Face massage benefits supposedly include reduced acne, drained toxins and even anti-aging effects. Learn which of these benefits are real — and how to get them!
A face massage is when you gently glide your fingers or specific face tools over your skin. While face tools like gua sha or a face roller might make your face massage even more effective, you don’t necessarily need any expensive face tools or professional treatments to get started. Simply use your own hands to begin.
Two important things to note: excessive tugging on your skin might create wrinkles, so always use oil, serum or any homemade face cream. Your veins and lymph nodes sit right under your skin, so no need to press extra hard.
There are special motions that support specific benefits such as draining lymphatic fluids. We will get into that later. Let’s start by picking apart each benefit that face massages are said to provide and check which face massage benefits are actually true!
1. Face Massage Benefits: Increased Circulation and Supports Blood Flow
Let’s start out with the easiest one. As with any massage, face massages increase circulation and support blood flow. One study in 2018 came to the conclusion that face massages using a face roller not only increased short-term blood flow in the skin but were even able to improve vascular function long-term.
Already a short-term increase in blood flow means that your cells are provided with more oxygen which in turn also supports the removal of metabolic products from cells. We will get into more face massage benefits that come with increased blood flow later.
A face roller similar to the one used in the study is not necessary when you first start out. However, if you want to increase the intensity of your face massages and play around a little, you can get them from BAIMEI on Amazon.**
2. Reduced Swelling and Drains Lymphatic Fluids
Your lymphatic system is essentially a sanitation system for your body. It processes and releases all toxins and other “waste” that accumulates in our bodies through pollution, nutrition or other harmful circumstances. A face massage will support the draining of toxins and release the swelling as a result.
Before you start with your lymphatic face massage, be sure to activate your lymph nodes in and around your face. They sit in the tiny nook just above your collarbones, right before your ears, on your temples, on the sides of your nostrils and at the inner corners of your eyes. Simply press these points five times. Then continue with your massage. It is crucial to always massage toward the lymph nodes to direct the fluids “toward the garbage disposal” if you will.
We collected some of the most effective motions. If you’re unsure about your finger placement, you can simply watch the TikTok video above and follow the creator’s face massage routine.
- Stroke downward from each side of your jawline fifteen times toward the lymph node above your collarbone. Do the same downward motion starting from the center, right below your chin.
- Take your index and middle finger and imitate a peace sign with your fingers. Take your right hand to the left side of your chin and stroke along your jawline towards your ear, with the index finger right above and the middle finger right below your jawline. Repeat this movement fifteen times on each side.
- Cup your hands with your thumbs right below your chin and your index fingers on top of your cheeks. Glide your fingers toward your ears.
While face massages will drain lymphatic fluids away from the face, it is worth noting that the effects will only be temporary. That is because lymph nodes will simply take on new fluids after having been emptied. But if you do this routine in the mornings, you might reap the temporary face massage benefits during the day and walk around with a chiseled face.
3. Increased Effectiveness of Face Products
Do face massages help skincare to penetrate deeper into your skin and thus be more effective? Yes, this is actually true and not a myth. A study came to the conclusion that face massages can have a tremendous impact on the penetration efficacy of active ingredients. Due to the increase in blood flow after a facial massage, your skin is able to absorb skincare products better. Massaging your face can also contribute to opening pores, allowing products to penetrate even better. So this face massage benefit is definitely true.
4. Face Massage Benefits: Fewer Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Anti-aging is always a big claim and a face massage benefit to be specifically careful when fact-checking. One study in 2017 explored the effect of face massages in combination with an anti-aging cream after eight weeks of daily massages. The control group only used the cream. In fact, the researchers were able to detect improvements in wrinkles, skin sagging, and texture.
If you think about it, it makes sense — applying pressure on your face will support fresh blood flow to your cells, causing them to turn over faster. Draining lymphatic fluids will also ensure a more sculpted and lifted look. Overall, face massages are proven to have an anti-aging effect, however, this effect will presumably only be temporary.
5. Reduced Sinus Pressure
Another one of the coolest face massage benefits is the significant effect on sinus pressure. Regardless of whether you have a cold or suffer from allergies, massaging your face at certain pressure points will help to release mucus and make you breathe more easily. Draining mucus will release pressure and congestion and lead to an overall increase in well-being. Also, feel free to check out our home remedies for sinus headaches.
Follow the routine shown in the TikTok video above with a gua sha face tool or with your fingers.
6. Possibly Improved Signs of Acne
Improving acne might be harder to achieve than some of the other face massage benefits. Generally, we have learned that massaging increases circulation and improves cell health which should be good for acne, right? Technically, yes. However, you should be mindful of how severe your acne is before you start face massages on it.
Avoid massaging over any inflamed spots or even deep, cystic acne. Not only will this not feel good, but it will also hinder the recovery process and possibly even spread bacteria around your face. You could do a light lymphatic pressure massage around your ears to drain fluids from the ear downward or try face yoga.
Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face. This applies to everyone but acne-prone people have to be specifically careful about this. If you don’t want to leave the face oil on after your face massage, simply include your face massage after cleansing your skin and rinse it for a second time after your massage. Then continue with your regular routine of serums or moisturizers.
Doing face massages on acne might help speed up the recovery process of blemishes but there is no scientific evidence yet to the effects that face massages have on acne.
7. Face Massage Benefits: Healed and Faded Facial Scars
Acne scars or other scar tissue can be really hard to get rid of. A literature review combined scientific findings about massaging scar tissue and found that 90% of participants showed improved appearance after treatments varying in time and duration. The underlying problem is collagen cells clumping together.
By massaging scarred areas, you can loosen the scar tissue, helping to dissolve them to restore their natural structure. Bear in mind that you should only start massaging your scars once fully healed. That way, you don’t interrupt the healing process.
8. Reduced Eyes Puffiness and Dark Circles
Another face massage benefit is reducing puffy eyes and dark circles through lymphatic drainage. Simply take your ring fingers and sweep them on top of your eyelids toward the outer corner of the eye and continue the circle toward the inner corners of your eyes. Again, it’s crucial to open your lymph nodes before you do these motions so just press your fingers five times right at the inner corners of your eyes.
Adding a cooled face tool or simply placing a spoon from the fridge onto your eyes might also de-puff your eyes and create a comfortable feeling.
Things to Keep In Mind for the Strongest Face Massage Benefits
Most face massage benefits could be approved after checking several studies and articles. However, it is worth bearing in mind that some of the benefits such as lymphatic drainage, de-puffing eyes or anti-aging effects are only temporary.
But ultimately, face massages are a great routine to include in your morning or nighttime routine to recharge and do something for yourself. The more regularly you do them, the more results you will inevitably see.
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