Get Firmer, Brighter Skin at Home With This 5-Step DIY Facial Massage

Last Update: August 27, 2020

Want a brighter, firmer complexion without having to shell out a ton for a spa facial? Take matters literally into your own hands with this DIY face massage developed by Rachael Pontillo, a licensed aesthetician and holistic skin care educator based in Philadelphia.

Pontillo designed this massage to help:

  • Release fluid and reduce tension in facial muscles
  • Promote blood and oxygen flow
  • Tone facial muscles

It takes just minutes to do, and it feels so so good. Try it anytime you want to unwind after a long day. All you need is a nourishing skin oil like rosehip oil—press play to follow along with our video, and get the full how-to below.

1: Full Face

Warm 4 to 5 drops of rosehip oil between the hands and apply to entire face—this also gets your circulation going. Using the tips of your middle and ring fingers, massage up and out, from the jawline to the top center of the forehead.

When you’re working above the jawline, “always stroke upward and outward with gentle pressure,” says Pontillo.

2: Forehead

With tips of middle and ring fingers, massage up from brow to hairline, all the way across forehead—which helps to relieve tension right in the area where frown lines tend to form.

“When we’re stressed out we tend to hold a lot of tension energetically and physically in the forehead,” says Pontillo. Massage is a great way to loosen up those tightened-up muscles.

3: Eyes

It’s really common to get puffiness both underneath the eyes and in the crease. Gentle massage can help encourage lymphatic drainage, release pressure, and depuff and brighten the entire eye area, according to Pontillo. It feels great, too! There are a few moves to do here—use the tips of your ring fingers, which are the weakest, to prevent tugging.

  • First, apply light pressure to tear ducts and gently wiggle fingers back and forth.
  • Then, stroke along the undersides of the brow bones, starting at the inner corner of the brow and working outward.
  • Stroke along the eyelid creases, again from the center, out.
  • Lastly, stroke under the eyes from the center, out (tracing where an under eye “shadow” might be).

4: Cheeks

Having “laugh lines” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As Pontillo points out, “that just means we’re laughing!” Still, cheek massage can boost circulation and help smooth and tone skin in this line-prone part of the face, and bring a little color without causing inflammation. Pontillo’s two moves for cheeks:

  • Gently tap or drum fingertips all over both cheeks simultaneously.
  • Then, massage one cheek upward and out with firm strokes, from the jawline up. Repeat on other cheek.

5: Neck and jawline

To finish, Pontillo suggests massaging with firm strokes in the opposite direction—from the jawline down. This helps flush out all that lymphatic congestion that you released outward in steps 1 through 4.

Now that’s beauty from the inside out.

Follow Rachael on Twitter and Facebook.

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Jill Russell

Jill grew up in Detroit and lived in Philly, Boston, Chicago (i.e. very cold cities) before landing in sunny Los Angeles. She spends most of her time reading, writing, seeing movies, and cooking, and is an aspiring fashion designer, master gardener, and world explorer.

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