My favourite part of the Face Yoga training was learning the practice of facial massage. This beautiful ritual has become an essential part of my evening skin care routine. Since adding a short (5-10 minute) facial massage each evening my skin has been rosier, plumper and I’ve had more love and appreciation for my skin. It is amazing to me that the simple practice of gently massaging and using the gua sha has turned into an amazing self-care practice. Instead of looking in the mirror and focusing on my perceived flaws, I enjoy the calming practice of touch and the lovely scent of the oil.
The Benefits of Face Massage
Taking the time to gently massage your face and neck, using finger tips or tools like a roller or gua sha can help to:
- Increase circulation (think rosier skin!)
- Assist in lymphatic drainage
- Reduce puffiness
- Relieve tension, especially in the jaw and forehead muscles
- Calm the body and mind
What you need:
I like to begin the massage with freshly cleansed skin and a mist of rose water (I love the rose mist from Saje). You will need an oil or serum that allows your fingers (or tool) to glide over the skin surface and avoid dragging or pulling. I love mixing my own oil using rose & neroli essential oil in a base of coconut, argan and prickly pear seed carrier oils.
Fingertips are great but you can also invest in a face roller or gua sha to use. You can find these tools in various materials such as rose quartz and jade. Crystals can have different qualities; rose quartz is associated with a love, for example, whereas jade is said to have calming properties. You can find gua sha tools in various shapes but my current favourite is definitely the heart shaped tool from Mount Lai…it fits perfectly along the cheekbones and jaw. I have no affiliation but it’s one of the best that I’ve found!
How to do it
There are many techniques for doing facial massage and, of course, different opinions on how it should be done. I learned from Annelise Hagen’s excellent Yoga Face training and from doing reading many books & articles on facial massage. Ultimately, I feel facial massage can be a very intuitive practice where you apply techniques and really find what feels good for your own face!
This video will give you some of the basics:
The Value of Self-Care
We have often been taught to avoid touching our faces which, in reality, seems quite unnatural. The muscles in our face accumulate tension and stress just like the muscles in our bodies. By gently massaging the face with a beautiful oil, we are physically releasing the stress and emotionally providing ourselves with a loving and caring touch.
As bell hooks writes in the above quote, the best way to give practice self-love is by giving ourselves the love we dream about receiving from others. A gentle caress on the cheek…a massage at the back of the neck after a tired day…these things cost only time and it is time well spent. 💗