Look Like You Went to an Esthetician With This DIY Facial Massage
Jun 02, 2017
Estheticians can’t get facials every day, either. But you can steal some of their tricks to give yourself a DIY facial massage at home for that just-got-home-from-the-spa glow.
In my training as an esthetician, I picked up many beneficial habits as I learned about the intricacies of skin health. While there are some steps that can only be duplicated within your esthetician’s office and under trained hands, there are many that you can practice yourself at home.
If you’ve ever had a professional facial, you know that one of the most soothing, tension relieving parts is the facial massage. Lucky for us, it’s also the easiest one to replicate at home. While it’s unrealistic to think that one would have enough time to go through the entire choreographed dance that is a professional facial massage every night, you can take the basics and work them into your daily life. Boiling these steps down to their essentials and incorporating them into something you’re already doing every night is a great way to do it.
The Oil Cleanse Massage
A perfect place to incorporate a facial massage is during your first step of a two-part cleansing routine. Here’s how.
- After oil cleansing, don’t immediately rinse. Take that time to use the oil as lubrication as you make sweeping motions upwards, cupping your chin and stopping at your temples. Do this with both the right and the left hand.
- Each time you reach the temples, do a little circular motion (as you would if you were massaging a headache) before traveling back down to the chin. Do this for at least three to four passes.
- Once you make your way back down to the chin for the final time, bring the middle and ring fingers of both hands back up, and trace around the jawline and chin, and circle the mouth, as if drawing the number 8 around those areas. Again, do this motion for at least three or four passes — more if you have time; we tend to hold a lot of tension in the mouth area. Just think of all the lip pursing you do as you read the news or try to cough out polite responses to troublesome people!
- On your final pass around the mouth, take your fingers and slide them up the nose bridge. From there, fan out to the cheeks and use all four fingers to sweep the cheeks toward the ears. Use slightly more pressure for this sweep than you did for the mouth areas, but not too much! You never want to tug at the skin.
- From here continue the outward sweeping motions four to five times. This will help with lymphatic drainage and tone the skin.
- After your final repetition, bring your fingers back up to your temples and pause, applying slight pressure and centering yourself.
- Now, make a fist, knuckles flat to your temples, and use your knuckles to “walk” up your temples to your forehead. Once at the forehead, “walk” your knuckles across the entire span of your forehead.
- Once you reach the ends, “moonwalk” those knuckles back to the starting points. The forehead is a place we hold a tremendous amount of tension (hello, Botox’s most popular injection site!), so really take your time to massage out the tenseness of those muscles, applying the most pressure yet. The forehead skin is thicker than, say, the delicate eye and lip area, so while we do have to take care, it requires the most force to get the desired results. Once you’re finished, simply rinse, and continue on the rest of your routine as normal.
The Essence Massage
If you don’t want to do these massage techniques during your first cleansing step at night or if you’d like to do them in the morning, there are other places you can work it into your routine. You can use it during your essence or essential oil step with a slightly different ending.
Do the massage as described above, but once done with the forehead portion, take a few extra drops of product and place your hands at the bottom of your neck. From here we will do a basic effleurage technique, sweeping the hands in a brisk upwards motion, one right after another, sweeping toward the chin.
Always use upward motions, as this is thought to counteract the effects of gravity. I don’t quite know how valid that claim is, but it’s certainly better than pulling downward on your delicate neck area. This step has the added benefit of forcing the inclusion of the oft-neglected neck skin into your routine. The effleurage technique will both tone the skin and act as a delivery system of the product, helping it be better absorbed by the skin.
A Word About Pressure
Now let’s talk pressure. In regards to the massage, I used the word “force,” as that’s the most appropriate word, but really, it sounds harsher than I mean. Please be gentle, gentle, gentle. Use no more pressure than you would working with delicate dough. I’ve heard the analogy that skin is like a delicate silk garment, and you must treat it as such, but I’d go one step further and say touch your skin as tenderly as you would if you had a broken nose. You have one face, and that’s the only one you’re going to get. Imagine if you were assigned a single garment at birth and told it had to last you a lifetime. I bet you’d take a lot better care of it than most do in regards to their skin. Our skin is our biggest organ as well as our biggest ally in staying healthy. It protects us not only from the elements but also from infection and even disease. Our skin is not only our bodyguard, it’s our soldier and protector. Let’s show it a little love!
Do you incorporate a DIY facial massage into your routine? If so, what do you do?
Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog TheBeautyWolf.com, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."