TOUCH is powerful. As professional skin therapists, we have a special privilege of using the power of touch through massage. Touch techniques are no secret in our profession, yet there are many people that have yet to experience the transformative power that a skilled face massage can deliver.
Our clients rely on our hands as their main point of reference, and with our guidance they can learn to apply movements on certain facial points as part of their homecare routine. But not all face massages are created equal. There are controversial “face yoga” or alternative facial exercises that claim to tighten and lift, which, if not done properly, may lead to skin stretching or wrinkle formation. This is where our expertise comes in to educate our clients.
The human face itself has over 40 muscles! Many of these are responsible for facial expression and are often tender at times of stress or fatigue; and as we age, the strength and tone of these muscles will slacken. Face massage movements can be effective at firming and toning areas of the face and neck.
Acupressure works great on face muscles by using the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to help relieve headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain and many other ailments. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation and enables the client to relax deeply. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) stimulates the movement of the lymphatic fluids in order to detoxify the body with gentle, rhythmical technique for enhanced activity of the immune system and to assist with pain reduction.
At The International Dermal Institute, we looked at these techniques and created a relaxing, rejuvenating do-it-yourself face massage that incorporates these acupressure and drainage techniques to boost circulation and detoxification, smooth fine lines and alleviate muscle tension. This DIY massage works best when used in conjunction with a therapeutic oil, such as Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Oil, which harnesses the power of phytoactive ingredients like Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Tamanu Oil, Orchid Flower Extract and Chia Seed Oil. The end result? Radiant, energized, healthy, dewy skin.
Share these steps with your clients to try at home and how they benefit the skin.
• EASE FOREHEAD CREASES: Place fingertips together in the middle of the forehead and, with elbows out, press firmly. Glide (fingers together!) with slight pressure toward temples, press and release. Relaxes tension held in the forehead. Repeat 3 times.
• DE-PUFF EYES: Especially great after a long flight, or a long night! Using your index or middle finger, press between brows—the power spot we think of as the “Third Eye”—and stroke over brows, around the eyes, and returning to center. Then use your fingertips to trace an “S” shape between the brows to release tension. Alternate between presses and S’s, repeat 3 times each, for a total of 6 movements.
• SINUS RELIEF: Use your index or middle finger beside each nostril, press, release and slide to the divot or small hollow just under the cheekbone, and press gently. Glide toward ear (each side) and lightly press in the hollow right beside the ear. A bit of tenderness is normal as circulation boosts and detoxification takes place. Repeat 3 times.
• JAW RELAXER: Are you a clencher? Many people actually damage their teeth by grinding or simply clenching, throughout the day and all night along! This can result in massive headache as well as cracked fillings. With flat fingers, beginning in center of chin, move fingers in small circles upward along the jawline. Stop just below the ear, gently press, and lightly move fingers down the neck to help with lymphatic drainage—open your fingers toward the collarbone as you go. Repeat 3 times.
Teach your client these moves on their next visit along with a sample of a botanical-based phyto-replenishing oil to magnify the power of touch. You’ll give their skin a wake-up call that will look and feel fresher, and function better.