Our faces are front and center. It’s no surprise, then, that we put forth a lot of effort into choosing youth-promoting skin care products and accentuating our features with makeup – complete with using everything imaginable to shape, accentuate and clarify our complexions.
But what about what we do before we apply any makeup or products to our face?
There’s one very important step to your facial cleansing you may be leaving out – one that goes a long way in improving the health and appearance of your face: massage.
Why should you massage your face while cleansing? Because it can supercharge the first step in your skincare ritual!
What Are The Benefits Of Massage?
We’re all familiar with the various styles of massage, including sports massage for injury, trigger-point massage targeted at specific areas of tightness, Swedish massage (utilizing gentle, long strokes and kneading techniques), and deep-tissue massage to target muscles far below the surface.
Regardless of technique, there are some common payoffs to massage, including a reduction of stress and muscle tension. While anyone who’s ever received a massage can vouch for its power to create feelings of comfort and relaxation, it goes a step further than just feel-good sensations. Studies are showing massage can play a role in actually calming and healing anxiety and headaches. What’s more, researchers found in a 2004 study that massage even has the ability to reduce symptoms like pain, fatigue, and nausea in patients with major illnesses.3
In terms of what it does for your facial skin, the very act of massaging tissue encourages blood flow under the surface, which results in a rosy glow (bye, dullness!). When skin is stimulated by massage, it also encourages lymphatic drainage. This helps to move toxins out of cells and opens up the flow for beneficial nutrients, perking up a lackluster complexion and lifting sagging or tired skin.4 In fact, did you know some estheticians offer facials that consist solely of massage?
Massage Boosts the Effectiveness of Your Skincare Products
On top of that, facial massage boosts the benefits of facial cleansers, allowing better absorption and effectiveness.5 Especially in the evening when we can’t wait to jump into the coziness of our goose-feather comforters, it’s easy to quickly splash ourselves with cleanser and hastily rinse it off. By committing to a massage ritual, you’ll actually soak in all of the wonderful ingredients your cleanser has to offer before it vanishes down the drain.
Finally, let’s not forget the stress-relieving effects massaging your face affords. Yes, this is anecdotal evidence, but think about it: How can you not feel more relaxed as you take deep breaths of a fragrant cleanser as you work in some calming caresses to your temples?
There’s even a study to further reinforce the benefits of facial massage. In a review of 142 women, researchers looked for results in a 12-week period following facial beauty treatments involving facial massage. The immediate and delayed effects were observed following a three-step regimen that included vigorous massage, steaming, and the application of a face mask. Researchers found that the majority of patients reported feelings of freshness and rejuvenation, warmth and tightening and, in lesser numbers, they even experienced a delay in the onset of wrinkles.6
How to Properly Massage Your Face
The great thing about massaging your face is that it doesn’t take much extra time out of your busy morning (or evening) routine. All you need to do is incorporate a few more mindful moments into your normal cleansing regimen.
This is a good time to note that you should make sure your cleanser is effective yet gentle. Since you’ll be spending more time rubbing your face with the cleanser, you want to avoid anything too harsh on your delicate skin.
6 Steps to the Perfect Facial Massage
A slew of futuristic-looking gadgets have hit the market recently to massage your face for you, but all you need is your own two hands. Avoid the delicate eye area, which really doesn’t need the extra pressure.
1.Rub a dime-sized amount of your cleanser of choice, such as Beverly Hills MD Rose Stem Cleanser, on your face.
2.Using three or four fingers, start massaging in gentle circular motions, working from the center of your forehead out, toward the temples.
3.Next, massage from the center of your face over your cheeks, and then up, toward the temples. (Hot tip: NEVER tug or pull down on your skin—this creates wrinkles and sagging.)
4.Repeat the above step along your jawline.
5.Finish your routine by moving down to the neck, using vertical strokes from the collarbone area, working upward.
6.Remember to take deep breaths during the process. Relax!
Taking the few extra minutes to gently massage your face isn’t an overnight cure for skin woes, but as part of an overall healthy routine of hydration, cleansing, ample sleep, and using the right products, it can keep you at your glowiest and healthiest. Bonus, it help to prevent tension headaches too! Here’s to putting your best face forward.
3. Jung, Alyssa. “6 Surprising Benefits Of Massage | Reader’s Digest”. Reader’s Digest. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
4. Jung, Alyssa. “6 Surprising Benefits Of Massage | Reader’s Digest”. Reader’s Digest. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
5. JacoZoldan, Rachel. “How To Give Yourself A Spa-Level Face Massage At Home”. SELF. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.
6. S, Khanna. “Rejuvenating Facial Massage–A Bane Or Boon? – Pubmed – NCBI”. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2002. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.