Many of us are programmed to believe we need to keep our fingers and hands away from our face to maintain clear skin. And so we take our makeup off with cleansing cloths and wash our faces with rotating scrub brushes; we use makeup brushes and sponges rather than the pads of our fingers.
And while you don't want to touch your face midday with dirty fingers, there's still a serious lack of connection in this way of self care: our hands are the most powerful and effective tool we have when it comes to tending to our faces. Which is why many skin care professionals are proponents of facial massage. Here, what to know.
Why you should give yourself a facial massage:
Through facial massage, tension around the jaw is released and tightness in the scalp loosens. Studies even show that massage improves circulation in the face; this helps firm the facial tissue by stimulating muscles, smoothes fine lines, and helps aid in lymph flow. Not to mention, experts note that massaging in products may allow for deeper penetration of topical creams and serums, since you're spending more time working in the elixirs. This all comes together to help achieve a natural glow.
While conventional massages may be a luxury, the good news about facial massage is that they're totally DIY-able (all you need is a good organic oil or oil-based serum). Here's my favorite technique. Give it a try!
How To: DIY Facial Massage
DIY facial massages are an easy thing to incorporate into your nightly routine—or weekly if that better suits your schedule. Here are a few things to remember before you start:
A good facial massage should be applied using warm hands, gentle-to-medium pressure, continuous contact, and should be fluid and smooth. Your fingers and hands should never drag across the skin or tug — it should be easy.
Make sure your face and hands are thoroughly clean before you begin and your fingernails are short.
Touch your face with love and tenderness; be gentle and mindful. If you're dealing with specific skin issues you'd like to heal, set a healing intention before you begin or try a simple gratitude practice.
Wet your palms and pads of your fingers with your oil or serum of choice. The oil will treat skin issues while allowing for more slip across the skin.
Place all 10 fingertips above your eyebrows. Gently and slowly push up to the top of your forehead and into your scalp. You choose whatever pressure feels good. Repeat this movement five times.
Gently pinch your eyebrows using thumb and index finger at the inner edge. Pinch four times as you move your fingers along your brows to the outer edge. Repeat this move five times. (This is also a great way to stave off a headache if you feel one coming on.)
Using your index and middle fingers, place your fingertips on your temples. Gently massage for a few seconds before gliding your fingers under the eye area, toward the bridge of your nose, then up and over your eyebrow, ending the oval path back at your temple. Never lose contact. Repeat this move five times.
Sides of your face.
When you've finished, gently glide your fingertips from your temples down the sides of your face toward your neck. This will help move stagnant fluid and aid in lymphatic drainage. (This is especially great if you suffer from excess fluid under you eyes.)
With your fingertips just below your ears, gently massage along your jaw in circular motions with your index and ring finger, toward your chin. Repeat this motion as many times as you like until your jaw begins to relax.
Next, make a "peace sign" with your left index and middle fingers. Place your pointer finger just above your upper lip/cupid's bow and your middle finger just below your bottom lip. Gently pull your fingers toward your ear simultaneously. Alternate to your right hand and repeat five times.
Neck and chest.
Now place your hands palms-down on your decolletage and chest. Starting with your left hand, gently glide the hand up your chest and neck, toward the chin. Alternate to your right hand and repeat five times.
For a scalp massage, the pressure is up to you, but don't be afraid to apply deeper pressure than you did on your face. Pay attention to the back of your scalp at the base of your skull and the front of your scalp where your hairline begins. You'll start to feel the tightness in your scalp loosen.
To end, gently place your hands over your face and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. With each exhale, feel your body release whatever you're holding onto that doesn't serve you.
By gently caring for yourself and setting the intention for healing and relaxation while pampering your skin at the same time, this is a great way to start of end your day.