Our next tip is from Jessica McDonald, a professional facialist, specialist in oriental facial massage techniques and facial lymphatic drainage, and beauty blogger. She is “also a complete skin care obsessive with a passion for nurturing beauty from the inside out”. Jessica claims to “have a particular weak spot for aromatherapy products and oils, and adores natural skin care”.
There are few things I find as satisfying as that fresh glow you get after a good facial. The blood is pumping and your face just feels more alive. Your face looks flushed and rejuvenated, and you feel completely tension free. It is no wonder that facials are one of the most popular salon treatments when they make us feel and look so good, and that we are buying more products from spa brands than ever before. But I often hear people comment that the products used in salon facials never seem to work as well for them when used at home. That is due to technique. A good facial is half down to good products, and half due to good technique. The way we apply products greatly influences the results we get from them. Whilst there is no substitute for the luxury of having someone else work on your face for an hour, we can greatly improve the results we get from our face oils and creams at home by using simple face massage techniques to apply them. Just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference over time, and helps to ensure that all of the active ingredients in our beautiful creams and oils are getting deep into the skin. I massage my face every night both when I apply my balm cleanser, and when I apply my facial oil. It is incredibly easy, and these simple movements can be done as much or as little as you like, to help you to target any particular areas of concern. Our face is supported by a complex layer of muscles under the surface which allow us to make expressions. As we age, those muscles lose tension and our face will sag and lose definition. We need to use a nice medium firm pressure to reach those muscles and wake them up. When applying face cream or oil, don’t wipe it onto skin, massage it in with upward sweeping motions that move your face and make you look ridiculous in the mirror. Imagine that your face is made of nice soft clay. You aim is to sculpt and smooth it into what you want.
The majority of us carry most of our facial tension in our jaw. Carrying too much tension in one area puts our face out of balance and will prevent our muscles from holding our face properly. Too much tension in the face can also cause headaches and neck pains. A good facial massage will release all of that tension and make you feel blissed out as well as look more beautiful.
To release tension in your jaw, start at your chin with both of your thumbs under the chin and three fingers on each side of the chin, meeting in the middle. The little finger should be free. Use small circular motions with a medium pressure to work the chin. Then, slide thumbs slowly up the jaw line, working the circular motions along the jaw with your fingers as you go. You should be pressing fingers into jaw so that you are lightly pinching the face. It should not feel unpleasant in any way, but you should be holding the flesh between your fingers and you should feel the jaw bone with your thumb. When you get to the top of your jaw, place your index and middle finger behind the jaw, just under the ear. Press in gently and make tiny circular movements with your fingertips. It should feel hard. This little cavity below your ears is a pressure point. Working it gently will help you to relieve tension in your face.
Lines and creases around the mouth are something which age us significantly. You can work on these by placing your thumbs at the corners of your nostrils and bringing them down to the corners of the mouth. This helps to stimulate muscles supporting the mouth. At the corners, apply some firm but comfortable pressure and make tiny circle movements. Next, put both of your thumbs under your bottom lip and your index fingers above your top lip. Apply some pressure and pull out to the corners of the mouth. You should look like you are doing a trout pout impression while you are doing this, but it is really good for toning up around the mouth.
The zygomatic bone is your cheek bone, and face massage can help to make it far more pronounced, making the face appear more toned and youthful. Working the zygomatic is key to good face massage and essential to good face structure. The layers of muscle which support the cheek run in an upward diagonal line from the corner of the mouth and nose, to your ear. When you are massaging your cheeks, imagine that they are made from soft clay, and that you are smoothing and pushing them in this upward direction with either the palm of your hand, or your fingers flat together. Firm smoothing from the corners of the mouth and nose to ear. You know you are doing this right if your cheeks get lifted and squidged up to your eyes. Work this area further by putting your fingers together on your cheek, under the bone, and gently pushing up.
To improve lymph drainage and get rid of puffiness under eyes, use the fleshy part of your palm, just under the thumb to trace along the bone under your eye socket from the inner corner to the outer. You know you are using the correct amount of pressure if you have flushed cheeks after a few strokes. Placing your thumb under the inner corner of your eyebrow and your index finger above, apply a light pinching pressure to the brow, and slide thumb and finger outwards, along the bone to the outer corner of the eye.
To release tension in our foreheads and fight frown lines, put both middle and index finger together, and just slide across slightly from the outer corner of the eyes to the temples. Apply comfortable pressure and make tiny circles there. This pressure point releases tension in both head and jaw, and is often where those who suffer frequent headaches carry a lot of tension. To increase the flow of blood and lymph to the forehead, and to warm up the muscles there, try putting your fingers together and making brisk upward strokes with both hands all over your forehead. Then, put both of your thumbs together side by side, and place them in the middle of your forehead with the nail side touching the skin. With a firm pressure, slowly pull your thumbs apart across your forehead to your temples. This is a wonderful smoothing movement, and good for tension release, so relaxing too.