Video: How To Give Yourself A Face Massage

The face is really having a moment. Just last year we finally learned how to properly clean it, it premiered its eponymous television show, and experts finally developed a specialized face yoga routine; in the past few months its wildly successful "book" has acquired WhatsApp and Oculus, and now? We usher in the Era Of The Facial Massage. Because on top of everything else, scientists recently realized our faces have been doing more than twice the emoting work as before—and thus deserve regular nice, relaxing rub-downs. We called on facial massage expert, Alexandra Soveral, to give us a tutorial on her calming, lifting, firming, draining, best-way-to-apply-face-oil daily massage technique.

Video by David Sabshon.

Discover the beauty routines of Jenna Lyons, Gigi HadidLiya KebedeSelena Gomez and more in The Top Shelf.

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  • shirin

    Love it!! Now to find a good oil for my oily skin

    • Lilly

      Have you tried with a good Argan Oil? I have combination skin (very oily T-zone) and it works well for me. I use Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil.

    • Jennifer Monforton

      Antipodes Divine Face Oil is a holy grail for my oily, breakout-prone skin!

  • Millicent

    This was really helpful because before I saw this article I was just slapping myself in the face with a wet ham after I exfoliated with lemon juice and raw sugar.

    • stefinmotion

      hahaha literally cringed

  • Amanda Raponi

    I just recently started doing this every time I cleanse since Caroline Hirons posted some tips on facial massage

    • Eira IR

      I started massaging after reading Caroline Hirons as well! I notcied a huge difference on my chin straight away.

  • Laura Mason

    Do you know what kind of oil she was using? She didn't wash her face afterwards, so I'm assuming it's the kind that absorbs into your skin instead of leaving it greasy. I've got a bunch of oils in my apartment for cooking and beauty, but I feel like none of them would be good for this. (I've got coconut, olive, almond, sesame, grapeseed, etc.)

    • ITG Annie

      She uses her own oil! She has a line of skincare and fragrances.

  • NeenaJ

    There is so much drag on the skin in the first few minutes - it's making me wince. Wouldn't this do more harm than good? Maybe a slick balm (like Clinique's Take the Day Off Balm) would do better than an oil that gets quickly absorbed by the skin? The accupressure along the eyebrow is one of my favorite techniques for relieving a tension headache.

  • Kaitlin Wright

    Wonderfully informative! There are so many how-to vids on facial massaging out there, but nothing compares to this. Thanks :)

  • Lilly

    ITG, I love you so much right now.

  • ivonne

    Thank you sooooo much for this vid!

  • ITGElizabeth

    Happy birthday!

    • Elle m

      Thank you !

  • Edwina@WINONA,INC.

    Feels nice I'll bet.

  • Jess

    Loved this so much! Thank you!

  • TKB

    Just watching her massage her own face was so calming and relaxing! Love this video and can't wait o try on myself :)

  • Anita

    I have been massaging my skin regularly using Caroline Hirons tips and it has made a huge difference to my skin and facial architecture as well. Everything is tighter and more even, but this is great because you can see it and mimic the actions. Thank you ITG
    PS: I use the Emma Hardie cleansing balm for my massage after my first cleanse. I follow it with a hot towel steam to take off the excess oil

  • Talia Wayne

    This is the next big thing after your "how to clean your face" feature and just what I need to fight those wrinkles that started showing on my forehead! Another ritual added to the beauty routine!

  • Badedasforever

    While it sounds nice, I have to wonder if this is applicable for people with mild rosacea. Mild forms of heat and manual rubbing (even with the reduction of friction provided by oil) can be problematic for us. I can't help thinking this is an opportunity for The One With The Mane To Rule Them All (i.e. Elizabeth Brockway) to develop an ITG series on modifications/adaptations for skin care practices for those with diagnosed sensitivities. I realize the concerns for psoriasis are not the same as rosacea. However, those of us with rosacea/psoriasis/eczema often literally cross paths in the fragrance-free, plain white packaging section of drugstores and learn about each other's traits. So, something tells me The One With The Mane would have good instincts for investigation on this concern.

    • ITGElizabeth

      Hi Badedasforever,

      First, that is the greatest name anyone has ever given me and will now be my proper title (I'll be sure to give you credit when my comic book comes out). So, thank you.

      As for this technique, I've actually tried it myself for the past several nights (I can't help but be envious of her soft and wrinkle free skin) and haven't run into any real problems. I think for people with more sensitive skin, it's a matter of finding an oil that works the best for you. I avoid heavily fragranced or extra thick oils to be too much for me. Also, I like doing this before going to bed-- it's relaxing and is ok to be kind of greasy (maybe pat down your skin a bit before hitting your pillowcase) and a little bit red at that time of day. But if you do have an aversion to oil all together (which I know some people do), I'm sure this is possible while using a moisturizer you trust. I think Embryolisse is spreadable enough while still being rich in it's "moisturizing powers" to be a great alternative for sensitive skin.

      As for an ITG series geared toward modifications and adaptations for sensitive and temperamental skin, I'll do my best! It certainly is always on my mind and can try to bring more of that to the site!


      • Badedasforever

        The fact that you correctly zeroed in on the fragrance aspect highlights the sound instincts I had mentioned. In that case, I am tempted to try the technique. I look forward to any future sensitive skin care commentary you bring to ITG. As for your hair, I feel I should mention something even though it emphasizes that I'm old enough to be your much-older-sister-if-my-parents-had-a-very-late-in-life-baby. I hope you realize your hair gives you the right to go to a Halloween party as The Last Unicorn.

        • charmystique

          Hi @Badedasforever,

          This comment comes pretty late, but you've definitely got a point. I think perhaps a lighter touch would be good with those with sensitive skin. Sometimes facial massage can over-stimulate oil glands causing more problems with acne. And with psoriasis/other autoimmune problems, I think the lymphatic drainage part of the massage (around the chin & jaw area) should be minimal or at best avoided. Definitely finding the best oil for your skin is also extremely important. I've been using Yuli's Cell Perfecto for this facial massage, and so far I've seen nothing but improvement in my skin. Less wrinkles, and tighter, more radiant skin.

  • book of pretty

    Between this and the facial yoga video posted months ago (stop what you're doing and watch it now!), my face is in for some serious workouts.

  • Mademoiselle nature

    That is a very interesting video. Lots of good advices!

  • Jane S

    I just tried this with the new Diptyque facial cleansing balm. I loved it. The balm is awesome and this was just so relaxing. I've had a cold all week and I swear this made my sinuses feel better!

  • songsinthekeyoflife

    Love this, thank you for this great piece on face massage. Love her too what a great ad for amazing skin.

  • Mariah Leonard

    This looks so relaxing.

  • maiastras

    This is probably the best face massage how-to I've seen. I was worried that it might aggravate my redness and active whiteheads, but if anything my skin has calmed down and looks more even, without having changed any products in my routine. Currently I am doing the massage day and night, with more emphasis on draining my lymphs at night. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • catherine

    brilliant my glands arnt blocked anymore xxx


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