Expert Advice: Facial Massage Techniques

There is almost nothing more healing than the power of touch. If you’re a fan of massage, reiki, cranial sacral or any type of touched-based therapy, you know what I’m talking about.

There’s something about the laying on of hands that gives our mind and body permission to relax, let go and surrender into healing mode. For most of us, we equate this work primarily with our torso and extremities….back, arms, legs, hands and feet. Sadly, we oftentimes make the mistake of ignoring all the real estate above the shoulders. That said, I can promise you, your face wants and needs to be touched! Our face muscles work just as hard as the other muscles in our body.

Without realizing it, most of us tend to carry a good deal of tension and stress in our face, which can lead to the creation of wrinkles and stuck energy.  My favorite part of a facial is the facial massage. This is my time to fully engage with my client and her skin, activating and providing all the healing benefits of massage.


Facial massage techniques recommended by a holistic aesthetician.  Apoterra Skincare blog



Below is a list of the ways massage can support your skin. And don’t worry, these benefits aren’t relegated to a spa visit.  The best part about facial massage is it is something you can do at home, every day. I highly encourage it!

Increases Microcirculation

When we massage the muscles and fines lines on our face, the deep, circular motions help to increase fresh blood and oxygen flow to the skin and cells, helping to feed and support regeneration and healing.

Natural Facelift

Much like the benefits of using microcurrent, massaging your face and muscles in the proper direction can help strengthen and lift, keeping the skin looking fresher and more toned. The movement of massage also helps to stimulate collagen production, the protein responsible for keeping our connective tissue strong and buoyant.

Increases Product Absorption

One of the best ways to ensure that our products are absorbed readily, is to massage them well into the skin. The creation of heat through massage movement helps to create a topical environment that is ready and able to absorb product. This is especially true when using oils.

Toxin Removal

When incorporating a few simple lymphatic drainage techniques into your massage routine, you help the body and cells to release and remove toxins that can build up over time. Once removed, there is more room for healthy nutrients to flow in and nourish the skin. What results is a healthy glow.

Power to Heal

In Ayurveda, the face has specific marma points, or energy centers, that when activated through massage signal the body to heal. Including the stimulation of marma points in your facial massage helps to increase energy flow. And where energy flows, life flourishes.

 facial massage techniques recommended by a holistic aesthetician on Apoterra Skincare's blog

Ready to try an at-home facial massage?  This is how I incorporate facial massage into my nightly routine.


Set Up


Since I use oil to moisturize, I use my moisturizing step as my opportunity to massage my face. As I mentioned above, massaging helps to increase product absorption so I’m ensuring my oil is absorbed well while providing my skin with all the other benefits of the massage and I’m saving time. Win-win. If you prefer you can massage in-between the cleansing and moisturizing stages of your night-time routine.

The two things you will need to begin your massage are your hands and a good oil. (I always recommend blending oil with a mist when moisturizing.) I like facial oils due to their easy slip and infusion of skin-healing herbs like chamomile, calendula and comfrey.




The Massage


With dry hands and dry skin, take a dropper full of oil into the palm of your hand. Gently rub your palms together to create a little heat.


Starting with the neck, use gentle yet firm, upward motion strokes. Pay special attention to the area just under the chin, repeating strokes there for up to a count of twenty.


Moving to your face, use circular motions, starting from the inside of the face to the outside and always moving in an upward fashion. Begin at the center of your chin and massage outwards to your ears.


Next move to the corners of your mouth and continuing in circular motions move under your zygomatic arch towards your ears.


Then start at the corners of your nostrils and repeat.  Move incrementally up the face until you reach the undereye area.  Return to your chin and repeat a few times.


Once complete, return to the undereye area and using your index fingers, start at the inside of your eyebrows and move towards the outer corners, massaging in gentle circles around the eye. Repeat this a number of times.


 Next, transition to your forehead. Here I like to use the tips of all my fingers simultaneously. Starting at the center of the forehead with your palms facing downward, make small circular motions with your fingertips as you move from the center outward down to your temples. Repeat as many times as you like. (You can also change the circular motions to gentle dragging motions across the forehead).


 When complete, place both palms of your hands on your face and very gently drag them down your face and side of your neck to your collarbone. Repeat a few times.


Then place your fingertips just behind your earlobe and gently drag down your neck to your collarbone and drag outwards towards your shoulders.


 At this point, return to your face and gently tap all over with the tips of your fingertips. Be sure to include your cheeks, sinuses, temples and forehead.


 Lastly, with your index and middle fingers, massage in circular motions these areas for 30-60 seconds each: corner of mouth, outer nostrils, temples and finish with your third eye.


It will take a little time to become comfortable with this routine. Give yourself a full week of daily practice and your hands will begin to feel at ease and will flow naturally. At home facial massage, besides giving you physiological benefits, is also a gift to yourself. In our busy lives, the rewards of daily gifts of self love cannot be underestimated. So go on, give it a try. You are so worth it!


by Melanie Herring

Holistic Aesthetician


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