Two words: lymphatic drainage. By massaging the face, you circulate blood and lymph, the latter of which contains toxins and cellular waste. Draining the lymph leads to a reduction in fluid accumulation—which can give your face a puffy appearance— and brightens the complexion immediately. “Massage also helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin—which reduce wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes and accelerate skin regeneration—and it has an incredible relaxing effect,” explains Rose Gwet, founder of Luxcey, a line of beauty treatments inspired by her native Cameroon. “This is essential for radiant, healthy skin, regardless of your age,” says Léa Bégin, founder of Beauties Lab in Montreal. “Plus, it makes your skincare products more effective. It’s like breathing life into your face!”
Where to Start
If you’re new to this, Gwet’s advice is to start with a short, simple massage using your hands. “It’s the magic formula for effective massage while integrating it naturally into your skincare routine,” she says. You can work certain areas of your face by massaging with your fingertips or doing small pinches, but Gwet recommends mostly working with flat hands in sweeping movements, as this approach allows you to feel the structure of your face. Bégin launched the Minéra porcelain massage tool, which is made in Quebec, last November. “The porcelain used isn’t porous and is more resistant than gua shas made of quartz or jade, plus it’s thermal conductive,” she says. “And the matte finish ensures a better grip.”
Whichever tool you choose, be sure to cleanse first—Gwet suggests using Luxcey’s Eden Absolute Cleansing Oil. Then apply a serum or oil that’s suitable for your skin type to facilitate the massage. “Sometimes I use a hydrolat spray or tonic lotion before the oil in order to add moisture to the epidermis and increase the plumping effect of the movements,” says Bégin. “If your skin is sensitive or prone to redness or occasional pimples, apply mild pressure,” advises Gwet. “If it’s dry and dull, do a firmer, more vigorous massage.” There are several massage tutorials—for novices and experts alike—on Luxcey’s Instagram page.
Both experts agree that the secret to ensuring the effectiveness of selfcare is to practise it daily. “A massage of one to two minutes in the morning and another of two to three minutes in the evening is more than enough,” says Gwet. Take advantage of the invigorating and decongesting benefits of this simple exercise when you wake up,and use it to relax the jaw and that spot between the eyebrows— two areas where the muscles are often hypercontracted—before bed. To remember to do her routine, Bégin has a trick: “I keep my Minéra gua sha next to my toothbrush,” she says with a laugh.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.