A rare facial technique renowned for its use by Meghan Markle is finally making its way to our shores, and Sydney is now one of the very few locations in Australia where you can receive an IntraOral (also known as Buccal) facial massage.
Isabella Loneragan, founder of The Dermal Diary, is one of only a handful of experts in Australia trained in IntraOral facial sculpting massage, which entails massaging inside the mouth to iron out stress lines, improve skin tone, circulation and lymphatic drainage, and provide an overall ‘lifted’ effect, enabling the therapist to really dig deep inside those hard-to-reach cheek and jaw areas. The technique now has this passionate dermal therapist booked out weeks in advance for her signature service ‘The Intrinsic Facial Experience’.
Isabella strives to create close, long-term relationships with her clients in order to establish holistic skin health, and treat serious conditions without prescription solutions.
“I worked for four years in Dermatology, which drove me to design this business, which is all about major skin conditions. One of the things that I found was lacking in Dermatology was so many people saying “I don’t want to be on medication anymore, how do I fix my skin?” So I opened (The Dermal Diary) about four years ago, to specialise in acne, rosacea, and effectively holistically caring for the skin. You actually can’t come here anymore for just one facial off the street – you have to have a consultation first, with the goal that you’re committed to a plan. That doesn’t mean that everyone commits, but we say for ultimate skin health holistically, you kind of need to commit to good products and a skin plan.”
The Dermal Diary’s approach is a very personal one as opposed to a numbers game, and this is apparent even upon first entry, as the clinic is based upstairs above a quaint hairdressing salon in Naremburn. Only a small sign on the front window allows clients to know they’re in the right place.
“In my time doing what I do, I identified that half this job is facial-ing, the rest is nurturing, communicating with clients, listening to them, hearing them,” says Isabella. “So I have quite intimate relationships with all my clients, it’s one in one out. We don’t have a reception, you don’t wait in line to make a booking, so we designed quite a specific business model that really indicated to our clients that they get a certain level of care.”
It is perhaps for this reason that clients entrust Isabella with such an eccentric and intimate treatment as her Intrinsic Facial. She recently jetted to Paris to train with renowned facialist Yakov Gershkovich, in order to introduce her unique Intrinsic Facial experience to The Dermal Diary.
“I came across Yakov (a Russian Facial Master) on Instagram. His whole philosophy is connecting with the muscles emotionally and connection with your client emotionally. So I followed him for around a year before he did a world tour, which I was accepted to go and do, and to be honest I thought it would just be a facial massage technique – it wasn’t. It was translated into French and English for four days, and he taught us the lifting technique which works the whole neck and face with the goal of releasing emotional tension that we hold in our face. It has muscle memory and grows. When we’re stressed, we go to a massage therapist and they massage our body, but nothing on our face – which is weird if you think about it!”
During The Intrinsic Facial Experience, the massage techniques are far removed from those originally learned during Beauty Therapy. Isabella begins at the chest, with firm presses before engaging in swift firm sweeping motions, always dragging upwards. This, as Isabella describes, is carried out in order to lift up sagging, downward-dragging muscles. Firm lifting motions are carried out across the face in the standard directions, including chin, cheeks, between the brows and the forehead up into the hairline.
Once the external massage is complete, gloves are popped on and the intrinsic massage begins. Isabella presses tissue between thumb and forefingers, dividing the face into four quadrants, upper and lower cheeks on both sides, deeply working the masseters, depressors and zygomaticus, all the way around to include the insides of the lips. The sensation is of course a unique one, that can feel slightly tender at times but generally very relieving. It is undeniably the most efficient way to massage facial muscles in their entirety, and clients should walk away from the experience with a sense of ‘more space’ in their cheeks and jaw.
Currently, there are very few therapists offering the technique, but with the surge in holistic wellness solutions, we expect this to be a treatment that continues to grow in popularity.
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