At Home Facial Self-Massages - Techniques & Tools

What’s the first thing you do when you feel a headache coming on? You probably rub your forehead. This instinct may be onto something, as there are numerous benefits to self face massage. For starters, it can relieve stress and tension in your face. When done consistently, facial massage techniques can improve muscle tone, increase circulation, and promote the skin's natural filtration system to remove toxins and fluids.

To enjoy these benefits between spa visits, consider learning self facial massage techniques you can practice at home.

Potential Benefits of Self-Face Massages

Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage face massage techniques benefit not only your skin but also your entire body by promoting the movement of stagnant lymphatic fluid. What does this mean? Understand that the lymphatic system is a part of your immune system and is a key element in removing harmful waste and toxins from your body. When the buildup of fluid or blockage of lymphatic pathways occurs, swelling, puffiness, and even health issues can arise.

Using gentle lymphatic massage techniques on your face and neck can help drain fluid in your face along with environmental toxins from your skin. This home facial massage stimulates the lymphatic system and reduces swelling and puffiness, delivering oxygen to the skin and resulting in a natural glow. As if lymphatic drainage and these other benefits aren’t enough, this self-face massage can also assist in managing breakouts and lessen dark circles under your eyes. 

Helps circulation for a visual lift and healthy glow

Stimulating your facial skin for just five minutes can increase blood flow for up to ten minutes. The immediate effect of this increased blood flow is a natural glow. In the long term, enhanced blood flow brings more nutrients to the skin, which can boost collagen and elastin production. This helps maintain skin elasticity and a youthful appearance.

Relieves tension

Facial massage not only enhances the appearance of your skin but can also boost your mood and help you relax. By relieving muscle tension and activating the sympathetic nervous system (aka lessening your “fight or flight” response), home face massage techniques can positively affect your overall health. 

Using trigger point massage techniques on your face can also help alleviate discomfort from issues like TMJ and sinus pressure. Research shows that facial massages for tight, inflamed jaw muscles can help relieve symptoms, especially when combined with jaw exercises. Sinus massage may also help promote fluid and mucus drainage in the face, helping to alleviate headaches.

Steps to Giving Yourself a Facial Massage at Home

Massage techniques to give yourself a facial lift


Follow these five home facial massage steps to naturally tone and lift your face in the comfort of your home.

  1. Cleanse Hands & Face

Make sure to start with clean hands, followed by prepping your skin with your regular cleansing routine to remove all makeup, dirt, and bacteria from the day. 

  1. Warm Your Hands 

Warm up your hands by rubbing them together for a few seconds. This helps to transfer heat to your skin once you start massaging, which can help increase blood flow and promote relaxation.

  1. Prepare Your Products

Ideally, you want to use a small amount of serum, oil, or moisturizer when massaging your face so that your facial tools (or hands) can glide along the skin. Start by applying a small amount of product into your palm and rub the formula to distribute it over your hands and fingertips evenly. Applying products before massaging will also help lock in moisture and give your skin an immediate glow.

  1. Use Gentle but Firm Pressure

Using firm pressure, but not pressing too hard, press your fingers between your eyebrows and slowly slide them up your forehead. Repeat this motion across your forehead, gently pulling the skin up and out while massaging against your forehead lines to help smooth them in the right direction. 

  1. Moving Down Your Face

The next step of your self facial massage will concentrate on the eye area, where you can start at the inner corner of your eye and massage outward toward your temples. Make sure to be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging at the delicate skin around your eyes. 

Move your fingertips to your cheeks, massaging in upward, circular motions. Start at the center of your cheeks and work your way up toward your temples.

Now focusing on the chin, start in the middle of your chin and gently massage upward along the jawline, repeating several times while increasing the pressure as you go. Finish off with the neck area, using your fingertips to massage in an upward, circular motion beginning at the base of your neck and working your way up toward your chin. 

Self-massage techniques for lymphatic drainage

When doing a self-facial massage for lymphatic drainage, make sure to use direct, light pressure across your entire face and neck. Start with the same preparation steps listed above, from 1-4, and then begin the massage by activating your lymph area. 

Using the tips of your fingers, massage the lymph nodes located under your ears and down both sides of your neck. Use wide circular motions, a sweeping motion starting from under your ears, down toward your throat, and back up along your jawline. This facial massaging technique will help induce drainage of built-up fluid, causing your face to look puffy or swollen. 

Next, focus on the sides of your face using circular motions to massage your jawline and up along your cheekbones. Use upward motions to lift sagging skin, repeating for a few minutes. If you want to continue your lymphatic massage down the neck, the next place to massage is right above your collarbone. Place two fingertips on either side of your neck above the collarbone and use a small circular motion. This will help release fluid that is draining from your facial massage.

Self-massage techniques to release tension in your face

Massaging your face for tension release can include any previously mentioned techniques, as they are all relaxing. One specific trigger point for tension release is in your eyebrows. For a DIY facial massage, start with the center of your forehead and gently massage outward toward your temples with small, circular motions. Then, pinch each brow from the center to the temples using your pointer finger and thumb. Lift and squeeze gently along the brows two to three times, focusing on areas with the most tension. 

Products to Help with At-Home Face Massages

Face massage tools - manual vs. electric

There are many different types of face massage tools to choose from, and they fall into two categories: manual and electric. Manual face tools include rollers, Gua Sha stones, and face wands. Electric facial devices deliver microcurrents while you self-massage, and are generally considered “quicker” than more traditional self-massage techniques. However, these devices are less portable and are more likely to lead to skin irritation. 

Crystal Gua Shas

One of the most popular facial massage techniques is Gua Sha, which originates from Chinese medicine. Used for thousands of years, Gua Sha facial tools helps relieve tension in the muscles, improve lymphatic drainage, and boost circulation. Regular use of crystal Gua Shas may reduce wrinkles and help sculpt and tone facial muscles. There are many tutorials online to help you better understand gua sha techniques, but it’s generally considered to be not the most beginner-friendly self-massaging tool available. 

Quartz face rollers

When doing an at-home face massage, a quartz face roller can provide the added boost your skin needs. Quartz has natural calming properties and, when chilled in the refrigerator, offers a cooling, soothing effect on your skin. Quartz face rollers can help reduce puffiness under the eyes and on your face, as well as assist in lymphatic drainage. Additionally, this tool is excellent for massaging serums and moisturizers deep into the skin.


Skin Elixirs and Serums

Skin elixirs (also known as serums) are lightweight and hydrating, providing the perfect lubrication needed for your fingers or tool to smoothly massage your face. Botanika Life offers numerous elixirs, all rooted in full-spectrum CBD and other plant-based ingredients selected for their nourishing properties. Best of all, all elements of the serums come from organically-grown plants, as verified through third-party lab testing. 


FAQs About Self Face Massage Techniques 

Are lymphatic drainage face massages safe?

While this form of facial massage is generally safe for anyone, a few health conditions require consulting your doctor beforehand. For example, if you have a history of blood clots, circulatory problems, or congestive heart failure, you should talk with your healthcare provider first. 

Can facial massage reduce wrinkles?

One of the main benefits of facial massages and regularly using facial tools is the increase in collagen and elastin that can result. Increasing circulation and nutrients to your face increases collagen while also decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. 

Is it better to give myself a home facial massage in the morning or at night?

While there is no wrong time to give yourself a facial massage at home, you may reap the most benefits when doing so in the morning. This is because many of the immediate results—such as de-puffing and a natural glow—are noticeable but semi-temporary. Nonetheless, a nighttime self-facial massage can be the perfect way to de-stress and prepare your mind for sleep.

How long should a self-given facial massage last?

How long you choose to massage your face at home relies entirely on your preferences and schedule. Generally speaking, a DIY facial massage tends to last a maximum of 15-minutes. 

By Emily Wegener

With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.