Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Massage? Who said massage?

One of my favorite parts of a professional facial is the massage. I always believe it is an integral part of what leaves my skin glowing & feeling so 'alive'. It also helps 'push' products in by massaging them deeper into the tissue.

I like to try to mimic this at home, but I've never quite been successful at this. So, I decided to do a little research so we could all benefit from a little home facial massage a few minutes a day.

While facial massage, like any massage, relieves tension, it can also promote lymphatic drainage to rid cells of toxins which accumulate due to regular cellular metabolism, stress & pollution (we New Yorkers can relate to the pollution factor in our skin). It can also promote younger, firmer skin by increasing blood circulation.

Before starting, I want to say that facial tissue is very delicate, and eye tissue is even more delicate. Any pressure should be done with gentle, controlled movements so as to stimulate cells/blood flow, not dragging/stretching skin (which will counteract the result we are aiming for). A "light, feathery touch" is a good way to describe how fingers should feel on the skin.

Massage should be done with clean hands & preferably after cleansing/toning/& moisturizing so as to 1) lubricate the skin during massage 2) send the moisturizer deeper into the skin cells

1. First relax & focus on your breath...(think meditation ;) )

2. Take chin between thumb & forefinger of each hand and then work your way along jawline to the ears. fingers may glide along using gentle pressure, or you may gently pinch & walk fingers along jawline to ears.

3. Place middle 3 fingers of each hand on each side of nose. Walk fingers outward toward ears along cheekbones or directly below (again, gently pressing & gliding or gently pinching & 'walking').

4. Temples ---place 3 middle fingers of each hand at the temple area. Forefinger should be at hairline; ring finger should be at the corner of the eye, and the middle finger should be directly over the temple. Gently press fingers in small circular motions.

5. Inner corner of eyes---place one finger (i suggest ring finger, because this has the lightest pressure, and eye tissue is thinner/more fragile than the rest of the skin on your face). Gently apply pressure & release 5 times

6. Eyebrows--starting at the bottom edge & inner corner of each eyebrow, gently walk fingers to outeredge while gently applying pressure. Some methods suggest gently pinching & walking fingers out..this would be pinching the eyebrown between thumb & forefinger & including a little of the eyelid skin below the eyebrow into the massage as well.

7. Forehead-- there are 2 methods here: 1) place both thumbs at base of forehead between your eyebrows, apply gentle pressure & slide fingers upwards into hairline. 2) using middle 3 fingers of each hand, apply pressure & slide fingers from one side of forehead to the other. Alternate hands.

8. I like to end my massage with a gentle allover massage using middle 3 fingers of each hand, Start at chin/jawline & work upward in small upward/outward circles. move from cheeks to nose, up to forehead and then across & down at the temples. circle eyes in this motion 3-5 times.(Some may choose to start their massage this way as well).

9. Inhale deeply, look in the mirror & realize the glory & beauty that is you!

Follow above routine daily, or as often as desired (or, if you are like me, as often as you can remember ;) ).

For those of you who can tolerate watching this video, this guy offers some excellent massage techniques..some which are listed above, some which are not: (The one thing i will say 'not' to follow is that you should never do any massage across the front of the throat..sides are ok, but not across the throat. i don't suggest following anything he does across the front of the throat.).

Well, relax, enjoy & reap the benefits of healthier, firmer, younger looking skin...just don't let anyone see you when you do these techniques...they might just think you've lost your mind ;).

2) (great pictures & methods for trouble areas/concerns i.e. lip wrinkles, double chin, crows' feet, etc)
3) Spa Magazine March/April 2007 issue "Daily Uplift" pg. 66 (

Credits: Photo Courtesy & Property of

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