[DEMO INCLUDED] Holistic Facial Massage Techniques That Naturally Transform the Skin
Facial massage is one of the most effective modalities to maintain and enhance a healthy and youthful appearance. To perform this traditional treatment, all that’s needed is a priceless and readily available tool: our hands. There is also a wide range of techniques and tools that can be implemented to achieve the desired results.
Facial massage is an important practice in line with the holistic, outside-in approach to ageless skin, not just because it is a treatment that helps with fine lines and wrinkles, eye puffiness, facial swelling and other beauty-enhancing benefits, but because it supports holistic wellness.
Wrinkle in Time
Wrinkles develop perpendicular to the muscles. Understanding facial anatomy lays the foundation for building the skill set necessary for the different types of massage techniques that are effective in helping smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
By repeatedly and strategically working on releasing tension in the facial muscles, a practitioner can manually exercise and condition the client’s muscles to relax. It certainly does not offer a quick fix, but with consistency, similar to a fitness routine, better tone and structure can be achieved to preserve skin integrity, especially with age.
In addition, facial massage works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by encouraging cell turnover, enhancing collagen production and improving overall skin texture and elasticity.
Massaging a topical product into the skin pushes the product’s active ingredients into the outermost layer of the epidermis, as well. Massage in this type of role functions as a manual delivery system, allowing for better absorption.
If a formula is developed with its own delivery system and active ingredients that are micronized, meaning they are already in a small-enough molecular size to penetrate, then massage can collaboratively accelerate and optimize product efficacy.
In every way, facial massage boosts skin care results.
Keep It Flowing
Massage invigorates the ultimate life source. It increases blood circulation, which allows for a greater supply of oxygen and nutrients to fuel every cell in the body. As a result, this empowers the skin’s self-sufficient abilities to regenerate and heal. Stimulated micro-circulation causes a rosy appearance on the surface of the skin, which naturally gives way to a healthier, more radiant glow.
Meanwhile, the lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system, protecting it from disease and infection. Unlike the circulatory system which has its own pumping mechanism to facilitate blood throughout the body, lymph can not travel on its own—and rightfully so, as it’s a one-way path. The lymphatic system is responsible for keeping the body healthy and it is entirely dependent on circulation.
Lymph nodes are small glands throughout the body that break down health-compromising damaged cells, bacteria, viruses and any other toxic molecules. The waste is released in the form of lymphocytes, also known as white blood cells, into the bloodstream where they can then be cleared out from the body via the liver and kidneys. The circulatory system essentially works as a vehicle for the lymphatic system.
Lymphatic drainage massage is important to help prevent lymph node blockages. It is critical for the body to properly purge, and poor lymphatic drainage can cause swelling, inflammation, skin disorders and a slew of other health-threatening ailments.
Aesthetically, proper massage techniques to open up lymph nodes and guide the flow of lymph can improve facial contour by relieving excess stored fluid, especially in the lower jaw, which is a common cause of a double-chin appearance. It can alleviate surrounding eye puffiness, but the benefits go beyond what meets the eye, no pun intended.
Take it Easy
Increased stress levels cause a heightened release of the stress hormone cortisol, which can be the culprit behind acne and even signs of premature aging. Studies have shown that massage can have a positive effect on well-being and appearance by lessening the effects of stress.
Massage encourages calm, helping clients to relax physically and mentally. In addition, one study revealed that facial massage initiates a release of happy feel-good hormones including endorphins, which biologically counter the potentially harmful effects of unmanaged stress.
Top Methods and Techniques
The good, old fashioned massage performed using the hands allows implementation of a wide range of massage methods and, best of all, it’s accessible to all licensed estheticians.
From inducing relaxation with light effleurage techniques and acupressure, draining lymph for immune support and all the way to the firm, sculptural techniques that target the facial muscles—all can be done using only the hands.
Other traditional effective massage tools include gua sha, ice globes, cupping and rollers. These tools can offer many of the benefits provided from the techniques mentioned above. Massage tools with a modern approach can also incorporate technologies like microcurrent, which massages and stimulates deep into the cells, or ultrasonic vibration that energizes micro-circulation.
Each practitioner’s style may vary, and perhaps a service that incorporates traditional and modern massage methods can offer clients the widest range of holistic benefits. Facial massage is a beauty and wellness practice that aligns with the goals of every client’s skin needs and desires.
As long as the specialist is properly trained and enjoys performing facial massage, the sky is the limit for the service opportunities and to meet the market demand!
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Miyaji, A., Sugimori, K., & Hayashi, N. (2018). Short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 41, 271-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.009
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Itsuko Okuda, Mizuho Takeda, Masahiro Taira, Toyoaki Kobayashi, Ken Inomata, Naoki Yoshioka, Objective analysis of the effectiveness of facial massage using breakthrough computed tomographic technology: A preliminary pilot study, Skin Research and Technology, 10.1111/srt.13152, 28, 3, (472-479), (2022).
Eckstein, M., Mamaev, I., Ditzen, B., & Sailer, U. (2020). Calming Effects of Touch in Human, Animal, and Robotic Interaction—Scientific State-of-the-Art and Technical Advances. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.555058
Yuriko Ohkawa, Hiroki Tanoue, Kiyoko Fukai, Physiological and psychological effectiveness of facial massage in women: A randomized crossover trial, Journal of International Nursing Research, 2023, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages e2021-0005.
Written by Victoria Tabak, CEO of NATPURE Clinical Skin Care. She is a two-time international award-winning licensed esthetician, oncology trained, a published skin and wellness expert, and a nationally recognized skincare educator. She has more than 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, along with a master’s degree in business, minor in chemistry. She has worked with other estheticians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and cosmetologists to formulate and revolutionize a holistic approach to beauty that people love, alongside her father, a distinguished scientist.
As featured in WellSpa 360 March 2023.