Here’s a catch: facial massage works on your skin but not | Beauty

Whether you use a jade roller, guasha, or just your fingers, facial massage is everywhere on social media, from TikTok demos to Instagram ads.

They make noble and fascinating promises: to improve blood circulation by stimulating the lymphatic system, reducing swelling and water retention, fighting wrinkled and sagging skin, and even scraping the double chin.

However, dermatologists doubt its effectiveness. “There aren’t a lot of randomized controlled trials that are the gold standard for scientific research,” said Dr Cara McDonald, a Victoria-based dermatologist. Sydney-based dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook is even boring and calls the benefits “fundamentally mythical”.

“Everything visual is popular on Instagram and the TikTok platform, which doesn’t mean they work,” says Cook.

“It’s a piece of entertainment. I think that’s it. If you understand the essence of aging… The actions of rolling and massaging are not the same as staring at it. [being] Face of glory.

“Let’s face it… We’re all anxious as human beings, so anything that doesn’t make us attractive is always fascinating. This is the key to the beauty industry and we accept its underlying fears. “

McDonald’s agrees that “consumers should pay attention to sales and marketing campaigns through influencers and social media accounts.” However, she understands its appeal as she admits that the tools are “relatively inexpensive” and easy to massage in the skin care arena. After all, “the skin is under the control of social media and self-comparison,” and people are constantly on the lookout for the next hottest way to self-optimize.

However, as physiotherapist David O’Brian, co-owner of Glebe Physio in Sydney explains, facial massage can be good for facial muscles, even if it doesn’t work for the skin.

Massage is often used as part of a larger treatment plan for jaw pain known as temporomandibular disorder (which can be “very painful and frightening”) and headaches associated with the jaw. sickness.

“There are many muscles that attach the chin to the skull and to various parts of the neck. A facial massage can relieve the tension in these muscles and help them move again, ”says O’Brien.

“Physiotherapists usually rest their heads comfortably on a pillow and lie on their back. Then, using your fingertips or thumbs, apply gentle pressure to the muscles that may be associated with pain. . “

Effective facial massages “immediately relieve” jaw and headaches. [but] You can try the technique at home.

“The easiest muscle to try is the masseter muscle. Muscles and temporal muscles logic. The masseter muscles are at the back of the cheeks, towards the ears, ”he explains.

“The temporalis muscle is in the anterior part of the temple and covers most of the sides of the skull. When you squeeze your chin, you can feel that both muscles are gathered under your fingers.

“A Google search for these muscles will give you a rough idea of ​​where you’re sitting on your head and face. Apply light pressure to all of your muscles, especially if you find any soft spots, push them.

However, other muscles can be affected as well, which is why O’Brien recommends seeing a physical therapist or dentist if you have jaw pain or dysfunction. Facial massage is usually only one part of a much larger treatment program and “may help relieve pain and dysfunction, but should not be used as the sole treatment”.

“We have more detailed knowledge of the muscles of the face and neck and can also help provide advice on how to prevent the problem from happening again,” he says.

O’Brien agrees with Cook and McDonald that facial massage can be “a great way to help reduce stress and relax”, especially when paired with meditation and relaxation. mindfulness.

But if you want to try it out at home, don’t overdo it with a vibrating gadget or guasha that squeezes your chin or fingertips. McDonald’s warns that “there is certainly a risk of doing too many good things”.

“Excessive massage can cause irritation and irritation to the skin, which negatively affects sensitive skin type,” she says. O’Brien says people with skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis should avoid massaging their faces.

Plus, if you want to practice the effects on the skin rather than the muscles, Cook suggests laser treatment is a “much better way.”

“Is it really good? [facial massage] Can do it [improve skin]?? Of course it’s okay… it’s probably going to make you feel very relaxed and probably relieve stress, ”she says.

“But is it really skin care? I really don’t think so.

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