Brighter and tighter skin isn’t the only benefit of daily beauty rituals. Rubbing in a cleanser or moisturizer can be a form of self-massage, and massage can improve and calm stressed-out skin.
Giving your face a massage as you smooth on a cleanser or apply face oil encourages blood flow and makes skin look and feel healthier!
The science of massage
Physical touch makes an impact on several of the body’s systems: circulatory, muscular, nervous, sensory and lymphatic. One of the primary benefits of facial massage is lymphatic drainage. Massage stimulates the movement of lymph fluid and, in turn, supports the skin’s natural cleansing process. The lymphatic system clears away toxins as it carries white blood cells throughout the body. Manually increasing lymphatic flow can reinvigorate your immune system and remove excess waste.
Boost the body’s immune system
Face massage routines can help protect our bodies against external stressors. Massage increases activity in a nerve that shuts down the release of stress hormones, including cortisol. Limiting the production of cortisol reserves the frontline cells of the body’s immune system for the important work of battling viruses, cancer, and bacteria.
Dr. Amy Wechsler, who is board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, tells The Wall Street Journal she encourages her patients to continue their skincare routines when life feels out of control.
“Routines are really important as they give us a sense of control over our day and our life, and they’re often the first things to go out the window during periods of stress. Anything we can do to regain a bit of control is important,” says Wechsler.
Tighten skin with pressure
Just a few more minutes of massaging in your cleanser or moisturizer and can help relax your mind and prevent wrinkles. Massage helps your cleanser dissolve more makeup and helps moisturizer sink in to hydrate deeper layers of skin.
If you want to increase skin’s firmness, use deep, stimulating motions. A light touch with less pressure is recommended for those whose skin is sensitive, acne-prone, or oily. The skin around your eye can’t handle as much pressure as the rest of your face, so don’t massage deeply there. To alleviate puffy eyes, try gentle pressing and rolling movements with your ring finger, working from the tear ducts to the outer corners of the eye.
A facial massage how-to
- Squeeze a small portion of the product into your palms and rub them together to warm.
- Press your fingers between your brows and slide up your forehead and outwards towards your temples. Repeat several times to cover the entire area.
- Massage from the center of your face out past your cheeks and to the ears.
- At the mouth, repeat the same sliding, up-and-out motion across your jawline.
- Cup your hand like a “C”, start at the chin, and scoop your neckline back towards your ears. Finish by straightening your hand at your ear and sliding your hand down your neck.
- Finish with your neck. Gently use vertical strokes from the collarbone upward.
Products to try for self-massage
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($13, click here) – gentle enough to cleanse and remove oil without disrupting the protective skin barrier.
Malin + Goetz Facial Cleansing Oil ($42, click here) – dissolves even the most stubborn, long-wear makeup.
Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer ($68, click here) – lightweight salve that primes and smoothes well alone or under makeup.
Rodial Snake Booster Oil ($90, click here) – concentrated facial oil for expression lines and wrinkles.