If massages are an easy go-to cure for our body muscles, why aren’t we doing this for our face? Facial massaging is often overlooked as an option for tired skin even though it has many proven benefits! If you’re currently missing this step from your beauty routine, in this post, we’re explaining why this can be just as beneficial and effective as massaging anywhere else on your body. Plus, we’ll give you our best tips on how to incorporate this skincare technique into your day-to-day routine!
But first, what are the benefits of facial massaging?
Massaging improves blood flow and complexion
The most well-known benefit of getting a massage is relieving muscle soreness – exercise-induced or otherwise. In fact, it is shown that massage therapy improves blood circulation and general vascular health in the body, and can even be protective — meaning benefits can last for up to a few days after the massage!
So, what does that mean in terms of your face? Basically, when you massage your face, you are improving blood circulation beneath the skin. Increased blood flow and oxygenation to your facial tissues can give you a healthier, more “glowy” complexion. Naturally rosy cheeks? Yes, please! Aside from cosmetic purposes, blood flow helps to nourish skin cells and carry away waste, like free radicals, from your healthy cells.
Your skincare products are more effective when you take the time to massage them in
Ever wonder why you’re supposed to rub cleansers and moisturizer into your skin? It’s scientifically proven that rubbing your skin while applying topical treatments leads to increased penetration of active ingredients. Additionally, this actually prolongs an ingredient’s retention in the skin – meaning your skin not only absorbs more nutrients and moisture, but it actually retains those benefits longer!
By properly massaging your skin with a nutrient-rich cleansing oil, like our Facial Cleansing Oil, you help its nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants get to work on multiple layers of your skin (and all of its healthy cells)! Additionally, the longer you massage cleansing oils directly on dry skin, the more the oil is able to pull out impurities!
Massaging is also useful when you exfoliate using our Sea Moss Exfoliator. Depending on what level of exfoliation you need, you may decide to use more or less pressure while exfoliating. Taking the time to massage your skin while exfoliating makes sure you’re removing all the build-up and stimulating blood flow! Your face will be primed for whatever step comes next.
When it comes to moisturizing, massaging for a prolonged period is especially useful. Massaging a natural, enriching moisturizer – like our Matcha Face Moisturizer or Facial Repair Oil – can help the skin better absorb and retain all the hydration for longer!
Massaging your skin can make it stronger
Facial massaging is a physical example of a hormetin – an element or action that introduces single or multiple stressors to skin tissue, with the purpose of strengthening those defense pathways. The same way your immune system gets stronger after being sick, when done properly, gentle and regular “stress” on skin can actually make your skin cells stronger!
Additionally, delivering antioxidants is an effective tool to protect and strengthen your skin. And as we mentioned above, massaging allows moisturizers’ and their antioxidants to better absorb into our cells.
Massaging improves skin structure and reduces “sagging”
That’s right – you can reduce the appearance of eye bags, sagging, and smile lines through massage! Studies show that massaging the face can morphologically change the structure of your skin by promoting blood and lymph flow.
The area of greatest benefit is the nasolabial folds – or, as many of us refer to them, “smile lines.” Massaging causes the cheek tissues to thicken and the skin around the jaw to tighten and move upward. In turn, this helps reduce the appearance of smile lines!
Touching the skin makes your mind and skin happy!
Ever wonder why being touched feels so good? Turns out that the skin and the brain have the same ectodermal origin – meaning they are affected by the same hormones and neurotransmitters! Gentle, stroking touches are shown to send “feel good” signals to your brain, reducing anxiety, stress, and improving mood. To say the least, touch is SUPER important to our emotional well-being. Touch also seems to play a role in social and cognitive development, which is why it’s so beneficial for newborns!
Convinced yet? So are we!
The best part of facial massaging is that you don’t always need to go to a professional to reap in these benefits – you can effectively self-massage your face in the comfort of your own home!
Here’s how to get the most out of it.
1. Prepare the skin
The preparation is just as important as the application of the massage! If you’re massaging your skin with dirty fingertips or leaving makeup and other impurities on the skin’s surface, you’re rubbing irritants into your pores, which can ultimately clog or inflame them. Make sure to wash your hands and pull your hair back prior to massaging. If you are planning to massage with your moisturizer, make sure to cleanse and tone your face first.
2. Choose your treatment
Depending on your skincare needs, you can choose a moisturizer or cleanser that will deliver specific benefits to your skin. For those with oilier or more acne-prone skin, massaging (gently!) with our Sea Moss Exfoliator will remove dead skin cells while delivering minerals, beta-carotene, and other vitamins that will nourish your skin. For those who have drier skin, massaging with our Facial Cleansing Oil can help deeply cleanse and retain more moisture.
Our favorite method is to do a short, one-minute massage while cleansing (what you probably already do while rubbing your face with cleanser, just with a lil’ more intention!) and following up with a longer, moisturizing facial massage.
3. Massage very gently around certain areas
Not all areas of your face should be massaged with an equal amount of pressure. Applying too much pressure to areas of thinner skin can do more harm than good. The areas that require gentleness are above and under your eyes, around your ears, and on your neck. Excessive tugging and pulling on these areas can damage your skin’s structure. In these areas, using a roller tool may be beneficial as it reduces the pull on skin.
If you have extra sensitive skin, be cautious not to overdo your facial massage. Using light touch and less pressure is key here! Additionally, if you are acne-prone, you’ll want to avoid painful breakout areas. And if you just picked a pimple, definitely don’t massage that area as you may spread the bacteria.
4. Do it on the plane!
We talked a bit about how blood flow affects your complexion in our recent “What Airplanes Actually Do to Our Skin” blog post. Weak oxygen flow, medically referred to as “hypoxia,” results in a duller, less colorful complexion. Facial massaging is especially important before or after air travel, because the air pressure in an airplane cabin is so low that it doesn’t allow enough oxygen to properly flow!
5. Move up and out!
While the exact massage techniques recommended vary from culture to culture and practitioner to practitioner, the general consensus seems to be that, in order to get the most out of your facial massage, you should move in upward and outward motions. We’ve listed specific movements below to help you get started! Again, these movements can be done with both your fingers or a roller tool!
-Begin with the forehead. Move your fingers upwards, from the top of your eyebrows to your hairline. Repeat this at least ten times. You can also gently press with your palms, alternating hands with a comfortable pressure.
-For your cheek area, make a peace sign with each hand. Place your index finger just above your upper lip, and your middle finger just below your lower lip. Smoothly and gently pull both fingers toward your ears.
-You can also rub this area gently with your palms to decrease fluid retention and improve blood flow! Place the palms of your hands on either side of your chin, and gently press
upwards toward your hairline, right above your ear.
-For the tops of your cheekbones, alternate your fingertips (you can use 2-3 fingers for this, like your index, middle, and ring finger) as you gently press up, from the top of your cheekbone, toward your temples.