Why Facial Massage is the Skincare Habit I am Committed To


Why Facial Massage is the Skincare Habit I am Committed To



When Meghan Markle told Glamour magazine in 2014 that a facial massage is one of her favorite beauty treatments, it caused many women to become intrigued by skincare in a new way. For me, both facial massage and facial exercises are some of my favorite additions to a skincare regimen because they are low-cost, non-toxic, and can be done from the comfort of your own home.


The history of facial massage therapy comes from Egypt and China where historical records show that gua sha, which means “scrape away illness”, was used as an ancient therapy when people fell sick or unconscious. Gua sha is just one type of facial massage and can be done using a Gua sha tool. Other techniques include acupressure, cupping, and knuckle kneading. Today, facial massage receives rave reviews from beauty experts and social media skincare professionals alike. That is because there are studies to confirm the lengthy list of alleged benefits offered by these techniques.


Some of these include facial massaging using a roller can, in the short-term, increase blood flow to the skin and in the long-term, improve the widening of blood vessels (called vasodilation). This increased blood flow can lead to an improved appearance in the skin. In another small study at Northwestern University it was found that regular facial exercise resulted in fuller upper and lower cheeks. Lead author Dr. Murad Alam declared that facial exercise can “enlarge and strengthen your facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer, more toned and shaped like a younger face.” This is because aging results in decreased skin elasticity and thickness. Firmer muscle under the skin can help make the face look more full and toned.


Fortunately there are many great tutorials by professionals demonstrating how to incorporate facial massage and exercises into your routine. I will share a few facial exercises to help you get started. These exercises are most beneficial when conducted daily or every other day. As always, consult a professional before incorporating new exercise or products into your routine.


Cheek lifter: While smiling, place your fingers on your cheekbones and gently hold the skin taut. While doing so, open your mouth to form an elongated “O” shape. Hold this for 5 seconds and repeat 10 to 15 times. You should feel a resistance in your cheek muscles.


Eyebrow lifter: While smiling, place your three middle fingertips under each of your eyebrows and gently press down to force your eyes open. Create resistance while furrowing your eyebrows downward, against your fingertips. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds. Release, relax, and repeat 3 times.


Full facial massage: This practice can be done by anyone using just their hands. You can perform facial massage while cleansing or applying serums, moisturizers, or oils (such as Gemelle’s Facial Massage Oil). A simple but effective practice is to gently massage the skin in circular motions for five minutes. Start at the center of the face and move outward, from the nose and center of the chin to the ears and brows, to your hairline. Finish by doing the same motion from the jawline down the neck, covering the entirety of the neck. You can change up your facial massage by using a Gua Sha to further promote blood flow and lymphatic drainage, and to relax and tone facial muscles. Whichever practice you choose, consistency is key.


In general, facial massage helps to stimulate circulation and when fresh blood and lymph are delivered to the cells, they provide essential nutrients and oxygen and help to remove waste.