Say Yes To The Face Massage

By Minji

  • A face massage, different from a regular facial, can boost circulation and do wonders for your skin
  • It focuses on fascia and your lymph system to boost circulation and glow
  • Join our newsletter for free access to other exclusive skincare tips - be in the know and spark a glow!

Maybe I’m dating myself, but do you all know who Bob Hope is?  Well, in case you don’t, he was a famous stand-up comedian and there’s an airport named after him.  So many things to say about this guy, but the reason I bring him up is for his love of massage.  Despite a stressful life in Hollywood that included tons of travel (he was famous for his USO tours where he entertained troops all over the world), he lived to be 100 years old.  He is known to have identified good circulation as the key to his longevity.  Rumor is, he had a traveling masseuse with him and got a massage every day (yup, every single day) for 63 years – that’s 22,995 massages in total.

I share Bob’s love of massages, especially in the context of your face and skincare.  Have you ever tried a face massage?  A face massage is different from a typical spa facial in that the esthetician will actively massage and stimulate your face to boost circulation and smooth out facial muscles. 

Face massages seem to be trending lately in the U.S. due to famous celebrities like Meghan Markle and Cate Blanchett popularizing them.  In Seoul, facial massages have been huge for decades (probably even centuries!) and Korean estheticians will typically massage your face even during regular facials for 5-15 minutes. 

The massage pressure can range from lightweight strokes to intense deep tissue motions.  Koreans prefer something on the intense side (read more about Susie’s direct experience here).  This is also different from the facial “workouts” that are gaining traction these days.  I think it’s important to understand the difference between a face massage versus a workout.  I’m actually not a big fan of actively working out your face and I talk more about that here.   

Facial massages have been shown to improve circulation greatly and smooth facial muscles.  Some people say this can help lift sagging or drooping facial contours.  In addition, the improved circulation can assist in evening out skin tone and boosting texture to give you that extra glow.  If you can’t take my word for it, just try one and compare your before and after face.  Assuming you went to the right place, the difference should be immediately visible to you.     

There are two main points that should be the focus of a solid face massage - fascia and your lymph system.  The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that is responsible for detoxifying waste and other unwanted materials from our skin and body. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to circulate lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.  If our lymphatic system is not circulating and draining properly, this can show up on our skin as a blah complexion, in addition to other skin issues.

Fascia is the layer of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin on your face.  It stabilizes, encloses and separates the muscles in your face and gives your skin its lift and tone.  Tension and stress can weigh fascia down which also gets in the way of good circulation.  If you’ve ever tried using a foam roller on tired or tight legs, think of how much better and more relaxed your leg feels after rolling.  A proper face massage focused on fascia can do this for the face.

I go to a face massage place at least once a month. In addition, I do a mini self-massage almost daily as part of my night time ritual.  There are many tools and methods out there, but my personal favorite is the gua sha massage.  By making this a habit, in as little as 2-3 minutes, you should be able to catch that extra glow. More to come on this in further posts, stay tuned by joining our newsletter today!