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Facial Massage: More Than Relaxation

Danae Markland April 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
skin care clients getting results-oriented facial massage

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Massage, particularly facial massage, is one of the most pleasurable and intimate aspects of topical facial treatments; however, it is about more than just feeling good. When used correctly, massage can improve many skin conditions and your skin care facility’s bottom line. By identifying the best ways to use facial massage in a therapeutic manner; learning which skin issues benefit the most from massage; and discussing the many ways implementing results-focused massage techniques can increase revenue and repeat client visits, the skin care professional can better use this method of treatment on a daily basis.

Increasing the benefits of facial massage

Focusing less on specific massage techniques—such as effleurage, tapotement and friction—and more on light manipulations designed to increase blood flow and cellular oxygenation will allow for more deliberate and consistent treatment. Although the aforementioned techniques are effective and carry their own unique benefits, a facial massage does not have to be a 20-minute-long event in which multiple massage methods are used. By simply stroking the face using a beneficial massage medium, circulation is increased, stimulating a wound-healing response in the skin and providing a healthy glow to any complexion.

Massage mediums come in a variety of consistencies, such as creams, oils, lotions and gels and, while some provide beneficial ingredients to the skin, others do little more than provide slip during the massage process. This is another opportunity to increase treatment outcomes during massage. Product consistency should be selected based upon the individual client.

  • Clients with dry skin may benefit most from a cream or oil.
  • Acne clients may benefit most from a gel.
  • A variety of skin types benefit from a light lotion-like product that absorbs nicely without leaving a heavy residue.

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Beneficial Topical Ingredients

Ingredient

Function(s)

Allantoin

Antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-irritant

Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice

Hydrating, antibacterial

Chlorella vulgaris extract

Antioxidant

Lecithin

Handles the flow of nutrients in and out of the cells

Magnolia officinalis bark extract

Antimicrobial

Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil

Emollient, light moisturizing agent

Squalane

Olive-derived oil, similar to human sebum but noncomedogenic, occlusive

Tocopherol

Vitamin E, antioxidant, emollient

Vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract

High in polyphenols and antioxidants, improves circulation

Facial Protocol With Massage

Cost: $65–100

Duration: 60 minutes

Contraindications: These are specific to the individual products used; please consult the product manufacturer.

 

Products needed:

pH-balanced cleanser

Nutritive astringent toner

Disencrustation fluid

Topically beneficial massage cream, oil, gel or lotion

Hydrating/nourishing mask

Calming moisturizer

Broad-spectrum SPF

 

Equipment and supplies needed:

Towels

Sponges

Cotton

Fan brush

Steamer

Warm water

Gloves

Loop extractor (if applicable)

 

Step 1: Cleanse using a pH-balanced cleanser appropriate for the client’s skin type and pat dry

Step 2: Tone the skin using a nutritive astringent toner on a sponge.

Step 3: Apply exfoliating mask or disencrustation fluid using cotton or a fan brush. Allow the product to remain on the skin throughout the steaming process.

Step 4: Steam the skin for 5–10 minutes, ensuring the mask is removed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Disencrustation fluids are typically most effective when used for 5–10 minutes before extractions.

Step 5: Perform extractions (if applicable).

Step 6: Conduct a 15–20 minute massage using a topically beneficial massage cream, oil gel or lotion. General manipulations intended to stimulate circulation will benefit all skin types and conditions. Specific massage techniques can also be utilized when appropriate for the client’s skin.

Step 7: Remove massage medium using a nutritive astringent toner or warm water.

Step 8: Apply a hydrating/nourishing mask using gloved hands or a fan brush. Allow the mask to remain on the skin for the length of time specified by the manufacturer.

Step 9: Remove completely with water or as directed.

Step 10: Hydrate and protect using a calming moisturizer and broad-spectrum SPF product appropriate for the client’s skin type.

Superficial Chemical Peel Protocol With Massage

Cost: $100–175

Duration: 30–60 minutes

Contraindications: These are specific to the individual products used; please consult the product manufacturer.

 

Products needed:

Antibacterial gel cleanser

Nutritive astringent toner

Topically beneficial massage cream, oil, gel or lotion

Superficial chemical peel

Nutritive and corrective serums

Calming moisturizer

Broad-spectrum SPF

 

Equipment and supplies needed:

Towels

Sponges

Warm water

Cotton

Fan brush

Gloves

 

Step 1: Cleanse the skin using an antibacterial gel cleanser and pat dry with towel.

Step 2: Prep/degrease the skin by applying an astringent toner with a sponge.

Step 3: Conduct a 5–10 minute massage using a topically beneficial massage cream, oil gel or lotion. General manipulations intended to stimulate circulation will benefit all skin types and conditions. Specific massage techniques can also be utilized when appropriate for the client’s skin.

Step 4: Remove massage gel or lotion using an nutritive astringent toner or warm water.

Step 5: Apply a superficial chemical peel using a fan brush or cotton pad according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 6: Apply the appropriate nutritive and corrective serums using gloved hands or a fan brush. Corrective products should be chosen according to the client’s unique skin needs. This portion of the protocol will vary with each client.

Step 7: Hydrate and protect using a calming moisturizer and broad-spectrum SPF product appropriate for the client’s skin type.

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