The benefits of facial massage: A deep dive into skin care

Facial massage is a topic that is getting a lot of attention in the world of skin care. We often receive questions about the effects and relevance of this practice during our office hours. This relaxing treatment not only offers peace of mind, but also has significant benefits for the health of your skin.

In this extensive blog we take a closer look at both the advantages and possible disadvantages, different massage techniques and for whom this treatment is most suitable. Read on to discover everything you need to know about facial massages.

What happens during a facial massage?

During a facial massage, the muscles, tissues and blood circulation of your face are gently massaged. As a result, tensions can be reduced and the following effects can occur:

  1. Improved blood circulation: The massage stimulates the blood vessels in your face, which improves blood flow. This means that your skin is better supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
  2. Increased lymphatic drainage: Gentle pressure during massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which can help remove toxins and reduce fluid retention.
  3. Muscle relaxation: The massage can help relax the facial muscles, temporarily reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  4. Stress reduction: Facial massage is known for its calming effects, which can reduce stress and tension.
  5. Glowing skin: Improved blood circulation can lead to a more radiant complexion.

A simple technique for your face and neck

A facial massage can be relaxing and can help relax the facial muscles. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing a simple facial massage:

Step 1: Preparation

  • Start with clean hands and clean skin. Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid getting bacteria on your face.
  • Apply a small amount of facial oil or cream to your fingertips. Choose a product that is suitable for your skin type.

Step 2: Start at the forehead

  • Place your fingertips (usually your index and middle fingers) in the center of your forehead, between your eyebrows.
  • Move your fingers outward, across your forehead, with light pressure. Repeat this a few times.

Step 3: Work on your temples

  • Move your fingers from the center of your forehead to your temples in circular motions. Repeat this several times.

Step 4: Massage the eye contour

  • Place your index fingers under your eyebrows, starting at the inner corner of your eyes.
  • Gently massage with upward movements towards your temples. Repeat this a few times.

Step 5: Move to the cheeks

  • Place your fingers on your cheeks, just below your cheekbones.
  • Massage in upward movements towards your temples with light pressure. Repeat this a few times.

Step 6: Work on the nose and upper lip

  • Place your thumbs just below your nostrils and gently massage in upward motions toward your cheekbones.
  • Repeat this movement a few times. You can then place your thumbs above your upper lip and massage in upward motions.

Step 7: Move to the jawline and chin

  • Place your fingers on your jawline and massage in an upward motion toward your ears with light pressure.
  • Then massage your chin in circular motions. Repeat these steps several times.

Step 8: Finish at the neck

  • Massage the sides of your neck in upward movements towards your chin. Start on one side first and then on the other. It is important not to massage both sides of the neck at the same time as this may cause dizziness.

Step 9: Repeat if desired

You can repeat these steps several times, depending on how long you want to massage.


End your massage by taking a few slow, deep breaths to relax, such as the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a relaxation exercise that helps reduce stress and promote relaxation. Here’s how it works:

  1. Inhale (4 seconds): Breathe in gently through your nose, count to three seconds in your head as you inhale. You fill your lungs with air.
  2. Hold your breath (7 seconds): After you inhale completely, hold your breath for seven seconds. Try not to hold your breath with much effort, but keep it comfortable.
  3. Exhale (8 seconds): Now let the air out of your mouth slowly and controlled for eight seconds. You exhale completely.

This technique can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, and it can be a valuable addition to your massage conclusion to relax yourself even more.

This is a simple facial massage that you can do daily. Remember not to apply hard pressure, and if you experience any discomfort, stop immediately. In general, a facial massage should be relaxing and pleasant.

How often and how long should you massage – study 2023

The frequency and duration of facial massages can vary depending on your skin type and goals. An open, prospective clinical study was conducted in Paris. The visible signs of aging in the face were assessed using an objective 10-point scale and a subjective assessment of skin and well-being using an online self-questionnaire. Over a 2-week period, participants performed a daily 3-minute prescribed self-massage using a botanical oil to massage.

Facial Massage Postmenopausal Postmenopausal

French study from 2023

Massage for 3 minutes daily

A total of 50 women between the ages of 40 and 60 with Fitzpatrick skin type II or III were enrolled in the study. Significant improvements were observed in signs of skin aging such as sagging, fine lines, plumpness and radiance. Subjective benefits were also reported. Most participants (more than 85%) agreed that their skin looked smoother, more resilient and that fine lines were reduced. In addition, 100% of the women indicated that the massage increased their sense of well-being.

How quickly do you see results?

The results of facial massage can vary from person to person. Some will notice smoother and more relaxed skin immediately after the massage, while others may need several weeks of regular massage to see significant changes. It is important to be patient and incorporate the massage into your skincare routine regularly for long-lasting effects.

Is it suitable for everyone?

In general, there are few downsides to facial massage if performed properly. However, it may present certain inconveniences or risks for some people:

  1. Skin irritation: Too much pressure or friction can irritate the skin. This can cause redness or a temporary rash. It is important to massage gently and use the right massage oil or cream to reduce friction.
  2. Acne flare-up: People with active acne should use caution, as excessive massage can make acne worse. An Indian study saw 72.3% develop an acne-like eruption after every facial massage after a visit to a beauty salon. Possibly due to the use of certain facial oils that close the pores and cause acne.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to certain oils or creams used during the massage. Always test a small amount of the product on your skin before performing a full massage. Read more about self-test cosmetics
  4. Infections: Unsanitary practices can pose a risk of infection, especially if fingers or instruments are not clean. Make sure your hands and any tools are clean before the massage.
  5. Sensitive Skin: People with very sensitive skin may respond more quickly to massage. It is important to adjust the pressure according to the sensitivity of your skin.
  6. Medical Conditions: People with certain medical conditions such as skin infections, open wounds, or blood clotting problems should take special care and may need to consult a doctor before having a facial massage.
  7. Muscle pain: In rare cases, some people may experience muscle pain after a massage, especially if there was a lot of tension in the facial muscles. This is usually temporary and quickly disappears.

It is important to remember that most people benefit from facial massage and potential drawbacks can usually be easily avoided by performing the massage in a gentle and hygienic manner

For additional Iconic support

The following three skin care products are suitable for use during facial massages:

Facial Massage Calming Cream Natural Moisturizer Sensitive Cream
Iconic Elements Selection

Natural Soothing Calming Cream: Soothes and calms irritated, tight skin using carefully selected soothing ingredients such as Marshallow root and Ectoine

Moisturizing Natural Body Cream: Cares for and intensively moisturizes dry skin thanks to rich, natural ingredients such as Balm, Ceramide and Squalane.

Delicate Sensitive Skin Sensitive cream: Specially formulated to protect and balance sensitive skin, with soothing components such as Avena Sativa and Jojoba Oil

Extra Iconic Elements care – after the massage

After your invigorating facial massage, it’s time to pamper your skin with our powerful skin care products.

Our Anti-Aging Cream, containing Vitamin C, E and ferulic acid, provides your skin with the antioxidants it needs to protect against free radicals and reduce signs of aging. This cream provides a radiant complexion and helps fade fine lines and wrinkles.

Our Firming Booster Serum, is formulated with Bakuchiol, Cyclopeptide-5 and White Tea extract. This serum is designed to improve the firmness and elasticity of your skin while stimulating collagen production. Along with the anti-aging properties of our serum, your skin is protected from loss of firmness and looks youthful and tight.

Give your skin the loving care it deserves and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more youthful-looking complexion with our Iconic Elements Anti-Aging Cream and Firming Booster Serum. The perfect end to your pampering moment.

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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