By Erin Lukas
Updated Jun 19, 2016 @ 2:00 pm
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The answer to a youthful, radiant complexion may be at your fingertips. A facial massage can really get things moving and not to mention, add a much coveted glow. But if a spa visit isn't in the cards, you can still reap the benefits of getting a facial massage by doing it yourself at home. Miami-based dermatologist Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy offers her expertise on how to maximize the benefits of adding a facial massage into your regular skin care routine.

What are the Benefits of a Facial Massage?

A massage is without a doubt the ultimate way to wind down and relax after a hectic week, but the treatment can also help improve a number of common skin care concerns, including aging. “The main benefit of facial massages is that it stimulates superficial blood vessels to flow more efficiently and nourish the skin cells better,” says Dr. Jegasothy. “Other benefits include helping to prevent skin sagging and with lymphatic drainage.”

The Proper Technique

Just as you're light-handed when applying product to delicate areas, so should you be gentle when massaging your face. According to Dr. Jegasothy, the best method is to “massage in large circular strokes, always in an upward fashion, and to always use the pads of your fingertips. Hopefully this will, over time, help defeat the loss of gravity, even if it’s just a little bit.” Dr. Jegasothy stresses the importance of never using your fingernails. Doing so can break the skin and lead to hyperpigmentation, or even worse, permanent scarring. To prevent sagging skin, she also notes never massaging in downward strokes.

How Often Should You Do It?

Massaging multiple times a week, or even daily won’t necessarily increase effectiveness or chances of seeing visible results. “While a daily facial massage feels great, most dermatologists and skincare specialists believe that a monthly facial massage should, in the long term,stimulate skin cells to grow and regenerate at an optimal rate,” explains Dr. Jegasothy. To put it plainly: When it comes to massages, it is possible to overdo it.

What Facial Areas to Target

Tired eyes? Sensitive skin? There’s a proper way to massage that. If you wake up with puffy eyes despite clocking in enough shut eye, Dr. Jegasothy recommends dabbing a bit of your favorite eye cream onto the pads of your fingers and massaging your upper and lower eyelids in small, upward, circular strokes to calm the area.

If have sensitive skin, Dr. Jegasothy says that your complexion requires an even lighter touch and if you’re acne prone, she suggests avoiding extracted pores to avoid further inflammation and irritation.

Don’t Forget the Right Products

Incorporating an effective anti-aging skin care product can further enhance a facial massage. To make the most out of the experience, Dr. Jegasothy suggests choosing a product that has enough slip so it can easily absorb into your skin as you rub your face. If you have oily skin, she recommends a serum such as SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum ($90; that does double-duty by minimizing blemishes and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. For dry skin, she suggests Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105; which not only boosts hydration, but works to plump skin and reduce pores for a more youthful complexion.