, but is essential to the experience, so for this reason I really would urge anyone serious about learning the Gankin to experience the real deal.

Have you [or will you] be giving the Gankin glow a go?


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