A massage routine for the face brings multiple benefits.
It’s a case of seeing is believing after a treatment with face sculpting specialist Olga Newman, and why the founder of Face Up has her hands full.
The facial massage technique that she practices provides astonishing non-surgical face-lifting effects that has customers lining up – but as she points out, you can do this at home on yourself, too, with the help of a few tutorials which she shares freely on her Instagram account @olga_faceup.
These transformative techniques are worth incorporating into your daily skincare routine. Aside for producing results, you’ll also reap the relaxation benefits.
I’ve been a long-time fan of facial massage having been introduced to it by Wellington facialist Margaret Hema many years ago, and it is still a daily self-care ritual for me that also keeps my skin in check.
Face sculpting, including buccal massage which the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Kate Moss are fans of, is trending right now, too.
Buccal massage, which is an in-mouth massage applied by latex-gloved therapists, provides stress release in the head, face and body.
If buccal is not for you, face yoga and skincare app Luvly has helpful video tutorials on how to remove a double chin using techniques from neck massage to knuckle sculpting around the jawline, as well as how to use a gua sha tool. Though, gua sha is in effect just moving sluggish lymph fluid around the face explains Newman, who believes using your hands over tools is best.
“The reason there’s fluid retention in the face is because muscles are tense. Using your hands is the best way to release tension and create blood flow,” she says.
Tension in the neck or jaw, which are connected to other parts of the body by fascia, are the main cause of wrinkles or drooping tissue, says Newman, which is why she sometimes spends 80 per cent of her time in a client’s first session reliving tension around the neck.
“Afterwards, people touch their forehead and say, ‘oh you didn’t touch my forehead but it’s smooth’, and I say ‘yes’ because we work with the reason.”
What is face sculpting?
The technique Newman uses is liberating, and it’s freeing many women from the Botox needle.
By addressing each muscle throughout the face, neck, decolletage, plus inside the mouth and outside the mouth (her technique is far more than just buccal, though she does buccal massage too), she melts away tension, stagnation and stress whilst sculpting and lifting the face.
Our neck is the highway to our face, Newman explains, pointing to all the blood vessels through the neck area. “With bad posture and tension in our muscles, the vessels get smaller and that means the circulation is not working properly. But our blood can fix everything – we need proper blood circulation for our skin and for our brain. That’s why I focus a lot on the neck. When you touch your face, you deliver blood and blood is the most important thing, more than the products you use.”
How does it work?
Primarily, Newman focuses on releasing the platysma muscle which starts from the jawline through to the collarbone, she also works with the depressor facial muscle that allows movement of the corners of the mouth, specifically downward – which is why this area is prone to drooping when muscles are tense.
And her massage technique is as strong as that on any other parts of the body, which does surprise some people.
“We have been told that we need to be very careful with our skin and to not stretch it but that’s a delusion. We need a deep touch to release emotional clamps because our five senses meet here including our vision, what we hear and how we react to stress and certain events, and the face holds it.”
She has found that women in their 20s often hold more tension than women in their 30s and 40s which she believes comes from the pressure of social media to be perfect and have Botox injections.
“It’s about releasing, not freezing. We need our muscles to move, to contract, because when the muscles contract, they are part of the circulation process, so they help to remove lymph, venous blood, clean the face and bring oxygen and nutrition with blood.”
What about Botox?
Conversely, Botox is a short-term solution that ultimately speeds up ageing according to Newman. All muscles have a function, she explains. When you freeze muscles on part of the face with Botox it puts more tension on other muscles because they have an extra job to do. Many of Newman’s clients have come to her after stopping their Botox injections, though it takes muscles a while to recover after stopping injections because they need time to create new patterns and learn how to do the job again. It’s not a super quick fix. For those who haven’t had any work done, it’s as simple as working your muscles for optimal results.
“We all know that the body needs to have movement and it’s the same idea with the face, though a little bit different because we have joints in the body and the facial muscles attach directly to the bones. That’s why we can’t train facial muscles, we just need to release them,” says Newman. faceupbeauty.co.nz
Do it yourself
Try Olga’s ‘Face Up Express’ online course or watch her self-massage videos and how-tos on Instagram at @olga_faceup