FaceGym founder Inge Theron reveals the inspiration behind her salon

Inge, 43, founded the facial workout and salon FaceGym in 2016. She lives in London with her husband and their daughters, Assisi, two, and Tesse, four.

I’ve always loved spas — they were my escape while running a PR brand in my 20s. In 2008, I quit to launch a board game called Hollywood Domino. But I got so burnt-out and was ill for a year. I realised then that corporate life wasn’t for me.

So I sold my business and bought a one-way ticket to India. I had no plans — my only goal was to be emotionally rested. I ended up spending six months travelling.

This led to me being offered a column at the Financial Times called Chronicles Of A Spa Junkie. Suddenly, I was being paid to try out wellness treatments around the world.

Yet, over the next three years, the treatments got more invasive. I was having lots of injectables, and became addicted: every time I saw a wrinkle, I’d call a doctor. In the end, at 37, my face collapsed.

Inge, 43, founded the facial workout and salon FaceGym in 2016. She lives in London with her husband and their daughters, Assisi, two, and Tesse, four

Inge, 43, founded the facial workout and salon FaceGym in 2016. She lives in London with her husband and their daughters, Assisi, two, and Tesse, four

Inge, 43, founded the facial workout and salon FaceGym in 2016. She lives in London with her husband and their daughters, Assisi, two, and Tesse, four

The turning point was when I had a thread lift — the threads were put in too superficially and I was left puckered and swollen. I’ll never forget waking up and feeling like Frankenstein. The worst part was I’d done it to myself. I had no idea if I’d ever be ‘normal’ again.

I took three months out to recover at an ashram in Mexico, where the injectables were massaged out of my face, twice a day for an hour, using ancient Incan techniques.

I learned that you can tone and sculpt the muscles in your face, as much as in the rest of your body. And I realised I’d never looked better — younger than I had in years, and all completely natural.

This was my lightbulb moment. I came home in January 2016 and started looking for a way to combine the massage with electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology, for maximum impact.

I raised £250,000 investment and, that May, I launched FaceGym in Selfridges: it’s like a gym workout for your face, with a warm-up, cardio, sculpting and cool-down.

At first, it was tough. I remember walking round the store, then seven months pregnant, begging people to try it! But we soon expanded, and launched our first studio in London’s King’s Road in 2017.

We now run 12 studios in London, LA and New York. Celebrity fans include Ellie Goulding, Karlie Kloss and Adriana Lima.

It took me a long time to accept myself. But now I love my wrinkles. And I love seeing others grow in confidence. There’s no better gift.   

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