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Ashley Black - Article Author

Yes, Facial Massages are

Anti-Aging - Here's Why

When it comes to fighting against time, your face can be a little tricky since you can’t diet and exercise your way to a youthful face. The sensitive skin around our eyes and mouth is some of the first to form wrinkles, and it can quickly interrupt that youthful look.

Anti-aging skincare products are a $50 billion industry[1], but the results are usually subtle at best. However, there are natural ways to revitalize your skin and facial muscles to restore a youthful appearance. Strange as it may sound, facial massages are a viable way to take years off your face. Here's what you need to know.


What is Fascia?

Understanding why facial massages offer anti-aging benefits comes down to the role of fascia. Fascia is a web of tissue composed of elastin and collagen. It holds and supports every muscle, bone, artery, nerve, and organ within your body- and it supports the SKIN too!

There are two main types of fascia in your face— commonly called a superficial layer and a deeper layer. Although there's way more to this that we could dig into (I do that here), in a nutshell, the superficial layer lies just below the dermis, while the deep fascia connects your skin to the muscle and fat below and forms a "girdle" of facial muscles known as the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system).[2]

This superficial fascia is a layer of connective tissue under your facial skin, where it's responsible for giving it lift and tone. However, it can also carry tension and muscle adhesions that limit blood flow.


What Causes Tense Fascia?

Wrinkles can form when the fascia is restricted. Lack of massage causes the fascia to thicken and become less hydrated (think crusty). Fascia issues in the face have many causes, including repetitive facial movements (think squinting), poor nutrition, stress, and the effects of surgery, injections, fillers, implants, and other facial procedures.

Just as your shoulders and back tense up from overuse and form knots under the surface, your face also tenses up throughout daily life. Over time, this can block blood flow and reduce circulation, which compromises your body's waste-removal and detoxification processes. When the fascia is tight, it can “starve” the sebaceous glands, where the stem cell reservoirs reside. Regular pressure, or massage can release stem cells from the reservoir to the skin[8]. I talk about this little gem extensively here.

Releasing tight fascia can increase temporary blood flow and lymphatic drainage. A facial massage with an emphasis on fascial release is the perfect opportunity to do so. A fascial facial massage can ease muscle tension and trigger myofascial release to loosen and remove any tension you hold.


Facial Massages and Your Fascia

Performed correctly, a facial massage will relieve tight fascial layers and reduce facial tension within the jaw and neck. You should experience improvements within one session, although a series of four or more weekly sessions can lead to better long-term results. You want to trigger the chain reaction for the body to begin to regenerate the skin and layers below the skin.

Here's a closer look at other benefits of facial massages:

Increases temporary Blood Flow to the Skin: Massaging the face muscles increases blood and oxygen flow, keeping it nutrient-rich and free of toxins.[3] This can improve its appearance over time.

Relieves tension: It's common to carry stress in our neck and jaw. Regular facial massages are a proven way to work out tight spots in your fascia and relieve this tension so you feel lighter—both physically and mentally.[4]

Reduces temporary swelling: Fascial massage can increase blood flow to the region, loosen up tight tissue, and reduce its appearance over the long run. For those of you with scars, there's also evidence it can relieve the pain and itchiness they cause.[5]

Acts as a natural facelift: By stimulating your facial muscles and drawing oxygen into them, facial massages can increase collagen production. This boosts the elasticity within your skin and helps give you a healthy, natural glow.

Improves product absorption: Massaging your face as you apply products can increase their effectiveness by helping them better absorb into your skin. Gently massage your skin with your fingers as you use moisturizers and serums to help them penetrate deeper.

Encourages lymphatic drainage: Your lymph nodes system is intimately connected with immune system functioning and detoxification. Regular drainage through massage will reduce puffiness and swelling while relieving irritation and even reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Fewer fine lines and wrinkles: Believe it or not, facial massages can have quantifiable anti-aging effects. One study found that patients who used anti-aging cream along with a facial massage experienced more improvements in wrinkles and sagging for less facial aging than those that used the cream alone.[6]

Glowing skin: Regular facial massages can give you a glow—really. Research from 2002 shows that more than half of women who receive one felt rejuvenated and that their skin was brighter, tighter, and more supple after, leading to a boost of confidence.[7]

The overall result? Healthier skin with better elasticity for a more youthful appearance.


What to Expect with a Fascial Massage

Not all facial massages trigger fascial release. Gradual and consistent work is recommended for best results. By releasing the fascia before going deep into the muscles, the fascia stays relaxed and eases the appearance of your facial wrinkles.

If you visit a professional, the practitioner will apply gentle pressure through tapping, kneading, and pinching to sore, tight spots throughout your face to get them to relax. This can happen through the massager's hands, or through the use of a massage tool. You might feel sore immediately after, but the feeling should go away quickly and leave you feeling looser than before.

And don't forget the neck! As the sole source of all circulation to and from your face, a stiff neck can interrupt blood flow and prevent lymphatic drainage—resulting in toxin buildup. Keeping the neck loose and flexible allows detoxification to continue and reduce puffiness while potentially improving your complexion.


Fascial Facial Massages at Home

You don't have to work with an expert to experience the benefits of a fascia massage. Your fingers alone can be effective, but if you want to better target your facial fascia, it's better to use a tool like the FaceBlaster.

Designed by author and fascia specialist Ashley Black, the FaceBlaster is a small tool designed to massage your fascia in delicate areas like your face, neck, feet, hands, knees, and other areas with soft tissue. It's built with three dainty claws that allow for pinpoint precision across your face to temporarily increase blood circulation through these areas.

Use the FaceBlaster regularly on your face, and it will help break up tight fascia spots. This in turn helps lead to detoxification, less puffiness and tension, and can reduce the severity of wrinkles. And even if anti-aging isn't your priority, a facial massage with the FaceBlaster will leave you relaxed. And don’t forget, using the FaceBlaster or the OMGBlaster will palpate into your fascia tissue where the stem cell reservoirs reside. FaceBlasting is a very quick route to the desired result, because it so effectively targets the ECM and connective tissue that feed the skin.


How to FasciaBlast Your Face

Using the FaceBlaster to give yourself a fascia massage is easy once you become familiar with the steps.

First, you'll apply an oil like the algae-infused Blaster Oil to the treatment site. The Blaster Oil softens the fat making blasting more effective.

Second, grab the FaceBlaster and use it to scrub your skin for a few minutes, using light, brisk strokes over your face along the superficial facial fascia. Afterward, treat your skin with the AfterBlaster Cream and Tightening Serum to experience brighter, smoother skin. FaceBlaster Tutorial | OMG Blaster Tutorial


The Bottom Line

Getting older might be inevitable, aging skin doesn't have to be. You can help keep your face at its best by ensuring the facia within it stays supple and healthy. By experiencing regular fascia facial massages, you can provide your face with what it needs to heal and rejuvenate so you can (literally) put your best face forward.

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