Do facial massages help against wrinkles?

Many beauty companies advertise that it can enhance the effectiveness of creams if massaged in properly. And manufacturers of massage tools like jade rollers and face brushes claim that their gadgets help against puffy eyes and make the skin glow. Can that be true?

Does a facial massage help against wrinkles?

The bad news first: there is no scientific evidence that existing wrinkles can be reduced by facial massages. “In my experience, facial massages also do not help to reduce wrinkles,” reveals Dr. Eveline Urselmann in an interview. It would have been too good if we could simply knock away wrinkles.


“But even if facial massages do not help against already existing wrinkles, they still have some positive effects on the skin and also on the soul – and as is well known, these can also influence each other”, knows the Munich dermatologist Dr. Elisabeth Schuhmachers. What facial massages are good for and which massage techniques you should know, we tell you in the following.

Try the Jade Roller

What is the point of a facial massage anyway?

  • “A facial massage, if done properly, will result in lymphatic drainage of the face. This reduces swelling and helps metabolic waste products to be better removed,” explains Dr. Schuhmachers.
  • “In addition, a gentle facial massage promotes blood circulation and boosts the skin’s metabolism,” adds Dr. Urselmann. As a result of the improved metabolism, the skin is better supplied with oxygen and nutrients and the removal of harmful metabolic products is accelerated.
  • Not to be underestimated is also the effect on the soul. “Face massages are pleasant and reduce stress levels. Stress hormones are reduced and as a result the skin is better supplied with oxygen and nutrients in the long term”, Dr. Schuhmacher knows.

Dr. Uselmann summarizes: “It can therefore be said that regular facial massages combined with a coordinated care can provide for an improvement of the skin condition. However, this only makes sense if the right products for the skin type are used”.

Do care products work better if you massage them in?

Yes – but only to a limited extent. According to Dr. Urselmann, the effectiveness of skin care products depends primarily on their composition and on the fact that the skin is well prepared for their absorption. “If the skin is really clean, a facial massage actually supports the effectiveness of the care through better distribution.”

Means: Clean and peel your skin thoroughly in advance so that the cream works optimally through the massage.

This is also confirmed by Dr. Schuhmacher: “Creams can actually be brought into the skin a little better mechanically by massage than by pure application. Nevertheless, the skin expert remains critical: “It is questionable whether this is relevant for the result. In the long run, it might have a slightly better effect on wrinkle prevention if creams are thoroughly massaged in regularly”. Unfortunately, this has not been scientifically proven.

The right face care for perfect skin

What does the massage do for the Glow?

Make-up artists always massage the skin before applying make-up – because then it supposedly glows from within and you need much less make-up. You can also use the effect at home. Dr. Urselmann explains: “The radiance after a facial massage is temporary and is mainly due to the increased blood circulation. A tired and pale complexion with little sleep or with smokers will quickly turn rosy again. The Glow massage works best in combination with antioxidants such as vitamin C as a serum.

What is a serum and how does it work?

How often should I massage my face?

Experts disagree on this point. While Dr. Urselmann recommends one massage per week and advises against too frequent applications because the stimuli set are no longer effective, Dr. Schuhmachers recommends: “In the case of lymph swelling, at least once a day. Otherwise, as often as it feels good”.

Is it possible to do something wrong during a facial massage?

Only if they’re too rough on your skin. So push too hard and pull. “This can lead to micro-injuries and irritations, the development of small red veins can be promoted,” said Dr. Urselmann. To prevent this from happening, it is important to apply a generous amount of cream to the skin before every massage. “If you don’t use any or too little cream when massaging, you can pull the skin too hard,” says Dr. Schuhmachers.

She recommends always starting massages gently first and increasing the intensity slowly. It is also important that massages should never be unpleasant or even hurt.

What do massage devices do for the face?

More and more manufacturers are launching scooters made of jade stones, electric cleaning brushes and other gadgets for facial massage. So if you’re wondering, as the range grows, whether all this is worth anything at all or is just money-making, you’re right to do so. Dr. Urselmann explains: “Most devices on the market work with ultrasound and vibration. The removal of dead skin cells and the increased blood circulation results in a fresher skin appearance”. So they definitely work.

But: “The problem with many devices is that they are too aggressive for sensitive skin. This can lead to redness or even micro injuries. With certain skin conditions such as rosacea, active acne or perioral dermatitis they can even cause a worsening of the skin condition”, the skin expert knows.

A contribution shared by Carola (@cardiac massage) on Apr 10, 2018 at 11:38 PDT

Dr. Schuhmacher also prefers the massage with his fingers: “A good massage with the hands is still superior to any device”. Because the fingers are guaranteed to be gentler and carry fewer risks. Dr. Urselmann goes even further: “Equipment treatments belong in the hands of an experienced beautician who can assess the skin type and skin condition”. Her tip: “It is better to invest in regular medical-cosmetic treatments and type-appropriate care than to spend money on possibly unsuitable gadgets.

Perfect complexion with the Konjac Sponge

Instructions for a facial massage

The most important utensils for facial massages are our fingers – but how do you use them correctly so that the application is also beneficial? “Basically, we differentiate between soothing stroking movements and targeted stimuli that stimulate the muscles and metabolism,” says Dr. Urselmann. The skin expert recommends the following strokes for use at home:

1. face massage against swollen eyes

Place the ring fingers at the inner corner of the eye and press lightly, then stroke along the upper orbital edge (around the orbit) with light pressure towards the temples. Repeat approximately ten times. Then make the same movement under the eyes.

Important: Use your ring finger. It has the least strength, so you can’t push too hard with it. And: Never massage the sensitive eye area “dry”, but with a care product appropriate to your type. Positive side effect: A decongestant eye cream can even increase the effect of the massage.

2. massage handle against tension in the forehead

Place the ring fingers on top of each other at the root of the nose and gently move them along the frown line towards the middle of the forehead and spread them out in a semicircle towards the temples

3. facial massage for better blood circulation and relaxation of the jaw

Start with the ring fingers at the chin and perform small spiral movements. Continue along the edge of the lower jaw to the ear.

Even more tips for radiant skin

Facial massages provide a moment of relaxation, promote blood circulation and thus a rosy glow. But only if you use the right grips and do not pull the skin too hard. So follow our instructions, then nothing will go wrong.