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How to facial massage taught by an actual facialist


As the likes of face yoga and facial exercises become commonplace as part of a facial in many beauty salons, it no longer falls to beauty products alone to keep up the condition of your skin. But we don’t all have the time or cash to regularly get a full treatment, so we thought we’d ask an actual facialist what we can be doing at home to ensure our skin’s getting a good old workout.

Our go-to for all things holistic beauty is Katie White, a skincare specialist who gives the best facial we’ve ever had. This is what Katie has to say about the work she does:

I’m a skincare specialist and my technique involves working from the inside out to improve my client’s skin health. Each client receives an entirely bespoke experience with nutritional advice and product recommendations tailored to them. 
You can typically find me at East London’s coolest studio, The Refinery, making my clients’ skin glow.

Sounds great right? Well luckily for you, Katie agreed to give us the lowdown on how to incorporate the facial experience into your everyday serum application (talk about killing two birds with one stone) and get that post-facial glow, without the actual facial. Read on for her neck-forehead tips (as demonstrated by CBCo’s very own Dominika)…

During a full 60-minute facial, a therapist will usually spend around 15 minutes on facial massage, employing a variety of techniques to stimulate blood flow, and therefore oxygen and nutrients, to the skin to give it that post-facial glow.

Lymphatic drainage, toning strokes, acupressure and facial reflexology can stimulate cell regeneration and collagen and elastin production, which is great for skin repair, wound healing and slowing down the signs of aging.  
Just as a side note here – if you are leaving a facial with red and irritated skin that takes days to recover, the therapist has been too harsh and is stressing the skin. This will most likely lead to excess sebum production and breakouts and could lead to more permanent damage, such as open pores and broken capillaries.

How to perform a facial massage

To begin, put a few drops of serum onto your palm, gently warm between hands, press serum evenly all over your face and neck. Start from the bottom and work upwards: 

 – Using long, generous strokes massage serum from the bottom of the neck, upwards towards the jaw – the neck is often forgotten, so can be prone to ageing. This motion works in the serum keeping skin strong and hydrated. It also tones skin, keeping it tight and youthful. 

JAW – 
Using your first and second fingers, apply medium pressure and stroke from the chin, along the jawline up towards the ears. This motion moves lymphatic fluid towards the lymph nodes to be drained away, which reduces any puffiness around the jaw. 
Here you can also massage the sides of the jaw in a circular motion and wiggle the jaw around a bit to loosen it up – we tend to carry a lot of hidden tension in this area. 

Working on one cheek at a time, use the length of all four fingers and stroke upwards in a crisscross motion, toning upwards, working with the structure of the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres.

EYES – Working from the inside out, take your ring fingers and press under you eyes, release, move along slightly and repeat, all the way from under your tear duct to the outer edges of your eyes, then drain to your ears. Be mindful not to drag or pull the delicate skin under the eye as this could result in skin losing elasticity and ageing prematurely. This reduces puffiness by moving along any trapped fluid and stimulates blood flow to improve the appearance of dark circles.

FOREHEAD – Using all four fingers on both hands, stroke up the length of the nose and brow towards the hairline. Apply a bit of pressure here, as if you are ironing out those furrows and creases between your eyebrows. 
Using the same motion, move from side to side, stroking upwards along the whole brow. 
Take your first and second finger and make a circle around your third eye in the middle of your forehead. 
Using the first and second finger of both hands, make little circles or crisscrossing motions along the whole brow. Then using the same fingers, move them to your temples and give yourself a deep and slow temple massage.

Repeat all of these movements for as long as it feels good, making sure that you are taking this time for yourself. If you do find any little sore spots or areas of tension anywhere in your face, neck, jaw or head really take this time to give those areas the attention they need.

– Dominika Minarovic

For more tips and information on Katie’s treatments you can check out the Re:Lax LDN website and her Instagram Account @relaxldn