There are many skincare gadgets on the market, and all of them (well, most of them) do some really amazing things for our overall glow factor and skin rejuvenation. But, two of the most powerful tools we have for lifting, shaping, and changing the way our skin functions, are our hands. And in the right, er, hands… they are pure magic. We’re talking about buccal massage.
Buccal massage is a unique technique in which the muscles around the mouth and jaw are worked not only from the outside, but the inside as well. That means your practitioner is wearing gloves, and firmly, yet oh-so-relievingly, using their thumbs and forefingers to massage the interior of the lips and cheeks, working their way to the jaw for full release.
Of course, we can give ourselves a facial massage every single day if we choose; we are presented with a couple of opportunities. A little extra TLC during our morning and evening skincare routines is a simple way to get some extra oxygenated blood and microcirculation to the surface of the skin to boost healing and radiance. However, a deeper, richer massage of the strongest, most powerful muscles of the face is a transformational experience. To truly allow those muscles to relax and be molded, you’ll want to find a knowledgeable expert.
Buccal expert esthetician and founder of Kosha Spa, Anastasia Talan, not only has the ethereal hands of a miracle worker, but some interesting intel about buccal massage, as well. Of course, it helps with lifting and toning the muscles of the face for a more youthful look, but there are some surprising benefits as well.
Intraoral massage as a mode of skincare may sound strange. Why would we rub the inside of the mouth to give our outer skin a radiant glow? Talan explains that our muscles are all interconnected. From our traps, up to our neck, the jaw, and our masseter muscles are a woven tapestry that makes up our overall appearance. The buccal area is actually our largest fat pad on the face, and in it and around it are nerves and tension points that are harder to get to from the outside, but it all has an effect on the way our skin behaves.
Smoothes lines and wrinkles
“Buccal massage is amazing for contouring, aka skin tightening, draining, which helps with skin clarity, and releasing tension to improve lines and wrinkles—a similar concept to Botox’s muscle-relaxing abilities,” Talan tells us.
Helps with skin clarity
While we don’t tend to think of deep tissue massage as a mode of promoting clearer skin, buccal massage creates a vibrant, fresh foundation for the skin to heal and prevent future breakouts.
“A lot of times breaks outs are just a result of poor circulation and stagnation of the lymphatic system. So, by moving things around and removing blockages, the skin will definitely experience better clarity. Just make sure when you massage the skin, you use non-comedogenic oil, and wash the face before and after massage.”
Some may enjoy a heavier oil application, especially if they are performing or receiving buccal massage in the evening as a PM routine. However, those more prone to breakouts will want to cleanse away that heavy layer as it is too much for acneic skin.
Emotional tension release
Buccal massage not only releases muscle tension, but other types of stagnation in the body. Talan breaks it down by reminding us that, “we store a lot of emotions in the jaw. Remember when you are stressed, you hold your jaw tight—all the aggression, sadness, and pain is being stored in your body. So by releasing that tension, we also release emotions and trauma behind it.”
Therapeutic for TMJ
Because those inner tissues and muscles are so hard to access otherwise, buccal massage can help relieve long-built-up tension and tightness in the jaw due to TMJ disorder, which is exacerbated by stress.
Helps with voice clarity and deep breathing
Talan tells us that buccal massage can even help us feel more relaxed and open while speaking.
“This is especially true when you combine buccal massage with diaphragmatic breathing in the session. My clients tell me that they feel so much space in their jaw, like they can move it freely. Once we create that feeling of space and release and expansion, we are able to use it for speaking, singing, and even breathing better. It’s all about releasing trauma and physical tension.”
Up next, be the first to know our weekly content and sign up for our Poosh newsletter.