Rub It In (Benefits of Facial Massage)

Y’all…I had such a hard time thinking of a witty title for this post that wasn’t so wildly inappropriate that I couldn’t share it anywhere. I originally titled it, “Why You Should Rub It Out”, and then “Good Touches vs. Bad Touches”. My husband found them all hilarious, but I settled for something a bit more tame.


Today I’m talking about facial massage. This is one of those things that sound totally asinine until you study the benefits of it. I was hesitant to learn facial massage because we all know that pulling and tugging on your skin leads to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. But, when done correctly (this is where the good touches vs. bad touches title came in), it can actually reduce those signs as well as provide other great benefits. Here are a few of them:


So, as you can see, facial massage has hella benefits. And it’s pretty easy to do yourself, once you know what you’re doing. Before I get into techniques, let’s go over the different types of facial massage (there’s a few):

  • Swedish massage: This is massage at its most classical form. Chances are, whatever motions you envision when you think “massage”, it’s Swedish.
  • Acupressure: This oriental technique applies pressure to specific points of the body to release muscle tension, restore balance, and stimulate chi (life force; energy).
  • Shiatsu: No, this isn’t a breed of dog. It’s a Japanese take on acupressure, which is a bit more intensive and involves more points.
  • Pressure point: Another form of acupressure, the movement in each area is repeated 3-6 times. This form of massage requires necessary training in order to do it correctly.
  • Aromatherapy: This is a form of massage where essential oils are used based on their effect (lavender for relaxing, peppermint for pain relief, etc). The great thing about using essential oil in massage is that not only does it provide aromatherapy benefits, it provides skin benefits as well, depending on the oil used.
  • Manual Lymph Drainage: I had never heard of this form before going to school. It’s actually really cool, and a lot less icky than it sounds. It uses gentle, rhythmic pressure on the lymphatic system to detoxify and remove waste from the body more quickly. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO AVOID ANY MASSAGE OF ANY KIND IF YOU’VE GOT ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM FOR THIS REASON! It’s also excellent for reducing swelling and therefore is great for pre- and post-op care.

For self-massage, you’ll likely be using a combination of Swedish massage, acupressure, and aromatherapy.

Really quickly, I’d like to go over a few precautions:


Keep everything lubed up and you should be good to go 😉

It’s All In the Technique

I would absolutely love to tell you all how to do facial massage the way I learned in school, but I’m pretty sure I’d get in trouble with Aveda. SO! I found a few images that are very, very close to what I know. The best way to perform facial massage is when you’re cleansing and applying moisturizer. If you use these techniques to apply product, it’ll become part of your routine and you won’t even think about it anymore! Use very gentle movements, and remember to NEVER pull or drag down on your face.



The movements here are fairly straightforward, knowing that you shouldn’t move downwards on the face. But if you need further instruction, the site I used for the above images provides excellent instruction. You can also watch this video, which provides a more in-depth explanation of the muscles you’re working on as well as technique.

For something quick and dirty, try this:

  1. When applying your cleanser, work it in in quick, gentle circles moving up your face. DON’T TUG!
  2. Use that same circular motion across your forehead and VERY, VERY lightly under the eyes, to encourage drainage (read: ease up the dark circles and bags).
  3. When you go to apply moisturizer, use a light roll and pat method, once again, working up the face instead of pulling down.

Have you ever had your face massaged before? Do you think a little facial massage would do you some good, and will you be incorporating it into your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below!


First image:

Second image:

Third image:

Fourth image:


Milady Esthetics Fundamentals textbook)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: