A beautifying and deeply relaxing facial massage to introduce to your routine tonight
This Montreal beauty entrepreneur teaches us a traditional face massage technique we can't wait to try out
Facial massage boasts many benefits, from boosting collagen and elastin production to increasing circulation. For Rose Gwet, founder of skincare brand Luxcey, facial massage is the key to a youthful glow. It's also a simple ritual that women in Central Africa (her family is from Cameroon) perform on a daily basis. "Facial massage is the secret of African women," says Gwet. Here, she shows us how to perform a two-minute at-home facial massage inspired by the simple techniques of her ancestors, that helps boost circulation and will have you feeling relaxed in no time.
1. First, a stretch. Start off by stretching your neck: slowly roll your head a few times to the left, then a few times to the right. Don't skip this step because this face massage, while short and simple, requires what Gwet refers to as deep, inverted movements (more on that in a bit), so a thoughtful stretch of the shoulders and upper back is important. Next, clasp your hands together and reach up toward the ceiling, leaning over to your left side for a few seconds, then to your right. "Stretching these areas for about a minute will help relax the muscles needed to perform this ritual," says Gwet. She also recommends focusing on the feeling of the stretches and your breathing. "You want to be mindful about what you're doing."
2. The massage starts by warming up the skin using both palms. "In North America, skincare is applied using the fingertips, but in Africa we use our palms and the whole hand for a deeper and more generous gesture," says Gwet. Place some oil cleanser or an oil-based serum into your palms, and starting from the bottom of your face, push firmly in an upward motion toward the scalp. Repeat this step two to three times. (Tip: If you don't have a cleanser or serum, Gwet suggests using coconut oil if your skin can handle it).
3. For the forehead area, use your palms to push the skin in an upward motion toward the scalp. Repeat two to three times.
4. Next come the inverted movements, which Gwet says mimic the strength of an aesthetician performing the massage. Start off by reaching your left arm over your head, to the right side of your face. From here, press your palm and fingers deeply into the skin in an upward motion toward the scalp. You should be able to feel a difference in the pressure being applied to your face. Repeat this motion two to three times.
5. Perform the inverted movement with your right arm on the left side of your face.
6. Repeat the inverted movements on both sides, working on the forehead this time.
In total, this process should take no longer than two minutes. "African rituals are quick but they're done daily," explains Gwet. For an added boost, she recommends incorporating a cold massage after the cleansing step, to alleviate inflammation and tighten pores. Simply take two ice cubes, wrap them in separate reusable or biodegradable face wipes and run them over your skin. Run the ice cubes in an upward motion over the cheeks, and in an outward motion under the eyes and from the centre of the forehead.
To reap all of the benefits of this massage, it's important to perform this routine on a daily basis. "Consistency is key," says Gwet.
D'Loraine Miranda is a Toronto-based editor and writer. Follow her on Instagram @dlorainem