Contouring without your contour kit—or any makeupContouring Yes, it’s possible. Instead of creating the illusion of more prominent cheekbones or a sexy brow bone, we’re talking about caring for your face in such a way that supports beautiful, strong bone structure and plump (healthy) facial fat—think youthful cheeks.
The results of this care regimen are subtle and slow to take place (in other words, don’t toss that contour kit if you’re going for a more dramatic look!). But I think you’ll find this approach to skincare interesting and certainly worth a shot! Here’s the breakdown.
Important Facial Massage PSA
I’ve long been a proponent of facial massage. It’s a lovely way to treat yourself, boost circulation, and improve product absorption. But further research into facial massage reveals that the benefits don’t stop there. Both facial bone density and muscle tone—two key elements that enhance your facial contours—can be improved with regular massage.
Bone density. Facial massage is the first component of long-term contouring. As we age, we naturally lose bone density. Fortunately, an active lifestyle, especially one that involves some weight-bearing activity, helps build bone density, slowing the rate at which our bones become more brittle (and in the case of our faces—less prominent). In order to avoid losing too much bone mass in your face while keeping your cheeks and forehead from looking “sunken in,” practice face tapping.
By applying gentle to moderately firm pressure on your face via your (clean!) fingertips or knuckles, you will support healthy and beautiful bone mass according natural beauty guru Roxy Dillon. You don’t even have to set aside a “tapping time.” Simply tap your moisturizer into your skin. Areas to focus on include the jawbone, cheekbones, forehead, and brow bone.
Muscle toning. Facial massage—of a different variety—may also help with facial contouring by stimulating and toning facial muscles. Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge demonstrates a fairly standard massage routine that targets facial muscles, among other things. Generally speaking, this style of massage uses circular motions.
Estrogen Is Not the Enemy
Of course, having an imbalance of estrogen (or being estrogen dominant) can be a source of several health issues, but supporting a healthy level of healthy estrogen is the second component of natural facial contouring.
Think of all the areas on the face where people get cosmetic plumping—whether that’s through collagen injections, fat transfers, or silicon implants. That’s cheeks, lips, chins, even foreheads! Coincidentally, all of these areas are affected by facial fat deposits, which are influenced by estrogen.
Facial fat gives a face its pleasant roundness. We don’t have to worry about having enough facial fat when we’re young, but as we age, the layer of fat cushioning our faces becomes depleted, increasing our chances of looking gaunt.
What also depletes as we (especially women) age? Estrogen.
Therefore, in order to maintain a healthy appearance and support that cushioning, flattering layer of facial fat, we should work to maintain healthy hormonal functioning. (While synthetic estrogen may be an option for those in more extreme health situations, the following section focuses on more natural means to promote healthy estrogen levels that do not put individuals at risk for estrogen-sensitive cancers.)
Cholesterol and your hormones. One key way to support healthy hormone levels is by maintaining good cholesterol levels. Consuming vegetable oils raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL, aka “good cholesterol). And here’s some more good news for those on a plant-based diet—by avoiding animal products, you’re avoiding foods that promote unhealthy cholesterol balance.
But where to get that good fat? Consider supplementing with evening primrose oil, rice bran oil, vitamin E oil, and avocado oil. You can also externally apply vegan squalene, vitamin E, and cocoa butter.
Estrogenic foods and supplements. Understandably, discussions of estrogen can make people wary, especially as hormone-sensitive cancers have been on the rise. Certain estrogenic plants, however, have been associated with anti-aging and even anti-cancer properties.
Ginseng (Panax), which has been shown to help inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells, is also associated with improved hormone function, especially where declining levels of estrogen are concerned.
Other safe, estrogenic supplements to consider include Coq10, pomegranate (may improve bone density), vitamin E, ashwagandha (an adaptogen). Not surprisingly, many of these substance have anti-again, antioxidant properties that in addition to supporting healthy hormonal balance, will help anti-age your skin by serving as anti-inflammatory supplement.
Endocrine disruptors. Part of maintaining healthy hormone functioning is avoiding things that may cause imbalances in your hormones. These endocrine disruptors, which include a sub-group called xenoestrogens, can mimic natural hormones and throw things out of balance. BPA, dioxin, phthalates (in several beauty products), PFCs (on nonstick pans), pesticides, and parabens (also in several beauty products) are some of the main culprits. Here’s a bit more info on endocrine disruptors from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Okay, I realize all of these information is a bit more complicated than whipping out your contour palette, but I find it exciting to know that I can make lifestyle changes that support natural beauty (and health!), so I can always feel that makeup is just something I enjoy doing—not something I feel I must rely on.
Have you tried any of these ways to contour sans makeup?
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