Just like your body benefits from a good rubdown after a hard sweat session, your face benefits greatly from a massage as well.
Daily movements like smiling, frowning, and chewing give your facial muscles a major work out. Massage in an ancient therapeutic technique that many have used to relax and heal people for thousands of years. Just like rubbing down your shoulders or back can help you feel more relaxed, a facial massage can do the same.
Not only that, but facial massages offer an abundance of other benefits.
Massage can be a game changer for skin’s health. Whether you do a nightly five-minute massage when you apply your night cream or use extended massage as a prep for a facial mask, you’re bound to make your skin happy.
In a world full of worry and stress, an environment filled with pollution and toxic chemicals, we need to take time out of our days to care for ourselves. Now, we are not suggesting you sign up for facial yoga, but you can mimic a professional massage at home.
Take time out for yourself and you'll have more to give to all of the things you most love about life. Here’s everything you need to know to rub it down right.
Reasons to start now
Facial massage, which is often mistaken as "fluff", is an essential part of good skin care. The facial massage encourages detoxification and lymphatic drainage, which, in turn, reduce inflammation and swelling, creating more optimum skin health.
Nowadays, many people are trying to find a way around aging, be it getting cosmetic injections or procedures. If you want to avoid that, but still maintain your youthful look, try facial massage.
To help you get an idea of just what facial massages can do for you, we’ve compiled a list of benefits that you can experience when you incorporate facial massages into your daily routine.
#1 It gets the blood flowing
In today’s world, external factors such as air pollution, smoking, and air travel can take a toll on our skin. Not only that but lack of sleep and using too much makeup can clog your pores and reduce the circulation in your facial skin.
The result? Your skin starts to look puffy and pale. With facial massages, however, you can stimulate the lymph nodes that lie just beneath the surface, which can flush out fluids and increase the flow of both oxygenated blood and nutrients.
Skin cells are activated and turn over more rapidly, which results in reduction of puffiness, plumping of fine lines and increases radiance. By increasing blood circulation and oxygen flow to the facial muscles and skin, the face is less likely to fall into deep wrinkles or show signs of physical and/or emotional stress.
#2 It’s a natural facelift
As you rub and stimulate your skin, you also stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a natural protein that maintains your skin’s elasticity (which keeps it tight), reduces wrinkles, and retains moisture. It breaks down as we age, and leaves fine lines and wrinkles in its wake.
By stimulating collagen growth and preventing its breakdown, facial massages can help your skin appear younger longer. Stress, surpassed only by the sun as a high level aging factor, is reduced, even relieved, by a good facial.
#3 It’s an anti-acne wonder
Let’s face it: we’ve all been there. We wake up in the morning and look in the mirror only to find that a brand new pimple has appeared.
To help fight against inflamed skin conditions, such as acne or rosacea, try giving yourself a facial massage. It can help increase your circulation, which is beneficial for the natural healing process. By improving blood flow, light manipulation on the skin increases oxygen which is needed for healing, plus it helps to expel toxins that are often responsible for breakouts.
Sessions should be short, however – no more than 10 minutes – as with conditions such as acne, there is always a risk of cross-contamination and overstimulation.
#4 It prevents wrinkles
Wrinkles are unavoidable as we get older, but frequent tension and involuntary tightening in the face caused by daily stress can advance their development.
By massaging your face and relaxing tight muscles, you can minimize the lines and wrinkles that form. Facial massages will help relax these tight and drawn muscles, decreasing the lines they form and helping you to remain looking youthful for longer.
Regular sessions combined with a hydrating moisturizer will also help lessen the formation of wrinkles.
#5 It increases skin’s elasticity
We mentioned earlier how collagen helps keep your skin firm and tight, but improved skin elasticity can do so much more. By maintaining your skin’s elasticity, you can help make it easier for your skin to protect itself against free radicals.
Not only that, but having more elastic skin means that you can prevent your skin from sagging and developing mimic lines, so you can keep a youthful, glowing, and smooth appearance.
Some tips before you start
Dermatologist note that you should always wash your hands in warm water with antibacterial soap and tie back your hair to get any potential germs out of the way.
You should also cleanse your face before massaging.
If you want to really make your massage a spa-like experience, try steaming your face first. This will soften up the pores, allowing any product you apply to be absorbed better.
If you’re looking to increase skin’s firmness, skin care specialists recommend using deep, stimulating motions. And if your skin is sensitive, acne prone, or oily, they suggest trying a light touch with less pressure.
Because the skin around the eye is so gentle, it can't handle as much pressure—and massage—as the rest of your face, experts say. To alleviate puffy eyes, we suggest using soft pressing and rolling movements with your ring finger from the tear ducts to the outer corners of the eye.
While massaging your face, work against gravity, and stick to upward strokes and lateral strokes that move from the center to your face to the edge of your face.
The exception to this rule is the sides of your neck. By moving down the sides of your neck towards your collarbone, you can promote lymph drainage and detoxification.
A relaxing facial massage
- Squeeze a dime-sized portion of product into your palms. Rub the formula to evenly distribute over hands and fingertips.
- Press your fingers between brows and slide up your forehead, repeating several times to cover the entire area.
- Then, massage your fingertips from the center of your face out past your cheeks and to your ears.
- Drop one level lower and repeat the same sliding, up-and-out motion across your jawline as needed.
- Finish with your neck. Gently use vertical strokes from the collarbone upward.
Try it before bed with a lavender candle burning nearby, and you’ll pass out in seconds! Like many wellness routines, the hardest part is to actually maintain a schedule, but this extra step is totally worth it.
A lifting and firming massage
Apply a light layer of face oil (for dry skin: coconut or argan oil; for normal or mixed skin: almond or jojoba oil; for oily skin: jojoba oil or your favorite moisturizer.) Face oil helps your fingers slide easily across your face, preventing them from dragging and stretching your skin.
- Massage near the corners of your mouth. Using the tips of your fingers, make tight circular motions over the lines on either side of your mouth. Always apply upward pressure to help lift the skin instead of dragging it down. Continue for one minute.
- Massage your cheek area. Make corkscrew-like, circular motions over the apples of your cheeks to help firm and lift this area. Apply gentle pressure as your fingers move up to your inner cheekbones, then out to the edges of your face and back around. Continue for one minute.
- Massage your eye area. Position your fingers at the arch of your brows, then sweep them around the outside corners of your eyes. Gently move them under your eyes, and end with your fingers at the inside corners of your eyes. Continue along up the sides of your nose and along your brow lines. Repeat the motion for one minute.
- Massage your forehead. If your forehead has horizontal lines you wish to lighten, you want to massage against the lines, rather than with them. Position your hands next to each other vertically, with your fingers touching your forehead. Make a zig zag motion by moving one hand up while the other moves down, so that you're gently pulling your forehead skin up and down. Continue this motion across your entire forehead for one minute.
- Massage your frown line. The vertical lines at the top of your nose can be lightened if you massage them horizontally. Position your fingers horizontally across your frown lines. Gently rub back and forth to pull the skin out of its usual lined position.
- Finish by going back over each area once more. Gently massage each part of your face again to end your massage.
Enjoy your facial massage! Repeat it daily for best results.
One of the greatest things about DIY facial massage is that you can learn through observation.
Or, if you don’t have enough time for that, book an appointment for a facial. Take note of the techniques your esthetician employs.
Which feel the best or most therapeutic for your skin? How much pressure does she apply? Too much, too little, just right? Incorporate your favorite techniques into your own routine.
Note: be safe. If you have uncontrolled hypertension, check with your doctor before performing self-massage.