Proof that Facial Massages Tone and Lift the Face in Just Two Weeks.

Years ago, when I started incorporating practices that help slow down the signs of aging, I stumbled on facial exercises as a means of keeping the muscles toned and the skin from sagging.  I loved the idea of facial exercise and immediately began incorporating facial workouts into my routine.  

But, as time went on, I discovered several facial exercise gurus who had been toning their faces for years and they looked....well let's just say that an overly toned face can have the opposite effect of the original intention.  After seeing several examples of overly developed, bizarre-looking faces, I decided to step away from hardcore facial exercise and focus my attention on facial massage instead. 

Facial massage seemed like a gentler option that wouldn't lead to looking like the robot face from The Terminator.  Those who advocated for facial massage spoke of how the practice could tone muscles and lift the face.  But there was no actual proof to back their claims...until now. 
After years of taking the facial massage truthers at their word, we finally have a scientific study that backs their claims.  

In 2022, Japanese researchers enrolled a small group of five participants to engage in daily facial massage consistently for two weeks.  Once the two weeks were over, their skin was evaluated using a CT scan to determine if facial massage actually made a measurable difference. 

 Surprisingly, the ages of the participants were relatively young (ages 29-37).  I made the assumption that they didn't have advanced signs of aging beforehand which would make any measurable improvements that much more meaningful.  For the duration of the two weeks, they were tasked with executing a 90-second facial massage routine.

90 seconds. 

I haven't maintained a consistent facial massage routine in a while.  That's because the video I used was approximately 10 minutes long.  Somewhere along the way, I decided that I no longer had ten minutes to invest in my anti-aging routine.  But instead of finding a shorter massage video, I gave up facial massage altogether. Thankfully, the results of this study have ignited a newfound faith in my desire to jump right back on the bandwagon.   I can convince myself that I don't have time for a 10-minute video, but I have zero excuses for trying to get out of doing a 90-second face massage routine.  


Here is a diagram detailing the specific routine that the participants were asked to follow. 

They began the routine by first prepping the skin with a milky lotion (lightweight moisturizer).  Using their hands, they massaged each area of the face using the diagram above.  Each motion was repeated 3 times.  For example, in Figure (B), the person would make a circular motion around the cheeks for 3 repetitions.   

There are countless facial massage videos on YouTube, and this diagram is probably one of the most simple routines I've seen.  It's simple enough to incorporate into your daily product application routine without missing a beat.  

Two weeks later....

The researchers used advanced imaging technology to assess and measure overall results.   They looked for differences in the following areas:

-cheek thickness (distance from the bone to the surface of the skin)
-shifts in location of molar tops (upper cheek)
-changes in the fibromuscular layer covering the cheek.

-Consistent facial massage reduced the thickness of the cheek.  This alludes to the cheeks becoming leaner and more toned.  

-All participants experienced a shift in the location of the molar tops (the apples of their cheeks).  Basically, their cheeks moved slightly outward.  This is the outcome that most people try to create when they inject fillers into the cheek area.  The two-week massage group also experienced an increase in the height of the cheek (lifting) as well. 

At the end of the small-group study, researchers found that "facial massage was shown to produce lifting and tightening effects" in just two short weeks.  This was all I needed to hear to get excited about doing facial massages again.  I've been off the bandwagon for a while and I can already see some sagging and volume loss as a result of my gross negligence.

My volume loss could be the result of reduced collagen production.  You see, our skin has these connective tissue cells called fibroblasts.  One of the major functions is of fibroblasts to secrete (make) collagen protein.  Fibroblasts respond positively to mechanical stimulation.  By massaging our skin, we activate our fibroblasts causing them to increase collagen production.  So not only is facial massage proven to tone and lift the cheeks, it also has the added benefit of helping to build collagen as well.

I'm never skipping a facial massage session again. 

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