Massage therapists have praised the benefits of body massages for centuries: tension relief, improved circulation, and increased flexibility, to name a few. Lately, however, more and more experts in the skincare world have been hyping up the benefits of facial massages. Like a mini workout for your face, face massages involve massaging key facial muscles and pressure points (like your jawline, cheekbones, and forehead) using your hands or a stone roller. Just a few minutes of the practice helps increase blood flow, reduce puffiness, and–wait for it–keeps your skin looking fresh, youthful, and fine line-free. Sound almost too good to be true? We thought so, too. That’s why we spoke with Sya Warfield, a veteran massage artist and founder of Urban Oasis Massage in San Francisco, to get her professional take on what exactly facial massages are, the different techniques out there, and just how real the skincare and anti-aging benefits really are (spoiler: extremely real!). Continue reading below to see why facial massages are a skincare must.
What is a Facial Massage?
First thing’s first: what are facial massages? Simply put, they’re just like body massages, only for your face. According to Warfield, the most common face massage technique is to use your hands (or a professional’s) to apply “movements such as gentle deep stroking, tapping, pinching, and kneading” to areas of your face prone to puffiness, wrinkles, or muscle tension. Warfield sums up the goals of facial massages as “waking up your face, draining tension and fluid from your face to slow down the aging process, and promoting healthier facial skin.” She recommends massaging your face for three to five minutes, at least three times a week for best results. An easy way to give yourself a DIY face massage is with a crystal roller, like the GRACE & STELLA Rose Quartz Roller. While jade rollers are an equally popular choice, rose quartz is known for its calming feel and cooler temperature than jade, which helps with inflammation and puffiness. The unique mineral make-up and structure of rose quartz (it's high in magnesium, iron, sodium, and oxygen) makes it great for “stimulating blood circulation and enhancing the flow of oxygen in the skin, resulting in less under-eye puffiness, lightening of dark circles and wrinkles, stimulating collagen, and strengthening the skin to alleviate crevices,” says Warfield.
The Benefits of a Face Massage, Explained
Tones facial muscles and relieves tension. Most people hold a lot of tension in their face. When we feel stressed, tired, or concentrated, we tense our forehead and eye area, which causes wrinkles over time. A couple minutes of face massaging at the end of the day helps release that tension. "You always want to use lifting movements, especially along the neck and jawline area" to keep your skin tight and energized, Warfield advises.
Releases toxins. Using a lot of beauty products, environmental factors, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life can cause toxins to build-up within our skin, contributing to fine lines, puffiness, and breakouts. Facial massages increase blood flow, kick-starting lymphatic drainage in your face to flush out waste and toxins and keep your skin fresh and clean, both inside and out.
Boosts circulation. Like doing a set of jumping jacks or push-ups, the movement of a quick facial massage sends a surge of blood and oxygen to your skin. This increased flow deflates puffiness (especially in your under-eye area), brightens skin tone, and helps detoxify your skin (see benefit #2 for more info). More oxygen sent to the skin equals increased collagen production and cell growth, resulting in a smooth, glowing complexion.
Improves product absorption. Massaging your face with your fingers in upward, lifting motions is a wonderful way to help your favorite products like moisturizer and serum absorb into your skin. Plus, it’s a way to make your daily skincare routine feel even more like a relaxing self-care moment.
Relaxation! Skincare benefits aside, face massages are just as good at relieving emotional tension as they are at calming muscle tension. They help you feel more relaxed and at ease at the end of a long day. “In my personal skincare routine, I understand as I continue to age [that] directing my attention on relaxation is high on my list of priorities,” says Warfield. “Facial massages feel great.”
Blog re-posted from Ipsy