Could regular face massage slow down ageing?


Now we're not talking normal facials here, but rather a yoga-like workout for your face, 3-5 minutes daily.

Yes, facial massage compromises of many different techniques like firming, lifting, and contouring treatments that restores the skin’s radiance while toning the muscles. But be sure to stay away from delicate areas especially under the eyes.

We asked local dermatologist, Dr. Nomphelo Gantsho, whether regular facial massage could, in fact, enhance the appearance of the face.

"Medically there are no studies and written papers to support the claim that facial massages can give a skin glow and reduce wrinkles on the face.

"However, practice has shown that face massage is a healthy and less expensive alternative to invasive treatments like Botox, laser resurfacing, fat injections and plastic surgery."

Facial massage-focused treatments are relatively new procedures for spas and it's becoming more popular with both massage therapists and estheticians. In the United States facial massages, also known as facelift massage, have been growing in popularity since 2006 in both spas and private massage practices.

The face is treated with creams, steam and the application of a face pack. Not only this, but Dr. Gantsho says that soon more and more anti-aging creams will have massaging tools included, like some eye creams have a roller.

Just like exercising, face massage tones and firms the skin, it is ideal for the face with fine lines.

But could massaging your face daily (at home) make you look younger?

We carry our stress in our face, says Dr. Gantsho. "With time passing this coupled with facial expression accelerates the aging process, leaving us with fine lines, wrinkles, sagging brow and dull complexion".

"Facial massage stimulates the circulation of the blood towards the skin, and stimulates cell growth. It helps in the prevention of fine lines and new wrinkle formation, while at the same time helps in tightening the skin and making it nice and elastic again."

Another benefit of face massaging, like when doing effleurage  (massage using a circular stroking motion), is that it can de-puff the face and actually improve lymphatic drainage.

Possible positive effects in terms of anti-ageing?

Dr. Gantsho was involved in a recent local cosmetic trial involving face massage where one-half of the subjects noted a feeling of freshness and rejuvenation of the skin, enhancement of the suppleness and tightening of the face and a subjective delay in the onset of wrinkles.

"Most often people see the lifting, toning effect and softening of the lines. People feel the difference on their faces after the treatment, like after any massage treatment on other body parts," says Dr. Gantsho.

Just like exercise, face massage tones and firms the skin. It is ideal for the face with fine lines.

But this, like any other toning exercise, needs to be performed regularly in order for it to be effective like contouring of the cheeks, minimising of naso-labial folds and a less saggy jaw-line.

Methods to try at home and in the spa

Belavi Facelift Massage - involves gentle lifting (upward) strokes, tapping (tapotement), contouring (cross-fibering), acupressure and lymph drainage. It is designed to improve the radiance of the skin while it tones muscle.

Cool Lift Face Rejuvenation - a stone massage procedure, uses cold marble stones to stimulate facial energy points.

Indian Face Massage - uses light pressure, irons out fine wrinkles, relaxes face and tones the muscles.

Warning: Although there are several subjective benefits with face massage, there may be immediate side-effects, such as erythema (redness) and edema, as well as delayed problems, such as dermatitis and acneiform eruption, in about one-third of patients.

For more info:

Contact Dr. Nomphelo Gantsho

(021) 250 0211

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