As of late, just about everyone you talk to brings up being in a perpetual state of stress. In fact, the majority of us are: According a survey released in February by the American Psychological Association, Americans reported the first significant stress increase in 10 years. We're stressed about our political climate, the future of the nation, personal safety, and a myriad of other things, NPR reported. With all that stress flying around, any sort of hack to calm us down is welcomed with open arms.
That's where the facial massage comes in. Lucy Primrose, Director of Learning and Organizational Development for L'Occitane, recently taught me and a few other editors a quick and easy technique while we were visiting one of the brand's spas. This massage (which you can do at your desk, while watching TV, on the bus... basically anytime you need a me-time quickie) is designed to release the tension in your eyes and jaw which can build up throughout the day, thanks to all the muscles we're using constantly for our facial expressions. In addition to the anti-stress and -tension benefits, facial massages boost circulation, which can give you the added bonus of glowing skin, even when you feel like you're about to fall asleep standing up.
Primrose recommends starting this whole process on a cleansed face, doing the first two steps before you apply any oil or face cream
1. Eye Release
Place the fleshy pads of your hands (the part attached to your thumbs) between your eyebrows. Using medium pressure, drag your hands along your eyebrows out toward your temple. Repeat as many times as you'd like.
Move your hands down below your eyes, and drag out along your cheekbones. Repeat as desired.
2. Jawbone Massage
In the style of Spock, create a V shape by separating your middle and ring fingers. Rub back and forth along your jawline, from your chin to your ear. This move is designed to release any tension in your jawbone, so repeat until you feel that happening.
3. Apply Oil To Your Hands
Primrose recommends using L'Occitane's Immortelle Divine Youth Oil, which has a ridiculously luxurious feel. You can use an oil that best addresses whatever your skin is craving at the time of the massage, or go for a scent that really calms you down. You can do this after step four, if you're not showing skin on your chest.
4. Décolleté Massage
Using the palm of your hands, rub from the center of your chest out towards your shoulder. Repeat, then move to the other side of your chest.
5. Neck Massage
Use both hands to rub up your neck towards your jawline.
6. Mini Pinches
Next, perform little pinches from your chin up to your ears. This promotes micro circulation, Primrose explains, which is just the circulation in your very tiniest blood vessels.
7. Mini Circles
Starting at the center of your chin, use your first two fingers to create mini circles on your face. Move along your jawline, then under your cheekbones, then along your cheekbones.
8. Strong Lifts
Using the pads on the palm of your hands, follow the same paths from step six, this time using strong lifting motions to further release any tension.
9. Repeat Often
As long as you're down to get a little oily, there's pretty much zero limit to how often you can do this massage. Repeat any time your stress levels could use a little lowering.