Facial massage is the most natural way to lift, tone, and sculpt the muscle tissues of your face and neck. There are so many benefits of facial massage, including more contour, muscle tone, and youthful-looking skin. The idea is that you are firming and lifting muscles on your face to keep everything fighting against gravity—I refer to it as “The Natural Facelift.” Performing a facial massage will give you vibrant, healthier skin and a natural glow.
The technique will increase your circulation and blood flow, which brings more oxygen to the area massaged to repair skin tissue. This helps with the production of collagen and elasticity in your skin, while also allowing your skin to detox and repair itself. The increase in collagen and elasticity is a natural form of anti-aging. Performing a facial massage will promote improved hydration and better skin texture, and allow your products to work their best. Treating yourself to a facial massage is a great way to pamper yourself with a little extra self-love every day.
For best results and flow of energy, I always start by setting an intention (relaxing, clear your skin, youthful flow, healing) for the area of the body that I work on for myself or others. It is important to ensure you drink plenty of water with any type of massage, especially a lymphatic drainage massage. Relax and enjoy this incredible routine.
You will be using upward and outward strokes for the entire massage to lift and sculpt, with the exception of draining the lymph down the sides of the neck.
Set an intention and relax. Start with cleaning your skin. Wash your hands, then your face and neck. When washing your face, start your massage with a circular motion to wake up your face and neck muscles. Cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser or oil, rinse it with lukewarm water, and then pat your face gently dry with a towel.
Now is a great time to apply your favorite serum and moisturizer. I prefer to apply a light layer of face oil (plant-based), which allows for a smoother glide, rather than dragging or pulling your skin. The oil is optional but recommended and will leave your face bright and glowing when you are finished with your facial massage. Your skin will reap the benefits of any serum you apply pre-massage and any moisturizer you apply during the massage. You will want to apply your products over your face and down your neck.
Begin by massaging and stimulating your lymph area (see picture). Many toxins drain from the face to the lymph nodes. Massaging this area will help release the toxins and prevent them from building up in your face. Use your fingertips to stimulate the lymph nodes on your neck with small pumps and circles right under each of your ears. Then use large downward circles, gliding your fingers and hands from the ear down the side of your neck. Then you will press gently, pumping upwards just above the collarbone, moving your hands towards the chin, to encourage the lymph drainage. Next, use your thumbs underneath your chin and glide them upwards toward your ears.
You will be doing an upward direction from the throat to the chin and then chin to ears on both sides. Then you will move into a downward direction on the sides of the neck from the ears to the shoulders. You will repeat this upward and downward motion several times. This is the direction of lymph flow and drainage for this area, which stimulates your lymphatic system.
Start the circulation going in an upward direction. Start from the middle of the chin on each side. Using your fingertips, glide upwards toward each ear into the hairline. This will help drain fluid and sculpt the area around your chin. Using wide circular strokes, massage along the sides of your jaw, past the corners of your mouth, next to your nostrils, and over your cheekbones, creating upward lifting. Next, massage large circles upwards into the cheek area to lift and get the circulation going. Continue each area upward and in a circular motion from the center of the face into the hairline and from bottom to top of the cheekbone. Relax and breathe deeply and slowly as you massage your skin.
Take your index fingers and thumbs and grab your lips. Stretch and knead, nice and slow. Make sure to go a little outside the mouth muscle (orbicularis oris) toward the frown lines (buccinator). Go back and forth 10 times. Massaging this muscle around the mouth prevents fine lines around the lips, known as laugh lines, and will also help plump the lips. It is optional to continue with small circles around the mouth.
Now I use my fingers and push and drain firmly all the way up the midline to the top of the brow and hold. It’s almost like a little lift, and it also drains underneath the eyes to reduce puffiness. I continue in this area for a minute and really like to use my fingers to sculpt and drain around the nose area. For me, extra fluid builds up here, and it also helps with congestion. Gently pinch the area at the top of your nose. Slide your fingers down to your nostrils. Repeat this motion for one minute, which is great for contouring the nose.
Here I recommend adding your favorite eye cream. Position your fingers at the arch of your brows. Sweep them around the outside corners of your eyes, gently move them under your eyes, and end with your fingers at the inside corners of your eyes. Continue along up the sides of your nose and along your brow lines. Use your fingertips to slide along the bottom arch of the brows. Hold for a few seconds in each area to help lift and sculpt the brow and the top of the muscle around your eye (orbicularis oculi). This eye massage feels so good and also helps you look more awake and opens your eyes!
Start this area by using your fingertips in a zigzag and up-and-down motion in every direction of the forehead. Then go in a circular motion to massage both sides of your forehead at the same time. Start near your temples and move gradually in toward the middle of your forehead, then back out to the sides. Continue for one minute. I like to end this area with my temples. Take your time here, because this is an area that always needs extra love. The muscles in your face run into the hairline, so going into the scalp always feels so good when massaging the face.
Finish by going back over each area once more. Gently massage each part of your face again to end your massage. Make sure you go over the lymph area one last time. Ensure you drink plenty of water after your facial massage to aid in detox and hydration. Your skin should look bright and fresh when your massage is complete.
Sophie Lonsinger has been a massage therapist and bodyworker for over 13 years and has extensive training in various modalities. Her expertise has led her to travel around the world sharing her passion for healing and educating others. Sophie’s clientele consists of many professional athletes and celebrities. She utilizes her vast knowledge to customize bodywork for each individual she works with. Follow her on Instagram @consciouslivingbysophie.
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