When I was younger, facial massage wasn’t even a blip on my personal radar. ThenI realized that I could see the wrinkles without getting up close and personal with my mirror. It was time for a change in my philosophy of doing nothing. And that meant figuring out what I needed to do.
So let’s talk now. We’ll talk about the benefits of facial massage and we’ll talk about skin. It’s structure, it’s function and how it changes as we age.
The natural followup to that is what kinds of products are the most useful. With the goal being to support a glowing, lovely texture that we can present to the world. That’s an interesting topic though that I’ve covered here .
Your Skin and All Its Layers
Your skin is made up of three layers. They are:
- The outer stratum corneum or the epidermis. It’s a protective layer of fat, oils and aging or dead skin cells that help keep moisture in your body and specifically in your skin. It protects you from infection and from trauma to the living skin cells deeper down. It’s comprised to of about 30% water, which accounts for the suppleness. And the application of moisturizers prevents the evaporation of that important fluid. And just as you don’t want the paint on your car to get cracked or chipped to protect the structure underneath, it’s important to prevent cracks and fissures in your skin. Facial massage helps you do that!
- Below the outer epidermis, there’s another layer called the dermis. This is where you have blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles and oil glands. This is the layer that feeds your epidermis and keeps it healthy looking.
- The bottom layer below the dermis is the sub-cutaneous layer. Here you have sweat glands, more hair follicles, blood vessels and fat.
Each layer contains connective tissue that give it support. They are the collagen and elastin fibres that provide flexibility and strength.
Changes in Your Aging Skin
As we age, there are a lot of changes that happen to our skin that impact not only our looks but also our health in extreme situations. I’ve listed some of those changes and if you can’t see any of them yet in yourself, I’m sure that you’ll remember an old aunt or uncle to whom many of these apply.
- The outer layer gets thinner and your skin looks more translucent. This means the blood veins below the surface become visible. You may develop dark shadows beneath your eyes where you never had them before. That’s suddenly become a noticeable issue for me by the way. Remember my post where I was complaining about my ‘hungry, desperate racoon look’?
- Pigmented cells decrease in number and the remaining ones become more stretched out. What you’re left with are various kinds of age spots that begin to show up. And even those darker areas will look translucent.
- Connective tissue changes occur. They begin to clump together but are more brittle so those bonds break easier, thus allowing your skin to sag. And if you’ve been someone who spent a lot of time outdoors, your skin might have a stiffer, almost leathery look.
- Blood vessels become thinner also, meaning they’re more fragile so you’ll bruise easier. Therefore you need to go lightly.
- Skin becomes drier and less oily, so it’s not uncommon to feel itchy frequently.
- The subcutaneous fat layer thins also, which means less padding and insulation. You get cold easier and it’s easier to injure your skin. That’s why seniors who are chair bound or bed ridden frequently get pressure sores and invariably are cranking up the heat in their apartment!
- This one was new to me and I’ll bet you never thought much of this either! If you are taking any sort of medications or a vitamin that is fat soluble, the thinning fat layer means you won’t absorb them as well. Obviously then, the benefit of them will change. Thus your doctor needs to check your levels of those sorts of medicines as you get older.
- Sweat glands begin to sweat less, so you can overheat more easily.
- Healing slows down as you get older.
Dangers To Your Skin!
Aging, sun exposure, smoking, nutrient deficiencies and the expected drop in your estrogen levels all have an impact. While some things can’t be undone, you can be proactive going forward. I’ve talked about the different effects of two types of really useful products in another post but for today let’s just focus on the way to apply those wonderful products shall we!
Why Massage Your Face and How to Do It.
So how do you perform facial massage to support your skin health? Massaging your face 3 minutes a day after you’ve cleansed it, improves circulation which in turn brings nutrients to your skin and helps to flush toxins and cellular debris. It also helps remove dead skin cells believe it or not. Some types of creams help to soften the bonds that hold those cells together so that when you exfoliate, it’s easier to get rid of the old to make way for the new!
While I love the feeling of a good vigorous facial massage, I’ve actually made adjustments in how I work my creams or lotions in. I’ve lightened up a lot on the touch. And where the skin is especially delicate like around my eyes and where there are areas threatening to turn to wrinkle city, I’ve adopted a different approach.
In a regular body massage, a process called percussion or tapatoment is often used. It’s purpose is to increase blood circulation and to help tone muscle and can be rather aggressive. The reason that I’ve started using this method instead of rubbing on my face, is because of the structural changes that occur. The collagen and elastin fibres under the surface are becoming more brittle. Your skin is also thinning. Thinking of it logically, if gravity has the potential to stretch my face skin and create wrinkles, then how much more can the daily stretching that happens if I’m rubbing and pulling on my skin when I give myself a facial massage?
So instead, I gently tap with my fingertips. That way the skin isn’t stretching even while fresh, nutrient filled blood is being drawn into the area more energetically. It basically works the same way as giving your cheeks a little pinch when you don’t have time to pull out your blusher but still want to enhance a rosy look in that moment.
Method for Facial Massage, Step 1
With my hair pinned back, an application of a moisturizing cream is first on my forehead. Being very careful not to stretch the skin, I usually focus some attention to the wrinkled areas, putting a little more pressure there and particularly at the bridge of my nose. Remember to always do your strokes with the wrinkle lines rather than against. You don’t want to be accidentally wrinkling that skin more than it already is. Percussion or tapping isn’t really appropriate here because the bone is just under the surface throughout.
Facial Massage Step 2
Moving down your face and starting at the inner corner of the eyes and my nose, smooth your cream on very gently a couple times, moving outward to the ear and then down along the jaw bone. This also follows the locations of some of the lymphatic glands in the face. When everything has a nice even application, I do the tapping thing very gently at the fleshy areas and always outwards, from your eyes, to just in front of your ears and down the jaw.
Facial Massage Step 3
The next area you’re going to address will be under your nose and around your mouth. Apply your cream evenly, then begin your gentle tapping with the fingertips of both your hands. Start just under your nose and move outward, across the bottom of your cheeks and to the corners of your jawbone and down into your neck just a bit.
The last area to address is under your bottom lip. Starting at the centre, move outwards to the corner of the jaw bone again. End by stroking lightly into the upper neck area.
Facial Massage Step 4
Finally you’ll finish off by generously applying moisturizer to your neck and then with both hands, begin sweeping the cream repeatedly up from the collar bones to your jaw. Always work up because again, you’re trying to prevent your skin from sagging and slumping and giving you that dreaded ‘old lady neck’! So work it up ladies, work it up!
I hope this has given you some new ideas on how to take care of your face and a new commitment to pamper yourself daily with a little, quick facial massage. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d sure love to chat with you so take a moment and share please!
Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!
While I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on my own health, I’m not a medical doctor. What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports and whose reports I’ve read.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.
You should check with your doctor when you change anything that affects your health status. This would include changes to exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.