When it comes to your skincare routine, it’s important to spend time choosing the right products for your skin concerns. But how much time do you spend actually applying those products? Facial massage, over the face and neck when applying skin care products, is a great way to help to tighten aging skin, stimulate cell production and work your facial muscles.
What do we mean when we say facial massage?
Like any form of massage, it can be hard to know where to start! How do you stimulate cell production with facial massage? What exercises benefit the skin and can you actually cause damage by applying too much pressure?
Nadia Payot, founder of Payot Paris luxury skincare brand, was a pioneer in facial massage education for women across France and indeed the world. Nadia Payot’s 42 movement facial massage has become the standard for facial massage in skincare.
The 42 Movement Massage - Where Did It Come From?
When Dr Nadia Payot met prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, in the 1920’s, she was surprised to see that Pavlova’s facial skin was so different to the rest of her body. She soon realised this was because the dancer exercised the muscles of her body daily and the result was taut, healthy and younger looking skin, whereas her face and neck were not exercised so had not retained the same tight and healthy look. As a result, and inspired by the art of dance, Dr Payot created the 42 movement massage.
It is a series of exercises for the facial muscles and skin - designed to be performed at various tempos, the fingers dancing on the skin as the exercises activate all of the physiological systems - the lymphatic, vascular, muscular, respiratory and cutaneous - tightening loose skin, encouraging elastin and collagen production and acting like ‘face yoga’.
Can I do facial massage at home?
Absolutely! It may sound like a complicated process but there are lots of facial exercises you can do at home, that are quick and easy to complete. A great way to build in facial massage is by adding it to your daily skincare routine. When you apply eye cream, moisturiser, serums or boosters, use that time to massage in the product. This also helps the skin to absorb the ingredients and boosts activation.
1. Massage for the eye area
Let’s look at the delicate eye area first. The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face, so needs special attention. As you age, fine lines often start to appear around the eye creases. This is because the collagen and elastin levels, that keep your skin tight and plump, naturally start to decrease as you age. Whilst this process is natural, sun exposure and damage from pollutants can accelerate this aging process.
Using an eye cream with active ingredients specifically formulated for this unique area of the face, along with daily facial massage, can help the skin cells to renew, bringing your skin back to health.
Here is a simple four step massage for the eye area, using a product for the eyes:
1. Apply four touches of the product in the eye contour area
2. Hold out the middle and index fingers flat and smooth into the eye area- this is in three stages:
Above the eyebrows
Across the eyelids
Below the eyes
3. Curl the fingers into an air heart. Use this shape to lightly brush below the eyes.
4. Finally ‘open up the eyes’. Pinch your index finger and thumb together, place on the outer eye crease. Slowly and gently open the fingers as you stretch open your eyes.
For an eye cream with a built in massager, ideal for those days when you don’t have those extra moments at home in the morning (!), try My Payot Hydra 24+ Regard Glacon - a refreshing and skin restoring roll on eye cream:
A common concern when it comes to ageing skin, from a younger age, is developing frown lines. Massaging the forehead area is also really good to release tension and to relax those muscles around the eyes and temples, which can help to stimulate blood flow and wake up the skin.
For the frown area:
Work outwards and upwards - we are working against, not with gravity! So it’s important to direct the motion upwards.
Use face cream and apply before massaging - the skin should be slightly slippery and easy to move, not feeling like it is being dragged.
Warm the product in your hands before applying - this helps to warm the fingers too which helps with absorbing the product but also getting the most benefit from massage.
Fold the index fingers so the tip nearly touches the inner palm - starting at the edges of the eyes, sweep the curves into the centre of the forehead to release tension and smooth the skin.
Finally take both palms and place in the middle of the forehead and sweep across to the hairline.
What face cream should you use for frown lines?
Payot Hydra 24+ Gel Creme Sorbet is a lightweight gel that has sodium hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid which is a powerful ingredient for hydration, along with a unique Hydro Defense Complex, containing fig, watermelon, red algae extract and a h20 patch for barrier repair and also Urea, a natural moisturiser in the skin to boost the skin’s natural moisturising system. The combination of these active ingredients is great for treating dehydration that can cause deepening lines and wrinkles, and also to protect the skin against the effects of sun damage.
Do you ever wake up and feel like your skin looks puffy? This is often something we notice more in the eye area but it can affect the rest of the face as well. The lymphatic system is responsible for moving lymph fluids throughout the body, a bit like how veins and arteries move blood. The difference is that where the heart pumps blood around the body, the lymphatic system relies on muscles contracting. As the face muscles don’t do this as often, lymph massage can really help to get fluid moving and drain the lymph nodes in the face.
The key to lymphatic drainage massage is that it only needs a gentle touch. Heavy pressure can actually cause additional swelling and inflammation - it just needs to be gentle enough to move the skin. You should work from the top down, middle to outwards and once again lifting the skin to work against gravity.
Try this massage technique using My Payot Jour - a face cream with a nutrient-filled formula, designed to treat prematurely ageing skin to protect and restore the skin. It has Retinyl Palmitate - a milder form of retinol which helps to tighten sagging skin to fight against aging. It also has shea butter - a rich emollient which will feel luxurious on the skin as you perform this gentle massage.
4. Massage for Ageing Skin
As your skin ages, your cell turnover naturally decreases, which affects the structure of the face and skin. One way to help support your skin as you age is to exercise your facial muscles.
Here are a series of five simple facial exercises from Payot’s Face beauty gym:
The Clown - inhale deeply then slowly open your mouth to a smile like a clown - without forcing this or squinting and overstretching, as you exhale.
Surprised - open your eyes wide without creasing your forehead - your mouth should be slightly open, then relax.
Sleepy - loosen your jaw by opening the mouth slightly, lower your eyebrows as you look down towards your chest but don’t lower your chin. Breathe in and out deeply.
Snake - keep your lips loosened and mouth slightly open, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, slowly inhale and exhale.
Fish - inhale and open the mouth - try to make a perfect oval with the lips as wide as it comfortable. This is great for the lip area.
You can find more here:
5. Massage for your neck and decollete
An area that can get overlooked when it comes to skincare is the neck and decollete. When using face cream it’s important to include the neck and decollete area as part of your daily routine. As your skin starts to naturally loosen and sag with age, this can have a big impact on the neck area. A great facial exercise for the neck area is commonly known as ‘kissing the sky’. Lean your head back (so it is comfortable) and look to the ceiling, blow ten exaggerated kisses. Slowly move back to a neutral position. This simple exercise activates the neck muscles without straining.
6. Massage to prepare the skin for the day
A great technique to wake up the skin and kick start the facial muscles is to use to a similar motion to the frown lines exercise. Take a day cream, like Payot Hydra 24+ Gel Creme Sorbet and gently place it in four touches - on the forehead, cheeks, sides of face and chin area. Then use the curl index finger stance to gently massage it in in each area, starting in the middle and working out and slightly upwards. Finish by using the palms to relax the face, sweeping open palms across the face.
It’s not just face cream that can be used for effective facial massage. Using a serum, such as My Payot Concentrat Eclat, can help to boost the skin’s radiance. Try applying the serum then using clenched fists in the four areas mentioned above to gently but firmly activate the serum in the skin.
My Payot’s Concentrat Eclat is a great choice as it is packed full of Vitamin C and active ingredients. Where most Vitamin C serums have just use one or two types of alpha hydroxy acid, this contains pumpkin extract, glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid. The result is brighter, exfoliated and refreshed skin - ideal for ageing skin that has started to look dull. Combining this serum with facial massage helps to boost the effects of the exfoliation and stimulate cell renewal.
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Still not convinced by facial massage?
If you are still wavering about whether facial massage is just a fad, this from french beauty expert Clemence von Mueffling is an interesting read. French women are renowned for their ageless beauty, which is the title of Clemence’s book, where she talks about facial massage:
“French women love facial massages for a whole variety of reasons. First, they simulate circulation, which awakens the complexion…. Massages are completely manual, making them eco-conscious, and they don’t need any special (or expensive) equipment. Results are guaranteed if you do it regularly and properly; and, of course, they are a beloved well kept secret!”
Skincare products designed with facial massage in mind
After Dr Nadia Payot discovered the 42 movement massage, she went on to establish one of the leading skincare luxury brands in France, Payot Paris. Every Payot product is researched and developed in their dedicated labaroties.
We are proud to now be a stockist of Payot Paris at Jersey Beauty. You can shop here - when you spend £35, we will send you 3 free minis: