Whether you've had a bad case of mask-ne or your skin's in need of a dose of hydration, a DIY facial is the best way of giving your visage some love whilst in lockdown. And to take us through what we should and shouldn't be doing – because it truly is an art worth mastering – we've asked Libby Banks, founder of The Seated Queen, to take us through step by step, with the best tools in the business: The Seated Queen cold cream and their new product, the peace silk face cloth. Find out more about the brand and why this is the only face clothe you should be using below.

What's special about your new silk face cloth?
It took us almost two years of prototyping to get the cloth right to accompany our cold cream. After numerous iterations, we found that a weave of Eri peace silk (70%) and organic cotton (30%) created just the right texture and absorption to gently and effortlessly remove dirt and makeup. It is also machine washable with a mild detergent which was absolutely essential for us.

Referred to as peace silk, Eri is a unique form of silk because it is extracted using completely non-violent methods. For this reason it is often worn by Buddhist monks. The silk is created in Assam, India from the empty cocoons of the wild samia ricini silk moth, which feeds on organic castor leaves. The offspring have left the cocoons before the cocoons are harvested so this ensures that the silk moth’s lifecycle is not disrupted.

Why does it work so well with the cold cream?
Our bespoke weave of Eri silk with organic cotton has been developed to work in tandem with The Seated Queen cold cream for an effortless cleanse. The threads are more cotton-like and absorbent than traditional mulberry silk, but share the same anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. When spun, Eri silk has an undulating texture that is just perfect for gentle cleansing dehydrated skin. Sericin protein is a key component of Eri silk and coats the raw filaments. This protein has been shown to give it anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin too.

How regularly should you be giving your skin a facial? Why is it important to do so?
We recommend using the cold cream as a facial or overnight mask between two and three times a week. It gives skin a concentrated opportunity to renew and strengthen itself, reversing the impact that the likes of central heating, pollution and fluctuating temperatures have on it during the day.

The cold cream can be used as a cleanser, for a facial and as an overnight mask – it's so versatile! What effect will it have on your skin after you've done a facial?
Used as a face mask on damp cleansed skin, the cold cream creates a semi-permeable – or breathable – seal thanks to occlusives like organic shea butter and cold-pressed safflower and apricot kernel oil that allows ingredients to penetrate and replenish the skin cells.

Too often, masks are often designed to just sit on the skin, creating a short-term sensation of tightness but does little beyond that. We have created our cold cream for dehydrated and dull skin, so the formulation contains ingredients like organic cold-pressed borage seed, rosehip, sunflower seed, argan kernel which have high concentrations of essential fatty acid like linoleic and GLA, as well as antioxidants. These penetrate the skin to help strengthen skin cells, smooth and plump the dermis, leaving it stronger, healthier and feeling super-glowy.

What are your tips for doing a DIY facial?
Don’t overcomplicate it: this should be a meditative moment that gives skin the opportunity to replenish, not a complicated to-do list. I’d suggest a double cleanse and a warm damp cloth on the skin to open the pores. Then apply the cold cream as a mask for 10 minutes. Josie, our co-founder, is a facial therapist and she has developed a four-step face massage that stimulates lymph glands, relieves eye strain, relaxes muscles and improves blood circulation before sleep. Scent is an important facet to the experience because it taps into the olfactory nerve and connects to the brain. We worked hard to structure a subtle soothing scent that becomes part of the evening routine and becomes associated with washing away the day. This includes organic essential oils including bergamot, chamomile and lavender which in clinical trials has been shown to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Context is key, so a drink of cucumber water and a quite calm space are also ideal!

Shop The Seated Queen products here.

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