who would opt for a workout that you can do sitting down,
raise your hand. Everyone? Good. FaceGym, the brainchild of
former Financial Times How to Spend It Spa Junkie columnist Inge
Theron, exercises your face – stimulating some 40 facial muscles in
the process – as you vegetate.
Plotted across London
York, the spas
function like gyms with pumping soundtracks and communal workout
stations. With imminent openings anticipated for Notting Hill and
LA, FaceGym is offering us a new kind of sweat sesh – and it has
sent the wellness crowd into a frenzy.
A seasoned traveller with a get-it-done attitude, Inge Theron is
a time cruncher. From time-saving beauty routines to preventative
skincare and the best workouts in every city, she has it all worked
Tell us about Face Gym.
It’s the UK’s first gym studio for the face. Trainers perform a
range of lifting and sculpting workouts designed to train the 40
plus muscles in the face. Results are amplified with high
performance skincare products and non-invasive technology.
How often should we be working out our faces?
As with any workout, the results are better the more work you
put in. It also depends on your age. For those in their 20s, it’s
more preventative, so we recommend doing “freestyle” DIY training a
couple of times a week and a personal training session once a
month. Daily muscle stimulation is key and our face trainers
provide a detailed at-home prescription to follow in between
workouts. For mid-30s and 40 plus, we bring out the big guns. Our
state-of-the-art laser and radio-frequency machines, combined with
intense hand massage and electric muscle stimulation produce
One skin-health myth you’d like to debunk…
That deep-tissue facial massage causes wrinkles. For many years
we were told to lightly tap on skincare products so as not to cause
wrinkles, especially around the delicate eye area. At FaceGym we
disagree wholeheartedly – and so do our legions of die-hard fans.
The other thing I hear a lot is that using face oils will cause
breakouts – absolutely not.
Tips for in-flight skincare…
I bring a little FaceGym toolkit with me on the plane. I use a
Gua Sha tool and FaceGym Pro along with my
Training Serum and hyaluronic serum. You get a few
funny looks taking your face to the gym on the plane but I smile
back, knowing I will be the one laughing on arrival.
Leaders in the skincare sphere…
Annee De Mamiel and Alexandra Soveral. True masters of their
craft, wildly passionate about beauty, sustainability and produce
Best places for a massage…
For a facial massage, Joëlle Ciocco in Paris.
For a full-body massage, I love the Shibui Spa at New York‘s The Greenwich Hotel in New York.
I also recently discovered the IMD
Beauty Spa in New York – it offers lymphatic massages,
magnesium wraps and InfraRed sweat sessions. In London, KX
has great therapists.
Best workout spots in London and New York…
In London I love Body by Simone as well as Bodyism
whose approach to training is really achievable; I workout at its
Notting Hill studio when I’m in town. In New York I go to all the
usual suspects – Rumble, Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, NYC Pilates – but I also have dance
classes with Amanda Kloots and Megan Roup super high on my to-do
list this summer.
Best health-food restaurants include…
Does travel inform your work?
Absolutely. I recently did a meditation immersion down the
Mekong, which taught me a new practise and tried otonamaki [human
wrapping] in Japan,
which has inspired a new workout launching in FaceGym. As a spa
designer, I am deeply intrigued by ancient healing cultures. I
spent months in the jungles of Mexico researching before designed
Santa Healing House at Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
What do you think makes a good hotel?
Those which have considered wellness from day one. We expect
incredible service, restaurants and comfortable bedding but hotels
of the future need to put wellness first. It’s not good enough to
tag on a spa to tick a wellness box. Wellness is not just facials
and massage. Great hotels have their water at the perfect pH
balance, air supported with oxygen machines, and copper plates in
the walls so when you say “goodnight” you say goodbye to all
electronics and red lights. (There is virtually nothing more
annoying for me than turning the lights off and seeing a sea of red
lights staring back at me.)
Where do you go to relax?
I am not called “The Spa Junkie” for nothing. I love using any
downtime I have discovering a new (or old) spa. I travel to the
Austrian medical spas – I love VIVAMAYR, Villa Paradiso and Chenot in Italy are always good for a quick reset.
Which are your most frequented travel destinations?
I love Mexico and try and visit a new portion of it at least
once a year. This year, I’m going to Careyes. I also love Italy –
after all, my husband is Italian. We spend most summers in the
olive-filled valleys of Umbria or sailing around the Amalfi Coast.
I’m currently in the throes of a love affair with Sicily.
For a DIY facial workout, what are your tips?
If you can’t make it in to FaceGym, there are at-home exercises
you can do. Some simple chin exercises performed in the morning and
evening every day will help, but you have to be consistent with
them. We’d recommend doing the exercises 10 times each for maximum
effect. We also sell a multitude of tools which are great for home
use including the FaceGym Ball, gold roller or a jade stone.
Skincare tools worth the investment…
The FaceGym Pro – it’s like a
Power Plate for your face. It applies mild, yet effective
electrical muscle stimulation to the face, which strengthens
muscles’ to visibly lift, tone and tighten. Use it just 10 minutes
once or twice a week and you’ll notice the difference.
One piece of travel advice…
Always travel with a digital scale to avoid the super
unglamorous repacking in front of strangers at check in.
And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?
Handmade Italian silk pyjamas and robe; a travelling temple
comprised of Buddhist bells and one of three handmade, travel-size
Ganesha statues I picked up in Rishikesh; oils, for every part of
my body; and Miller Harris Rose perfume.