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There comes a point during most facial treatments where you’re lulled into such a blissful state of relaxation that you naturally doze off for a few minutes—but you’re still reaping all the glorious anti aging benefits. Just like the rest of your body, facial muscles require exercise to keep you looking younger (sorry to add to your workout routine!).
Julia Baba, an aesthetician with The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, offers her expert insight on how to maximize the anti aging benefits of your facial treatments by incorporating regular massage into your daily skin care routine (and yes, it’s as good as it sounds).
When the muscles on your face tense up, they are more likely to harbour wrinkles, which is why they need to be massaged out regularly. “All it takes is 1 to 2 minutes per day to relax,” says Baba. However the length of time for a facial massage required depends on your skin type. For oily and acne-prone skin, it’s best to keep it to under 10 minutes. If skin has a normal to dry complexion, no longer than 20 minutes is necessary (too much stimulation can lead to breakouts).
And employ different techniques: try soft tapping and pinching motions—don’t pull at the skin—starting from the inside of the face and working your way out. Always massage in an upward circular motion. “You want to work against gravity so that everything goes up!” says Baba.
Just like how you would massage a tender shoulder or back, your face muscles require the same TLC. Increase blood and oxygen flow to the face by massaging the soft lines around the mouth, eyes and brows.
Start upward, advises Baba. Massage the neck and décolletage area, gently working toward the forehead and tending to the pressure points along the way. Be sure to concentrate on the delicate skin around the eye area with gentle circular motions. And after stepping out of a hot shower, splash cold water against the skin—the contrast also helps to stimulate blood circulation.
It’s a natural facelift
Stimulating the face muscles with regular massage helps to bring oxygen to that area—which is a natural form of anti aging skin care in itself. “More blood flow to the area increases collagen production, which gives a healthy and natural glow to the complexion,” says Baba.
Allows face products to absorb better into the skin
Increase the effectiveness of your facial treatments by incorporating a massage into your at-home skin care routine. “Spend a few minutes with yourself,” says Baba. At night, cleanse skin, and apply your serum and moisturizer with gentle tapping motions. “It helps the product absorb more easily into the skin.”
You’ll look younger!
Depending on the condition of your skin, your age, skin care goals and budget, regular facial treatments—that incorporate some form of muscle stimulation through massage—work in combination with daily skin care to improve the overall appearance of your skin: anywhere from once a month (for normal to dry skin) to every two weeks (for combination or acne-prone skin) is recommended. The Spa’s Anti-Aging Peel facial treatment uses a combination of exfoliation with palm and crystal massage to stimulate blood flow and leave a youthful, glowing complexion.
And isn’t that the point of anti-aging skin care anyway?