Give Yourself a Facelift: DIY Techniques for Home Face Massage

By Jo Sahlin, Massagetique Correspondent
Wooden tray of spa clay, soap, towel, and oil arranged neatly
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You don’t have to spend money or leave the comfort of your own home to look and feel younger, energized, and more refreshed. Facelift massage can be done anywhere, with or without a massage oil. Find a quiet, tranquil place where you’re comfortable and free from distractions—be they children, phone calls, or visitors—for even just 20 minutes of your day.

Devote this time to yourself. Turn off your phone, press “pause” on the outside world, and spend this portion of your day on self-care.

Prepare Your Treatment Area

Start by surrounding yourself with things that help you feel at ease. Light a few candles, play soft music, or listen to nature sounds that help put any current stresses and worries out of your mind. Spend some time creating your ideal serene environment. You might choose to do this treatment seated, lying down, or while taking a bath.

Some essentials to have on hand:

  • Clean, soft towel
  • Large bowl of water
  • Neutral oil (coconut, almond, or avocado)
  • Band or cap to keep hair away from your face
  • Cushions or pillows for comfort

It may be tempting to push aside this preparation, but the more you are able to facilitate your own relaxation, the more effective your self-massage will be, and the more revitalized you will look and feel.

Massage Your Stress (and Wrinkles) Away

Settle into a comfortable position with your back and neck supported to minimize tension. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. All movement should be slow, and all pressure should be gentle.

  1. With three fingers, slowly draw up from your collarbone to your chin. Work from one side to the other, or cross your arms and do this on both sides so hands meet at the throat.
  2. Run fingers just above the jawline out toward your earlobes. Stop at the joint where your lower jaw hinges—many of us carry tension here. Move one or two fingers in a clockwise circular motion at the joint.
  3. Glide your fingertips up to your temples and repeat this circular motion, using gentle pressure—the closer to the eyes, the lighter the pressure.
  4. Slide your index and middle fingers out from the top of your nose to your temples along your eyebrows several times.
  5. Run fingers between your eyebrows up to your hairline, repeating this action up and out across your forehead.
  6. Use small clockwise circles again on the following pressure points:
    • Center of the chin, just below the bottom lip
    • Outside each corner of the mouth
    • Underneath each nostril, above the upper lip
    • Outside each nostril, just inside of each cheekbone
    • On either side of the bridge of the nose
    • At the inside corners of the eyes, against the bridge of the nose
    • At the outside corners of the eyes
    • The inside, middle, and outside of eyebrows
    • Just above the middle of the eyebrows, halfway between the arch and the hairline
  7. Finish by repeating steps 2-5, ending your massage with broad upward strokes on the forehead.

Personalize Your Treatment

While products such as jojoba oil or clay for topical use may be harder to come by, many common household ingredients offer health benefits and may be ideal for facial application.

  • Honey is a humectant—it helps your skin retain moisture. It is also antibacterial and can help reduce acne.
  • Oatmeal exfoliates the skin, sloughing off old skin cells.
  • Cucumber reduces puffiness and swelling around the eyes.
  • Olive oil can reduce stiffness or pain in muscles.
  • Lavender and chamomile essential oils promote tranquility and relaxation and are often recommended to those who have trouble achieving restful sleep.
  • Geranium essential oil has mild astringent properties that make it a natural cleanser. It can also stimulate the lymphatic system and flush toxins from the body.
  • Mint, bay, laurel, and rosemary essential oils help mend tiny broken blood vessels on the face. This mask is best paired with a warm bath.

Essential oils are concentrated and can be harsh on skin when applied directly. Always mix essential oils with a generous amount of neutral carrier oil and use warm, not hot, water on your face when rinsing or bathing.

How Does Face Massage Help?

As we age, muscles in the face can start to sag and lose tone. Skin may become thinner and more delicate, sagging or folding as the muscles underneath it also sag. Facial massage promotes blood circulation and helps stimulate muscles to release tension held there. On the surface, this results in tighter skin and improved facial tone.

This model of facial massage is based in Chinese acupressure, an ancient healing practice that incorporates energy flow within the body. The triggering of facial pressure points can result in released energy blockages at corresponding organs, stimulated blood flow, and increased overall healing and wellness.

Various cosmetic approaches over the years–from makeup to facelift tape to surgery–have become go-to remedies for the effects of aging. But anyone can perform self-massage for a quick facelift, either as an occasional practice or as part of a daily self-care regimen. This acupressure facelift method works well on its own, but it can also help preserve and enhance the effects of cosmetic surgery.

To properly benefit from the procedure, avoid doing a facelift massage on a full stomach, as blood flow may be too focused on digestion.

References:

  1. Atkinson, M. (2000). The art of Indian head massage. London: Carlton Publishing Group.
  2. Badin, I., Gozhenko, O., & Zukow, W. (2011). Face-lift with the use of an aesthetic massage technology: Strategy and tactics. Journal of Health Sciences, 1(2), 007-010. Retrieved from https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=18970090
  3. De Nardo, D. (n.d.) Chinese facial massage and TMJ techniques. Massage CE Solutions. Retrieved from http://massage-ce-solutions.com
  4. Muryn, M. (1995). Water magic. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  5. Schultz, K. E. (1979). Cosmetic acupressure facelift. Mokelumne Hill, CA: Health Research.

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