If you’ve ever treated yourself to a facial, you’d be familiar with the remarkable natural skin glow that follows. What if we told you that there’s a way to get that youthful and radiant facial glow without spending on facial treatments? We’re talking about a lesser talked about skincare practice of face massage.
Did you know that our face consists of a total of 42 facial muscles? A face massage is an exercise for those muscles. How exercise benefits our body in numerous ways, a face massage also helps us by relaxing the facial muscles and boosting blood circulation.
From ancient times, the concept of massage has been used as therapy for many different ailments in Ayurveda. Face massage has always been around the corner, and only recently has it started gaining popularity. Some people also practice Facial Yoga for similar benefits. Face massage not only helps your skin but also has relaxing effects on your nervous system. It also helps in reducing anxiety. After a stressful day at work, a face massage with a suitable facial oil can be your go-to escape.
Face massage can be easily done with minimum equipment or products at home, but if you wish, you can also choose to get a professional facial massage once or twice a month.
Here are some fantastic benefits that you can't miss out on.
Improved blood circulation is vital for our skin as it circulates nutrients and helps in detoxification. With facial massage, you improve circulation and allow the drainage of lymphatic nodes present on your face & neck regions that trap impurities.
Facial massage helps delay the aging of your skin in multiple ways. It increases collagen production, which improves the elasticity of your skin, giving you a wrinkle-free look. Not many people are aware of this, but constant stress also leads to wrinkling of the skin. Facial massage helps with this by relaxing the facial muscles.
Aging can eventually make your face appear saggy as you lose the tightness of your skin. When facial muscles are not being stimulated, they lose firmness. Face massage helps boost your facial muscles, give you firm jaw muscles, and enhance your face's tone and shape. Facial massage also helps reduce puffiness by draining the stagnant fluid trapped inside.
Collagen is generally required for skin growth and helps with skin elasticity & repair skin tissues. Collagen is synthesized in our body with the help of Vitamin C. However, to enhance its production for the skin, facial massage is helpful. The collagen will naturally help with restoring any damage in the skin.
With proper facial hygiene and regular facial massage with suitable Essential oils, some types of acne can be prevented. Large pores are the second most popular facial problems after acne. And some chronic acne can leave large pores on the skin even after the acne is gone. These large pores can be managed through enhanced collagen production, which occurs during face massage.
Massaging specific acupressure points & certain regions around your nose can help with the mucus build-up release and give relief from the sinuses. Tapping particular pressure points on your face, for instance, at the center of your eyebrow (eyepoint), ends near the bridge of your nose, and your upper eyelids' inner side helps in relieving sinuses. You can eventually start to feel some sensation indicating the release of tension or mucus in that specific area with slight continuous gentle pressure.
Face massage can be easily incorporated into your daily or weekly routines. As mentioned previously, it doesn't have to be expensive nor time-consuming. Let's now talk about how you can give yourself a face massage at home.
Before getting started, you must have the necessary requirements like a serum or a Face massage oil. You can initially start massaging with your hands. Traditionally, all Ayurvedic massages were given with hands.
However, you can choose to invest in jade rollers, metal rollers, Gua Sha, and other face massage instruments if they suit. It is also very essential to choose the right type of serum or oil-based on your skin type. Remember to clean your hands or your equipment before the massage to avoid acne or any breakouts.
You can use many techniques to massage your face like stroking, kneading with your knuckles, moving in a circular motion, and vibration. Opt for any of these techniques or use a combination of them for the best results. Throughout the massage, make sure that you don't press too hard. Keep applying gentle pressure evenly.
Here are some basic beginner steps you can follow.
1) Wash your face with a gentle soap or a Face cleanser. Make sure your clean hands and your equipment are clean.
2) Choose a face serum or oil that suits your skin type. Before choosing, make sure you do a patch test on your hand to check if you have any allergic reaction to the oil or serum.
3) Apply the oil or a serum gently over your face. Tap all over your face with your fingers to activate your facial muscles. You can even gently press each region of your face.
4) Now, use your index and middle finger to move in a circular motion from your forehead to your temples to your cheek.
5) Gently roll under your eye from inward motion to outwards and similarly upward near your eyebrows.
6) Using your finger apply mild pressure from your chin towards your cheekbone muscle in an upward motion.
7) For lymphatic drainage, you can start massaging from below your earlobe, going in a downward motion following your neck to your collarbone.
8) You can also massage the acupressure points located on your face to feel more relaxed, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and get sinus relief. You can find these acupressure points at -
- the center of your forehead,
- between your eyebrow,
- sides of your forehead near your temples,
- at the front of the tragus ( front side of the opening of the ear) of the ear,
- under the ear lobe,
- between your nose and upper lip region at the center,
- under your eyes,
- in the groove where your nostril connects your face.
9) You can gently tap each of these pressure points five to ten times.
10) Make sure you massage in a unidirectional motion, and you can repeat each step 3-5 times
You can easily incorporate this in your morning, evening, or bedtime skin care routine just for about 5- 10 min to feel more relaxed and calm.
Now let's talk about some oils, and you can choose based on your skin type. Choosing the right kind of face massage oil or serum can be a game-changer. Not all oils are suitable for a face massage. Depending upon your skin type dry, acne-prone, oily, it is necessary to choose the most appropriate oil to avoid breakouts, unwanted acne, or allergic skin reaction.
Here are our top recommendations for face massage oils -
If your skin type is dry, Almond oil is suitable for your skin as it helps to retain moisture of your skin. It is rich in vitamin E, which can help to repair skin damage. It also has good antibacterial and antifungal properties. The antibacterial property of almond oil can be used to treat acne and its antifungal property to help treat fungal skin issues.
It's also used for treating acute skin infections like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis. It can help with reducing & lightening the dark under-eye patches. Not only this, its skin lightening effects can be effective for tan removal.
Moringa oil is obtained from Moringa Oleifera, commonly known as the drumstick plant. For sensitive skin, Moringa oil can be used for face massage. It's highly used in various cosmetics & skincare products as it has incredible beneficial properties for the skin. It is popularly known for its anti-aging properties.
Moringa seed oil has rich protein content and has a high content of fatty acids like Oleic acid, which acts as an add-on barrier to your natural skin and protects against pollutants. It also has Zeatin, which promotes anti-aging by delaying aging and sagging of the skin. Zeatin helps in the growth of skin tissues at the cellular level. It also has properties like antimicrobial and is also rich in vitamin C that can boost collagen production.
For normal skin type, Coconut oil can be used for facial massage. However, Coconut oil should be avoided if you have large pores, oily, or acne-prone skin as it can clog your pores when kept on for too long. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that is rich in vitamin E and Lauric acid. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties, due to which it is used for the treatment of skin diseases like eczema.
Fatty acid content, like linolenic acid, helps in retaining the moisture of the skin. When used on normal skin type, Coconut oil helps in moisturizing your skin, making your skin smooth and even. It can also help with skin damages and skin inflammation. However, coconut oil is comedogenic and heavyweight oil, so make sure to apply in small quantities or avoid it if you have breakouts or large pores.
Tea tree oil is ideal for all skin types oily, dry, acne pore. It is known as a natural deodorant and insect repellant. It has antibacterial due to which it can be used to treat acne. However, it is important to note that tea tree is an essential oil that should not be directly on the skin. Dilute 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil with a tablespoon of suitable carrier oil like Almond oil or Sesame oil before applying on the skin.
Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory, which can help in reducing redness and swelling in the skin. It also helps in reducing acne scars and getting rid of itchiness.
You need to choose the right type of massage oil or serum for your skin type. And then, with a correct massaging technique and regular face massage ritual, you can harness the maximum benefits of face massage. Make sure you do a patch test if you have sensitive skin and have allergic reactions to certain oils, especially nut oils.
A face massage is one of the best ways to pamper yourself and take care of your facial skin. Why not start working out those facial muscles for youthful, glowing skin?
Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.