Because your self-care rituals should focus on more than just your face
Words by KELLY ATTERTON
Caring for your face starts at your nipples, or so many facialists say. That may sound funny, but think about it: The chest area is just as susceptible as your face and neck to signs of aging from sun damage, wrinkles, volume loss and more. Extending your self-care rituals further south can reap big rewards with minimal effort, and if your routine needs a little updating, non-invasive options abound. So why not treat your decolletage with the same care as you would your face?
We know the benefits of regular self-examination, but what about breast massage? “It’s important to keep the lymph nodes and blood circulating freely,” explains herbalist and acupuncturist Gianna De La Torre. The lymphatic system collects excess fluid in the body’s tissue and, after filtering via the lymph nodes — little bean shaped masses that strain away bacteria, waste and toxins — returns it to the blood stream. “Lymph fluid doesn’t circulate on its own, it’s propelled by physical movement and massage,” adds De La Torre, who co-founded Wildling, a gua sha-centric beauty line. She advises to utilize a gua sha tool and breast oil for optimal results. “Massage across the pectoral muscles under the collar bone, out toward the armpit, and up the breast bone. Raise your arm and gua sha up the outside of your breast and around from the areola to the base of the breast,” she says. Repeat daily for a possible volume increase, as healthy breast tissue increases circulation and improves blood flow, and energy “qi” brings nourishment, which increases fullness.
“Skincare is treating the whole organ, not just your face or extremities”
On the Surface
“Skincare is treating the whole organ, not just your face or extremities,” advises celebrity facialist Georgia Louise, who recently opened her first West Coast outpost at AllBright, a ladies-only social club in West Hollywood. She’s amassed an arsenal of tricks to treat a variety of issues: “For fine lines and wrinkles between the breasts and on the decolletage, invest in a silicone overnight patch for immediate results. Microneedling is great for stimulating collagen production and improving product absorption. Red LED lights trigger fiberblasts, great for stimulating collagen, improving skin texture and brightening skin color.” She also recommends Endermologie for help with lymph drainage, providing instant gratification, and Thermatone for skin tightening. “If you’re below a size C, microcurrent treatments can provide a nonsurgical breast lift,” Louise adds.
Dermatologist Ava Shamban’s proven techniques achieve noticeable results, sans implants. Treatments include the Fraxel Dual, and Ultherapy for the decolletage (improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles), as well as glycolic acid and salicylic acid peels to brighten the skin and soften its texture. “We also do absorbable thread lifts,” Shamban shares. “They’re inserted just below the dermis. Perfect for a subtle lift. Injections of Restylane or Juvéderm under the areola give a nice little perk-up.” Nano-color infusion artist Dominique Bossavy concurs, saying, “I perform nipple blushing to change color, asymmetry, size or shape — even the positioning of the areola area, giving nipples a youthful appearance.” Bossavy also excels at stretch mark and scar camouflage, restoring skin color and texture.
You Are What You Eat
“Eating with breast health in mind can reduce breast cancer risks and translate into other areas,” explains holistic nutritionist and author Elissa Goodman. “Follow a Mediterranean (mostly plant-based) diet, maintain a high intake of vegetables and fruit in whole form, prioritize high-fiber foods, eliminate processed foods, limit unhealthy fat and sugar intake. An excess of hormones contributes not only to breast cancer, but to fibrocystic breast disease (cystic breasts). Adopting these eating guidelines helps support the body in naturally balancing hormones,” she explains, which can translate into feeling better overall, improving PMS symptoms and helping to minimize breast cysts. Up your intake of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocados and nuts) for additional benefits.
Feature image: BRITTA PLUG, GINA DE LA TORRE and JILL MUNSON of WILDLING. Photo by Bruce Wainn.
This story originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of C Magazine.
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