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The facial treatment you should do once a week, according to the pros


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Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold
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Your skin-care regimen likely looks the same every day, whether you’re a lazy girl at heart or you go all the way to, say, a 12th step. (Hey, why not layer your serums?) But no matter how many products you’re using, there’s something extra you can do for even more radiance—and it’s totally free.

The pro secret? Facial massage. “As an added skin-care exercise to incorporate weekly, [massage] can be really effective,” says San Francisco-based holistic facialist Kristina Holey, who recently joined forces with natural beauty guru Marie Veronique’s eponymous line as a co-formulator.

“As an added skin-care exercise to incorporate weekly, facial massage can be really effective.”

“It stimulates the skin and muscles, and gets the blood and lymph moving in the face to create a bright and even skin tone,” she says. So apparently it does a lot more than just feel really good.

Another perk of treating yourself to the power of the therapeutic, hands-on method? According to Holey, it can help clear gunk out of your pores, which will then allow your facial products to penetrate deeper into your skin—so you’re getting your money’s worth for the skin-care products in your makeup bag.

How do you actually massage your face? Keep reading to learn this expert technique for healthy, super-glowy skin.

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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

What you’ll need

Start with a fresh, clean face. “When massaging the skin, splash with warm water and pat dry,” Holey advises. “Then apply an oil blend to moisturize the skin.”

Pick an oil to use. Don’t apply just any extract—Holey recommends finding one that works with your skin type. “If you’re acne-prone, use sunflower seed oil to help clear the pores while nourishing with the proper essential fatty acids,” she explains. “If you’re dry, try something with gamma-linolenic acid such as borage seed or evening primrose oil for boosted hydration.”

Skip the essential oils if your skin tends to be sensitive. “Stick with carrier oils,” she says. “If you have strong skin with a developed barrier layer, however, you can use safe essential oils to further stimulate and integrate various active properties.”

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facial massage
Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

How to give yourself a pro-level massage

Holey recommends using your first three fingers on each hand to move across your face in small, circular motions. Though she says it doesn’t matter where you start, she prefers to begin with the eyes and cheekbones, then top to bottom: forehead, cheeks, jawline, and neck.

“Make sure you’re not pulling on the skin, but applying enough pressure in order to truly feel the muscles beneath them and move them,” says Holey. “The skin may start to feel warm, the nose may become slightly itchy as the blood starts to circulate, and the capillaries may dilate slightly—these are all normal and good things.”

She notes that the immediate effect is an increased blood flow, awakened skin, and a decrease in any swelling or puffiness. “Otherwise, it’s like the rest of your body,” says Holey. “Think about Pilates—it takes a while. It’s about forcing certain muscles to soften and contract, and keeping the face in shape.”

Turns out doing this simple—yet indulgent—ritual just once a week proves that the secret to smooth, super-healthy skin is literally in your hands (hello, perfect addition to #selfcaresunday).

And here’s how to give an amazing body massage if you have no idea what you’re doing. Just be sure to use these essential oils that’ll get you in the mood.