When someone with a flawless complexion gives you skin-care advice, you listen. When that person is a model and the secret to her enviable visage is something that any mere mortal can do, you take detailed, copious notes.
A few months back, we asked four top models to share their beauty secrets, and more than one of the girls mentioned facial massage as something they swear by. A few weeks later, Hilary Rhoda also dropped the massage bomb, telling us it was the best beauty trick she had ever picked up backstage. Ever. Right then and there we vowed to add facial massage into our lives. The only problem: We hadn’t a clue as to what it was or how to do it.
Enter Diane Nakauchi, CEO of Japanese beauty brand Koh Gen Do and a registered nurse licensed in facial massage. “Facial massage in Japan came from the ancient, traditional anma, which literally means ‘to press and stroke,'” she says.
According to Nakauchi, facial massage improves the overall health of the skin, increases the lymph and blood flow, and removes toxins and dead skin cells. “The numerous benefits associated with facial massage include increased facial muscle tone; wrinkle reduction; a brighter, more even complexion; reduction of fluids and puffiness; softer skin and increased skin cell renewal. This all adds up to the ‘glow.'”
Best of all, facial massage is something that you (yes you!) can do to yourself for immediate, noticeable results. Ahead, you’ll find Nakauchi’s step-by-step instructions, plus detailed diagrams that will help you master the fine art of facial massage. Turns out, glowing, toned, model-worthy skin is just a few hand movements away.
Illustrations by Naomi Abel
Step 1: Ffacial massage is best paired with a milky face lotion — you apply a layer to the surface of the skin before you begin the hand work. This will help your palms glide over the surface of your face, and as you go through the motions, the moisturizer will absorb into your skin. Once the moisturizer has been lightly applied on the skin, place the palm of your hand to your forehead.
Step 2: Apply an even pressure and release the tension in your forehead by moving your palm in a circular motion.
Step 3: After 10 seconds of applying pressure, slowly move your palms up towards your temples.
Step 4: Place your palms to your temples and massage lightly. Repeat 2-3 times, or more if you are extremely tense.
Step 5: Place your palms underneath your cheekbones and move toward your ears. Lightly apply pressure as your palms move outward to relax tension.
Step 6: Place your thumb underneath your jaw, and your index finger by your nose.
Step 7: Move your entire hand slightly upward and outward, toward your ears.
Step 8: Move your hands from behind your ears down to your décolleté. Repeat 5-6 times.
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