An ancient therapeutic technique, massage offers an array of benefits. From relaxation to detoxification, massage can be a game changer for skin’s health. Whether you do a nightly five-minute routine when you apply your night cream or use extended massage as a prep for a mask, a daily face massage is bound to make your skin happy.
7 Daily Face Massage Benefits
1. Massage can be relaxing. At the end of a long day—or after a few hours of staring at the computer, you can use massage to relax your facial muscles and calm your nerves. Choose a moisturizer with a relaxing fragrance, and keep your movements slow. Breath deeply and slowly as massage your skin.
2. Massage can be stimulating. Depending on your movements, massage can help wake you up in the morning! Quick, gentle movements can make you feel alive in your skin. Try tapping your fingers all over your face—like you’re gently typing. Use your ring finger on the delicate area around your eyes.
3. Massage enhances product absorption. Massage will help your skin reap the benefits of any serum you apply pre-massage and any moisturizer you apply during the massage. According to a 2017 PLoS One study, combining a massaging device with anti-aging cream delivered more improvement of fine lines, lifting, and stronger collagen growth than using the cream alone.
4. Massage improve facial muscle tone. Because it stimulates the facial muscles, a massage is like a mini-workout for your face. Just ask Molly Sims, who swears by facial yoga to increase circulation, provide oxygen, and build collagen.
5. Massage may help reduce fluid retention and puffiness. By gently massaging small circles on your facial pressure points for up to 20 seconds, you can help reduce eye puffiness and encourage lymphatic drainage.
6. Massage boosts circulation (& therefore glow). Improving your circulation gives you glow. The more efficiently your blood courses through your body, the more efficiently nutrients are delivered to your organs—which includes your skin!
7. Massage helps you get to know your skin. The more time you spend touching your skin, the better understanding you’ll have of which areas are drier/tighter, which are rough (and made need more exfoliation), and which areas are more prone to congestion.
Always perform your massage with a product that allows your fingers to easily glide over your skin. Dragging your skin will not feel so great nor will it do your skin any favors.
Promote clear skin. Wash your hands before massaging, and use a product that won’t clog your pores. A simple blend of a non-comedogenic carrier oil (like argan oil) and a drop of a non-irritating essential oil (like lavender or chamomile) will work beautifully. You will only need about a teaspoon to cover your face. Do not massage skin that’s irritated or broken out.
Fight gravity and boost circulation. While massaging your face, work against gravity, and stick to upward strokes and lateral strokes that move from the center to your face to the edge of your face. The exception to this rule is the sides of your neck. By moving down the sides of your neck towards your collarbone, you can promote lymph drainage and detoxification.
Learn through observation. Book an appointment for a facial. Take note of the techniques your esthetician employs. Which feel the best or most therapeutic for your skin? How much pressure does she apply? Too much, too little, just right? Incorporate your favorite techniques into your own routine.
Be safe. If you have uncontrolled hypertension, check with your doctor before performing self-massage.
Information for this article was gleaned from Milady Standard Esthetics Fundamentals, the authoritative text on skin care and treatment, and Eva Scrivo on Beauty, a book of professional beauty techniques for the beauty expert within.
Want to get started on DIY daily facial massage? Try our Lymphatic Massage Video!
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This article was first published on January 5, 2016 and most recently updated on October 10, 2019.
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling