The famously beautiful skin of Japanese women can be attributed to a careful skincare routine – day by day. Besides the basics like double cleansing and double moisturizing, many Japanese women do facial massage at home. Facial massage may sound like a luxury, an expensive delight experienced at a day spa or esthetic salon. Yet there are also self-massage techniques that can be simply performed at home.
A regular skincare routine with gentle massage has been proven to improve the complexion, refine the texture of the skin, and purge the skin of excess horny matter. These benefits can only be attained, however, if the massage is performed in a certain way. Best results are achieved when attention is paid to the right amount of pressure from the fingertips and the various muscles.
Here you can learn how to perform a facial massage at home.
The effects of massage
Massage stimulates the blood vessels and improves the blood circulation. These effects help to maintain healthy and beautiful skin.
About thirty muscles are linked together beneath the skin of the face and head. Many of these muscles are used for eating and composing facial expressions. The muscles of the body are subject to repetitive movements (expansions and contractions) that deplete the muscles of energy and lead to an accumulation of waste products. Massage encourages the circulation of blood and helps to improve both the firmness and resilience of the skin.
Basics massage techniques
The direction of massage motions
Massage should be conducted in harmony with the natural flow of the muscles. Correct motions improve the benefits of massage.
The pressure applied in a massage should be adjusted to a level that feels pleasant. For best effects, modulate the pressure according to the changing skin conditions in different parts of the face. The delicate skin around the eyes, for example, requires less pressure than other parts of the face. More pressure is required for cheeks and facial contours.
The massage speed
To improve blood circulation, the motions of the fingers should be ideally in sync with the pulse.
When to avoid massage
Avoid massage under the following conditions:
- When you feel physically exhausted
- When your skin is inflamed after UV exposure
- On parts of the skin with acne or boils (especially when inflamed or suppurating).
- When you have a fever
- When you have skin rashes
- In areas with cuts, wounds, etc.
How to perform the massage
Use a massage cream
A massage cream facilitates the massage motions and prevents skin rubbing.
There is no need to massage your face every day. The frequency of your facial massage should be agreeable to your skin. Begin with massages twice a week. If your skin gets too dry or begins to peel, try massaging less often. Try to find the ideal pace for your skin by massaging more gently or spacing more time between massages.
Basic massage step-by-step
This basic massage is simple and easy to master. Massage with gentle motions smoothly and thoroughly from the forehead down to the bottom of the neck. After completing steps 1 to 7, repeat the steps in areas with potential skin concerns.
After cleansing the face, gently towel off any water remaining on the skin. Take a small portion of massage cream (about 3g or 2.5 cm in diameter), warm it between the palms of both hands, and massage it onto the face.
- Cup your whole face with the palms of your hands to apply the cream.
- Massage in a spiral motion from the center of the face outwards towards the temples.
- To massage the upper eyelids, slide the fingers outwards from the bridge of the nose. For the lower eyelids, slide the fingers outwards in an arc as if ironing out the fine lines at the corners of the eyes. Finish by sliding down towards the sides of the cheeks.
Point: Be gentle in this delicate area of the face!
- Slide fingers down along the bridge of the nose, then move the fingers carefully up and down along the nostrils. Around the mouth, massage above and below the lips in turn, sliding the fingers from the center outwards.
- For the cheeks, move in a spiral direction from the jawline up to the temples.
- Cup your whole face in both hands and slide your hands outward towards the bottoms of the ears.
- Stroke the nape of the neck downwards towards the chest.
After the massage, wipe off the cream with a tissue or rinse it off with lukewarm water.