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 • Skincare  • Skincare Guides  • Why the Experts Say a Five Minute Face Massage Could Transform Your Skin

Why the Experts Say a Five Minute Face Massage Could Transform Your Skin

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Image – Katarinaradovic/Stocksy

Massages are hideous, said no person ever. No wonder it’s seen as a real treat to save up and book in for one at your favourite salon or spa. 

All that kneading and muscle-relaxing is good for the mind, body and soul, not to mention a huge booster for the skin. And I can almost guarantee that most people leave the salon thinking “I really should do that more often.”

So why don’t you? Ah yes. Because of those two unavoidable yet rather important factors – time and money. 

Let’s face it, a professional massage isn’t exactly on the urgent list, not when there are more demanding life-adminy things to be getting on with. And it’s not cheap either. 

But, and bear with me a minute, have you ever considered doing your own salon-quality face massage?

Because even though it can sometimes feel like it’s adding unnecessary time to my skincare routine, adding in a short massage when I cleanse or apply my moisturiser is one of the beauty tips that’s definitely made a big difference to my skin since I started doing it a few years ago.

From depuffing to adding a gentle glow, I’m a firm face massage convert; and I definitely notice when I miss a few days.

But how do you try it yourself?

Here, I speak to Suzanne Becks, an expert in aromatherapy, facials, massage and holistic treatments, and aesthecian and beauty expert Ian Michael Crumm about their thoughts on the benefits of face massage, and how we can become our very own beauty therapist.


What is face massage?

Face massage involves, “a combination of gentle stroking, pressure points, pinching and kneading movements,” explains Becks

(Although if tools are more your thing, try a Gua Sha or facial roller. These help you to apply the right pressure and they fit nicely around the contours of your face for top notch face massaging.)

During massage, products are pressed gently into the skin, for longer than what can sometimes turn into a quick slap dash post-morning shower. 


Image – Ohlamourstudio/Stocksy


What are the benefits?

Becks says, “[facial massage] can encourage blood and oxygen flow giving clearer skin, collagen production to help combat lines and wrinkles and lymph fluid drainage to detoxify the skin, targeting puffiness and inflammation,” Becks says. 

“Additionally, facial massage can relax facial muscles, potentially reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” adds Crumm

According to The Mayo Clinic, massage is so effective it can even help the immune system and reduce pain too, including headaches. “Massage is part of integrative medicine,” it says. “Medical centres often offer it with standard treatment. It can be used for a wide range of medical conditions.”

It should be noted that there can be disadvantages to facial massage if you go in all guns blazing without doing the proper research. For example, if you are too vigorous it could lead to bruising, and stretching the skin incorrectly might cause it to be injured or inflamed. 

And, I’ll be honest, it can hurt if you knead too hard, especially if you massaged your skin the day before.

“It’s essential to perform face massage gently and with clean hands to avoid damaging the skin,” confirms Crumm.


How to give yourself a five-minute facial

Here is Becks’ step-by-step guide to a simple, home facial massage. You’ll want to start by using clean hands and applying your favourite facial oil or moisturiser to the face.

Stand in front of a mirror and, “always work from the middle of the face upwards and outwards toward the lymph nodes around the neck and ears, but downwards on the neck,” Becks begins.

  • Step 1: “Using closed fingers, make a circular motion with pressure points, starting at the forehead centre, ending at the temples.” 
  • Step 2: “Press and glide your ring fingers up under your brow bone. Then move from the inner to the outer corner, [applying] pressure and slide as you go, then do the same movement gently underneath your eyes to alleviate puffiness.”
  • Step 3: “Using your thumb and first finger, start at the outer corners of your eyebrows. Gently pinch your eyebrows as you move to the inner corner, [and] smooth back out to help unfurl the brow.”
  • Step 4: “Use your index fingers to press and glide under your cheekbones. Start at the side of your nose and move toward your temples, to drain and relieve blocked sinuses.”
  • Step 5: “Knead into your jaw using [your] thumb & index fingers as you move from the middle of your chin toward your ears to ease tension in this area.”
  • Step 6: “Use the palms to smooth and relax your neck, starting from the top, moving downward.”


How often should you be doing it?

“Unless there are any skin issues, there’s no problem in doing a short facial massage every day as it stimulates blood flow,” says Becks. “I prefer a short version in the morning during a cleanse and a longer, more soothing massage in the evening with products,”

Or, make a rule to spend a little extra time applying your daily skincare products, massaging them into your skin slowly. Then treat yourself to Becks’ above step-by-step frequently. “2-3 times per week is ideal,” she says.


Our favourite face oils

Image – Revolution

A face massage is double the luxury when you’ve got a decent face oil on your side. Here are our top oil picks.

  • ESPA Tri-Active Regenerating Nourishing Facial Oil (£75 from ESPA UK /$159 from Look Fantastic US) isn’t cheap but its rejuvenating, skin-smoothing, antioxidant formula makes it worth every penny.
  • Revolution X Sali Hughes Face Blanket Facial Oil (£15 from Boots UK /$16 from Look Fantastic US) on the other hand is (much) more affordable and just that – a warming, cosy blanket for the skin.


The takeaway

Face massage enhances the efficiency of products, relaxes the muscles, boosts collagen, stimulates blood flow and prevents lines and wrinkles. It is even used in some medical practices too. 

Who knew a bit of DIY kneading and gentle pinching could be so good for us? It saves us a few bob on salon appointments too.

Like most things, it has its downsides. But as we’ve discovered, face massage forms a part of skincare. 

So, swot up on Becks’ five-minute facial, introducing it 2-3 times a week. In between, start to be more aware of how you apply your daily skincare products so that you’re less slap and dash, more massage and relax.

And most of all, enjoy the feeling of being in the comfort of home, knowing you’re giving your skin the star treatment.


Meet the experts

Suzanne Becks is a practitioner, teacher and former salon owner specialising in aromatherapy, massage, facials and holistic treatments. She has worked in the holistic beauty industry for more than 35 years and is based in Kent in the UK.


Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetican and beauty expert as well as co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast with Dr. Elyse Love. He is known for his passion for skincare and sun safety, is actively involved in philanthropic efforts to promote skin cancer awareness and believes that #ProtectedSkinWins.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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