Have you ever gotten a facial where the aesthetician massages your face? Sure, it feels super relaxing, but they don’t just do it to make you feel good. Similar to exercising, massaging your face can tighten and tone your skin — and make you look younger in the process. And that’s not all, face massage benefits are impressive and you don’t have to get an expensive spa treatment to reap them. In fact, you can define your jawline, plump up your cheeks and lift and de-puff your eyes in the comfort of your own home. Read on to learn how.
The benefits of face massage for women over 50
1. Face massage benefits: It can smooth wrinkles
By massaging the face regularly, you can release the furrow between your brows (aka the “11”) and other wrinkle-prone spots with a Botox-like effect, explains Katie Monson, aesthetician at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort’s Lakeside Spa and Fitness Center in Tucson, Arizona. That’s because, as studies have shown, face massage helps increase circulation and added blood flow that can drive collagen and elastin production, giving skin a firmer, plumper, less wrinkled appearance. (Click through to discover more collagen benefits for women.)
2. Face massage benefits: It can brighten skin
When stimulating blood flow to the skin, facial massage also releases toxins and infuses nutrients into the skin, resulting in a brighter overall complexion. “Massaging after applying a serum will also drive the active ingredients deeper into the epidermis, making the product more effective. So, depending on the serum used, like one with Vitamin C, for example, your skin will be left with an immediate, visible glow,” Monson adds.
3. Face massage benefits: It can slim the face and depuff the eyes
Don’t like your cherubic cheeks? explains Monson. Facial massage stimulates the lymphatic system, the drainage technique will detox and depuff by flushing out excess fluid retention, making the entire face appear slimmer and less swollen.
4. Face massage benefits: It can lift the cheeks
Want to lift the face and give the appearance of a more sculpted jawline or cheekbones? A 2021 study published in the Promotion of Science journal found that regular face massage can help pull up sagging cheeks. That’s likely due to how the massage releases muscle tension in the face and jaw which helps produce a lifting and sculpting effect, adds Monson.
5. Face massage benefits: It can clear the sinuses
Facial massage can be more than just aesthetics. Feeling congested? The same lymphatic techniques as described above will also clear the sinuses by flushing the fluid away from the face to the lymph glands to be eliminated naturally from the body,” Monson explains.
6. Face massage benefits: It can reduce stress
With all of our daily facial expressions (frowns, grins, smiles, brow-wrinkling!), eating, drinking, talking and blinking, our facial muscles always get a workout. “Filled with a plethora of nerve endings and muscles, our face appreciates a massage which soothes tired muscles, promoting relaxation and leading to an overall reduction in stress,” says Monson.
4 face massages you can do at home
The good news about facial massage is that you can easily adopt the techniques that spas use and do them at home without the help of a professional.
There are a variety of facial massage techniques you can try:
- Swedish: This technique uses light, long strokes using your fingers or a facial roller tool.
- Gua sha: This method massages the contours of the face and allows for lymphatic drainage using a flat crystal tool.
- Lymphatic drainage massage: Specific parts of the face are massaged to move fluid around beneath the skin, forcing drainage and reducing puffiness.
- Shiatsu: This Japanese technique involves massaging pressure points on specific parts of the face.
Best of all: “Facial massage can really be done with just your hands; Other tools like gua sha and jade rollers are just extras that enhance the experience,” explains Addie Hartman, licensed esthetician at The Estuary Spa at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Charleston, South Carolina.
1. Fine lines? Massage with your fingers
- You can apply your skincare products using this massage technique to reap all the benefits. “Using your less dominant fingers — the middle and/or ring fingers — apply any products (from cleanser to serum and moisturizer) upward and outwardly with light pressure, avoiding pulling the skin,” says Monson.
- Next, “Complete a few circles around the mouth and both eyes to finish it off. Not only will you feel amazing, but this also helps focus the product in the two areas most prone to show signs of aging to help combat fine lines, dehydration and loss of elasticity,” advises Monson.
Check out this YouTube tutorial for combatting fine lines and wrinkles using your fingers:
2. Puffy face? Massage with a roller tool
A few swipes with a jade or quartz roller (Buy from Amazon, $11.99) can de-puff in a cinch! With this technique, you’re going to want to do your face in sections, says Monson, as described below:
- Apply a serum of your choice so the roller glides comfortably across the face (as a bonus, it helps the skin absorb the product even better).
- Using a comfortable pressure, start at your chin and roll the tool up the edge of your face to your hairline. Do on each side.
- Next, roll on from the corner of your nose, across your cheek to your ear. Repeat on the other side.
- Flip to the smaller end of the jade roller, and starting at the inner corner of your eye, roll outward over the eyelids and do the same over your eyebrows.
- For the forehead, start at the eyebrows and roll upwards in vertical strokes across your entire forehead.
- Finish by rolling horizontally out over the temples from the middle of the forehead. Do this on each side. (Click through for more on face massage benefits using a roller.)
This YouTube video shows how a do show a lymphatic drainage massage using a jade roller
3. Double chin? Massage with a gua sha tool
Gua sha is said to reduce the appearance of a double chin and give a younger appearance by lifting the face where it drops with age (aka the jowls). Gua sha tools have been used for centuries and even studied as way to “scrape” the face without breaking the skin.
This technique increases facial circulation and reduces inflammation, softening fine lines and wrinkles. “The main purpose is getting all the fluid to the side of your face and pushing it down into the side of your neck so the toxins can be released,” says Hartman.
“It’s best to use repetitive strokes that aren’t too aggressive,” advises Hartman. “This should be done a couple of times a week for the best results,” she adds.
Want to give it a try? Pick one up (Buy from Amazon, $5.99), then follow the steps below.
- Moisten skin with water or your favorite serum so the tool can glide smoothly across the skin.
- Hold it with the curved side against your face, gently glide it upwards and out, starting with your neck.
- On the lower part of the face, take 3-5 short strokes upward for each area around the mouth, on your chin and your jawline. You always want to end each stroke in an upward and outward direction, as you’re essentially moving fluid away from those areas of your face that look puffy.
- Finally, use delicate strokes under the eyes to de-puff under eye bags and then stroke upward from the brows in short, horizontal strokes to lift the face.
- If you suffer from sinus pressure, you can also use the gua sha tool to stroke outward from the sides of the nose, pushing all that excess fluid away from your sinuses, states Hartman.
Follow along to this YouTube tutorial for an easy how-to:
4. Saggy cheeks? Massage using Shiatsu
Known as the facelift at your fingertips, Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese technique that allows you to press on specific points of the face (called ‘pressure points’) to encourage lymphatic drainage. Experts say ten points in particular can decrease the appearance of jowls.
Press and massage each of the points below for up to two minutes using your index and middle finger on each side.
- The start of the ear
- Where the back of the ear meets the jawline
- The start of the jawline near the ear
- Where your chin meets your neck
- The tip of your chin
- Your temples
Check out this tutorial to learn how to do a self-Shiatsu facial massage!
As with any massage, drink plenty of water afterward since you’ve moved fluids around the body and can get dehydrated. Just like proper nutrition contributes to our health on the inside, proper skin nutrition nurtures it from the outside. And, if taking a little extra time to nurture it on the outside also helps us look and feel better, it’s a win-win!
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