The best part of facials or any skin treatment for that matter is usually the facial massage that goes with it. Whether we go for anti-aging, rejuvenating, anti-acne, or simple vitamin-packed facials for nourishing the skin, we can’t help but feel like the massage is benefiting our psychological well-being more than anything. And there’s a reason for this - it’s because the face is full of nerves and pleasure points. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that this is one of the most popular options for improving the overall appearance of your skin.
What are your reasons for going to a facial massage treatment? Or, more importantly, besides calming your nerves - do you know what are the benefits of having a facial massage?
It seems like the soothing sensations from facial massages are just the cherry on top. Most dermatologists today agree that this method brings a variety of skin benefits, and we’re here to cover all of them. Also, we’ll tell you how exactly a facial massage works, what are its downsides, and how to do it at home too! Finally, we’ll leave you with one of the best facial massage routines for anti-aging and glowing skin benefits.
Let’s dive in.
The origin of facial massages can be found in ancient times. People of all cultures used this method for pain relief, healing, and cosmetic improvement purposes.
Today, facial massage is a very popular Western and Eastern beauty treatment mostly advertized to slow down the aging process and help you achieve a younger-looking and glowing complexion. Other common uses include reducing stress levels, headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), sinus congestion, boosting circulation, and the better absorption of skincare products.
Facial massages are usually done by a professional massage therapist, an esthetician, or by yourself at home. They can be part of a whole-body massage or part of a facial treatment.
Additionally, you can massage your face using your hands, or with mechanical massaging devices that you can find in almost any cosmetic store and supermarket.
Another way in which we can classify different facial massages is by the skincare product applied to facilitate the movements over the skin’s surface. The product that you’ll use will more or less dictate the purpose of the facial massage. For example, using highly-concentrated moisturizing oils can soothe and regenerate dry and flaky skin. On the other hand, using more specialized products, like AHA-based creams, can deeply cleanse the skin and prevent further breakouts.
In Eastern therapies, a facial massage is part of a full-body treatment in which pressure points on the face and neck are stimulated in order to release blockages in the blood flow.
We already know what the cosmetic studios and facial massage machine sellers say about the uses and benefits of a facial massage. But, what does science say? Is there any truth to the claims, and which benefits are supported by evidence?
Well, one study from 2007, published in the journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice investigated the effects of foot and facial massage on sleep induction, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. The results showed that facial massage is an effective method for lowering blood pressure, increasing sleep-quality, and decreasing the respiratory rate.
However, beyond these benefits, here’s how facial massages help the skin.
The relationship between stress and poor skin complexion is quite well documented. The stress affects our body in a negative way, increasing free radicals and stress hormones, which can damage the cells in our internal organs, as well as the skin’s tissue. If you want to go more into detail, we have you covered with our article on acne and stress. However, it’s worth mentioning that stress plays a key role not only in acne development but in many other common skin disorders.
As we saw from the above-mentioned article, published in the journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, facial massage is effective in lowering blood pressure, respiratory rate, and increasing the quality of sleep, all of which help decrease stress levels.
Another research from 2008 published in Biomedical Research, concluded that facial massage might refresh the clients by reducing their psychological distress and activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Plus, if we add to this the pleasuring and relaxing effects a facial massage has on our minds, we can very well understand how this method is one of the most popular tricks to quickly relax after a stressful day and prevent consequences to our skin.
When we massage our face we stimulate the lymphatic vessels which facilitate toxin elimination. Lymphs play a crucial part in our health since the liquid secreted from lymph nodes removes toxins and protects our body. Moving the muscles helps stimulate the lymph fluid to circulate our face. This will result in brighter and healthier-looking skin.
Additionally, if we know how to go about massaging our facial muscles, we can really hit the spots that carry all the tension and release it. The relaxation of the muscles will give make your skin look fresh, well-rested, and younger.
After a great facial massage, you can expect to see dewy, glowing skin in the mirror.
A good facial massage can help you tighten the muscles on your face and with that reverse sagging and loose skin, a common aging sign. In 2002, a study published in the International Journal Of Dermatology tried to give an answer to the question of whether rejuvenating facial massage is a bane or boon.
The study questioned over 140 women on the various aspects, benefits, and side-effects of a facial massage and learned that around 50% of the subjects felt that their skin was tighter after the massage.
We should note that, although facial massage is a great way to tighten the skin even further, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is far more effective.
However, if you have a busy schedule we recommend reading our article on “How To Tighten The Skin Naturally” to learn some quick tips and tricks.
Loose or sagging skin is one of the symptoms of aging, which we now know facial massages can help with. But more than that, a facial massage can relax the muscles that tend to cause stress lines. By stimulating and increasing circulation, we help our skin produce collagen and elastin. And, we all know how collagen works, right? If not, check our article about collagen in skincare and find out all the benefits, that make it so popular.
When it comes to aging skin, maintaining collagen levels plays a key role in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Collagen is the building block of the skin’s tissue that is produced while the skin is healing to repair damaged cells. This process prevents imperfections to manifest on the surface of the skin.
Caring for the skin and massaging it regularly might help prolong the aging process, and maintain a youthful appearance much longer.
Stress, dehydrated skin, alcohol, smoking, lack of sleep, and many other factors can make us retain fluid in our face and look puffy. Luckily, a good facial massage can take care of all those problems.
We mentioned that facial massage stimulates lymphatic drainage, which in turn reduces inflammation and swelling. What is more, a facial massage increases blood circulation and oxygen flow to the facial muscles and skin. Puffiness is nothing more than fluid retention, which the motions from the massage can help drain and, in turn, reduce the puffiness.
If you suffer from facial puffiness, be sure to check out 10 amazing tricks on how to reduce puffiness - facial massage is just one of them.
Ultimately there are two goals for most facial massages.
First, a high-quality treatment aims to relax nerve tension, and second, it can drain excess fluid from your facial skin. For this, the target are the lymph nodes underneath the ears and on the neck. With specific movements, we can increase circulation and blood flow to the area we’re massaging. This means more oxygen and more nutrients. Bringing more vitamins and minerals to the surface of our face can kick-start the production of collagen which helps the skin heal better and protect itself from daily damage.
You should expect to feel your facial muscles relax, your skin tighten, and an overall more fresh and glowing complexion. Your cheekbones should take on a warm, healthy blush due to the increased blood circulation,
Surprisingly, even though it looks like a really gentle and non-invasive approach, the facial massage treatment has its downsides.
For example, one article from 2002, published in the International Journal Of Dermatology found that sixty‐one (36.1%) patients developed erythema and puffiness within 15 min to 2 h after undergoing a facial massage treatment, which lasted 2-6h.
Eight (4.7%) women developed mild dermatitis on the face, while 47 (33.1%) of the participants, developed acneiform eruptions after a facial massage treatment with creams containing exotic ingredients, such as gold salts. The results from the study led the authors to conclude that although there are several subjective benefits of a facial massage treatment, there may be immediate side‐effects, such as erythema and edema, as well as delayed problems, such as dermatitis and acneiform eruption, typically in about one‐third of the clients.
To make things a little more clear, and not scare you right away, all that this study is showing us is the importance of the foundation cream we use for our facial massage and the pressure we apply - especially if we use a facial massage device.
We can tighten the facial muscles, fade superficial wrinkles, and reduce puffiness, or we can easily irritate the face, cause infection, and worsen the symptoms of a certain skin condition.
Always do a patch test for the oil, lotion, or cream you’re planning on using for your facial massage, or even better - use a product that you have used many times before, and you know works well for your skin type.
Another problem with facial massage, as with other beauty treatments, is the present condition of your face. If you’re experiencing acute acne lesions which are inflamed or infected, you shouldn’t apply anything or touch your skin in any way before you handle your primary concern, which is the acute condition.
In this case, always consult with your health care provider or dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.
If you decide to do a facial massage at home follow these tips to see optimal results.
Well, a lot of bloggers and beauty experts swear by it, and most cosmetic studios use professional facial massage devices for their treatments - from simple face rollers to more complicated devices using hot and cold methods to massage your skin. But, the question remains - are they better than the traditional hand-approach massage?
And, can they be more dangerous?
Some people argue that with a facial massager you don’t rub or pull the skin, but you’re rather getting a more gentle and thoughtful technique to get optimal results. It’s believed that the devices are clean, easy on the skin, and super effective, plus they’re a lot more sophisticated - which brings additional benefits.
For example, you have devices with LED lights that claim to remove dirt and bacteria from the face. Some massage devices come with special gel washes that target signs of aging like sagging, dullness, and wrinkles.
Overall, the facial massage devices are praised for being a more sanitary option, plus they’re practical and easy-to-use.
However, better quality comes at a higher price, which can be a problem. And, of course, not following the instructions and using the device incorrectly can lead to complications and even adverse reactions.
Before we finish this article, we selected one incredible facial massage routine, you can implement in your daily skincare regimen.
Originating in Korea, the following facial massage is said to be the ultimate anti-aging trick.
Start your daily skincare routine as you would normally do.
Cleanse your face, apply a toner, then go directly to your massage cream. When you finish with the massage, wipe off the cream residue, cleanse and tone your face again, then continue with the rest of your skincare routine.
Before you start, choose your carrier oil, or your cream for the massage. One safe and very beneficial option is argan oil, but you can check out our article about carrier oils linked above and pick your favorite.
Start with the V-line, from your chin to your ears. Right behind your ear, by your jaw, you’ll feel a node. The goal is to lightly massage it with circular motions. Be careful not to place too much pressure. These movements are for your lymph drainage, which will improve the shape of your face and prevent sagging skin.
Next, make a claw with your knuckles, and use harder pressure, moving from your chin toward your ears, following the jawline. Brush your fingers down your neck and finish off with a sweeping motion across your collarbone.