Over the last several months, as we have had more time at home, we have all taken on new hobbies in quarantine. Maybe you started scrapbooking, knitting, gaming, cooking? There are endless options, but I am curious how many of you happened to stumble upon the same new hobby I did – face massage? Here’s how it all happened…
When I was in Los Angeles in January I went for a walk near my hotel, along Sunset Boulevard. I passed a new business called Face Gym, where I could see all these people getting their faces poked and prodded (or so it seemed). I of course went back to my hotel room and found them on Instagram because I was curious what exactly they did. Well, it turns out they tone and tighten your face. Who knew our faces could use a gym regime just like our bodies? Not me, until that day at least. So Face Gym became my new Insta friend, occasionally popping up, but not really drawing me in, since back in Chicago I had no access to one of their stores. Well, come March and the shut-down heard round the world, no one had access to get their face into any gym. The company started posting tips and exercises for the face on Instagram and I started to take notice. Through short tutorials and incredible before and after pictures, I was hooked. They offered free weekly online sessions (aka Instagram Lives) and I was in attendance, notebook in hand each week. I was quickly obsessed with how beneficial this was, and knew if I could see results instantly, over time it must just get better and better. I now incorporate some sort of face massage into my morning and evening face cleansing, but also do a full face workout/massage twice a week.
Not only has this new hobby introduced me to firmer, healthier skin, it’s given me an excuse to slow down and relax at least a couple times a week. I have to be calm and focused on the task at hand during my face workouts and massage. It’s really been twofold in terms of health benefits during the crazy state of the world right now! Face Gym is back open for business so the online tutorials have slowed, but you can still reap the benefits. I am sharing my top 5 exercises to keep your face glowing and taut.
1. JAW HOOK: Not only does this move help reduce jowls and the dreaded double chin, it is wonderful at relieving jaw tension. For anyone who clenches their teeth/jaw, this one is for you. Make a hook and with medium to firm pressure move from the inside of the chin out.
2. CHEEK HOOK: Moving that same hook motion up the face, this time to relieve tension in the cheeks (yes, you have some there, it’s a lot of work to chew and smile) and sculpt the cheekbones.
3. EYE CIRCLES: The best way to relieve tension around the eyes, which we all need after so much screen time these days. It relaxes the muscles, reduces under-eye bags and incredibly (almost like magic) brightens the eye. More pressure under the brow and less as you circle down under the eye.
4. EYE WINKS: This is a true exercise, not a massage technique. This is meant to help lift the eyebrows helping to reduce sagging of the eyelid. Another little miracle worker! You want to slightly push up with the hooked finger, then wink. You will feel a little resistance. That’s good, it means it’s working. If you have one eyebrow lower than the other, do more reps on that side.
5. GUASHA DE-PUFF: You will also want to get a jade guasha stone. You will use this at the start and end of the massage to drain fluid and puffiness from the face. Very light pressure is all you need. Good to do on it’s own each morning as well as in conjunction with a full face massage. Be sure to use oil/serum so the stone doesn’t pull the skin. The direction below are the easiest to follow. Start with the neck, work your way up and then do the neck once more. (I also use a jade roller regularly for de-stressing and relieving pressure. You can follow the same diagram for that. If you do nothing else, do the guasha. It’s truly incredibly what water retention can do and it’s equally incredible how easy it is to reduce it.
The number 1 rule for face massage is to use an oil or serum so your hands glide across the face and don’t pull the skin. If you are doing these exercises on dry skin you are going to end up causing even more wrinkles. Over the last several months I have tried out a lot of oils and I wanted to share my favorites with you. The prices vary and can accommodate any budget. Your oil/serum, your guasha stone and your own two hands are all you need to start tightening and toning that pretty face of yours.
Some key tips I have learned that are valuable to note…
- You should drink a lot of water following a face workout/massage, since a lot of what you are doing is lymphatic drainage. It’s a good thing – it moves fluid through the body. But, you need to replenish with more fluid.
- Light to medium pressure is best. You want to be sure to glide through your motions, not pull or tug. Medium pressure is applied where you have tension, like the jaw line or 11 lines (between eyebrows).
- When cleansing your face you should need at least one full minute. That’s longer than most of us likely spend washing our faces. But, it get’s them as clean as can be. To fill that time and make it effective, use it as a chance to apply some of these techniques. Facial massage doesn’t always have to take a lot of time, little bits here and there, like when you are cleansing, are good too.
- It’s safe to do a face workout or massage daily, but even once a week can make a big difference.
- Do each exercise/massage for 10-15 repetitions on each side. It’s okay to work both sides as once, and will save some time if you are in a pinch.
While I benefited from Face Gym’s free Instagram sessions, I know a one-on-one experience would be even more beneficial. Trust me, there are many more tricks of the trade outside my top 5 above. I know they are scheduling virtual appointments as well as in-person ones, so you could always get started with your own fitness plan by consulting with them first. I also recommend following them (@facegym) and Face Yoga (@luminousfaceyoga), a similar concept and company on Instagram. I hope me sharing one of my new favorite hobbies with you helps to transform your life, or at least your face. Remember anyone of any age can benefit from – in more ways than one!
Signed with Style,
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