Paris, Dublin

5 things I learnt from top facialist Joëlle Ciocco

5 things I learnt from top facialist Joëlle Ciocco

When I worked for an international daily newspaper, I was lucky enough to meet one of the most sought-after skin expert in Paris, and probably in the world, Joëlle Ciocco. First, I got a treatment with one of her facialists, who taught me a lot about my skin and the right way to take care of it. Then, icing on the cake, I was able to interview Madame Ciocco herself and to get some really great tips that I have been applying religiously since then. After more than a year, I am still sticking to the routine I was given, and I am absolutely delighted with it.

Now, I can share with you some of her priceless knowledge - actually, invaluable would suit better; let's say I would NEVER have been able to afford an appointment with Madame Ciocco if it wasn't for an article. What I liked about her philosophy though was that although she has her own pretty expensive skincare line, that beauty specialists can't stop raving about, she doesn't "prescribe" that you change your routine for pricier products. She just studies your current routine and helps you improve it with some simple and cheap changes. From her point of view, there is no such thing as bad products but only “a bad use of them”. For example, I was taught to take chlorophyll drops in order to reduce my dark circles and to apply a cream when I had signs of redness: 20 euros at the pharmacy for months of treatment. Of course, I would love to be able to afford her skincare range, but until then, I will just follow her rules and be happy with my low-maintenance and low-cost routine.

  • Clean your skin: it is the base, the alpha and the omega, of anti-ageing. You need to take your makeup off and cleanse your face every single night before bed: there is no radiance if the skin is clogged by makeup and pollution, especially if you live in a big city. 
  • Do not over-feed your skin. Once your skin is clean (but like, really clean - a makeup wipe doesn't count) and hydrated with a simple moisturiser, there’s no need for fifty layers of creams and serums. Your skin does all the work during the night, and all you have to do is to not break what she calls “the shield”, which leads me to the third rule. 
  • Do not cleanse your face in the morning. Yes, I know, hard to believe when we have been told for years to wash our face twice a day. The reason is that you don't want to destroy the "shield" your skin has worked so hard on building overnight. Just spray some water if you really need to freshen up, but do not cleanse in the morning if you have done it properly before bed.
  • Do not scrub your face. I know, even harder to process. When I see all the YouTube routines of young American girls scrubbing the heck out of their face every day to get a radiant skin, I imagine Madame Ciocco shaking her head in consternation. The skin renews itself very well without an external and aggressive help. Too much scrubbing leads to premature ageing as it refines the surface of the skin, which in the long run will make you look older, she says. And this is how you save hundreds of euros for the rest of your life on a product that causes much more harm than good. Don't thank me just yet.
  • Do apply sunscreen before going to the sun. Always. Forever. She advises to use Daylong, an SPF50+, that's worth about 15 euros and gives protection for a full day with just one layer.
My unforgettable lunch at The Clove Club

My unforgettable lunch at The Clove Club

Chef's Table got us hungry for fine dining

Chef's Table got us hungry for fine dining