To smooth the complexion and garner a glow, brides of the past have turned to facials, lasers, and products galore. While these practices have all succeeded, many are now turning to toning facial exercises to obtain similar results, if not more.
“Facial workout” is a pretty novel term to travel through the beauty world, but lymphatic drainage is anything but a new practice. Consider lymphatic drainage to be a fancy phrase for a facial massage. The physical kneading and smoothing of skin is proven to combat cellulite, drain the skin of water retention, and purge it of bacteria. In essence, this external, hand-operated performance reaps internal, detoxifying results—without the need for abrasive extractions or exfoliation.
Countless online articles link the facial massage to Chinese medical practitioners. In the 1900s, the practice spread from Asia to Europe as Parisian doctors found that massaging patients swollen lymph nodes alleviated immune system-related problems, and gave the complexion a glowing effect in the process. A facial workout has only recently been named the not-so-secret secret to effortless French beauty.
Stateside, the benefits of lymphatic drainage are finally gaining interest. However, there is no gold standard for executing this sort of facial exercises today. Here, we explore three alternate routes: lymphatic drainage performed by a professional, using an electric device, or using a non-electric device.
1. By a Professional
For professional lymphatic drainage, there’s nothing on the market quite like FaceGym. Just as one would go to the gym to work out the body’s muscles, a visit to FaceGym works out the facial muscles.
According to their National Training Manager Sophie Perry, lymphatic drainage provides skin with a ton of perks. For one, it releases muscle tension and toxins within the skin, all through non-invasive means. It also stimulates blood circulation for cell renewal, to wake up skin and give it a gorgeous glow.
“Muscles act as our facial scaffolding,” she explains. “It’s your foundation. Once you begin to work on it, you’re going to get great skincare benefits.”
Why choose to perform a facial workout professionally, rather than at home? For one, FaceGym trainers undergo an intense three-week training program, focused on the ins and outs of the face and how to manipulate its muscles. Trainers learn manual massaging techniques, plus the power of advanced technology and gadgets. A trainer may also be your best bet to target a specific area or concern. For example, if you're under excessive stress leading up to your wedding day, a trainer will know to address tension buildup in key areas, such as the jawline.
For these reasons and others, many brides now choose FaceGym as the means to that bridal glow over a typical facial. Results after one appointment are instantaneous, but last longer with maintenance—which is why FaceGym now offers a Wedding Workout Package. Starting four to six weeks before the big day, the package includes four different workouts. The last one, CRYO Oxygen, is typically performed during the week-of the wedding, and is equated to a jet wash for the face. Trainers use the muscle manipulation techniques found in most workouts, but also blast skin with a shock of concentrated CO2—equivalent to 28 glasses of water. The results? Skin that is plumped, glowing, and gorgeous.
2. With At-Home Electric Devices
To maintain a FaceGym lift, some may look into purchasing an electric muscle stimulator. Others may choose to purchase one because they are unable to reach a FaceGym facility, or prefer performing their facial exercises from the comfort of their couch. For all these individuals, Sophie recommends investing in a Purelift, used within some of FaceGym’s best workouts and described as one of the strongest electric stimulators on the market. Upon contact, the device feels like an electric massage, but just 10 minutes with it works to seriously contract, strengthen, and lift muscles.
SHOP NOW: Purelift, $499
To use: On cleansed skin, apply the Purelift’s companion conductive gel for increased collagen production and maximum results. Start off on the gadget’s lowest setting and work your way up. Move the machine in an upwards motion across the face—never down—lifting the jawline, cheekbones, then the eyebrows. Work each side of the face for five minutes each.
Another electric option comes from Jillian Dempsey, the makeup artist known for beautifying the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Stewart, and more. She recently launched her own device, the Gold Sculpting Bar for celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Dempsey first discovered the effects of Japanese 24K gold during her Asian travels, and immediately began using it on her clients. For this device, she combined the gold’s smoothing effects with subtle vibrations that pulse across the skin.
You can also consider this tool as an investment for both you and your groom—just watch as her husband, Patrick Dempsey, smoothes his own fine lines!
SHOP NOW: Jillian Dempsey, $195
To use: Dempsey recommends complete removal of makeup (skin can actually turn green otherwise) and application of a moisturizer. Next, gently push the bar up from your jawline to sculpt each cheek, and underneath the chin. Dempsey addresses “tech lines,” typically formed horizontally across the neck as a result of looking down at our phones. To iron these babies out, simply glide the bar across your neck in short, vertical movements.
3. With At-Home Non-Electric Devices
The Jade Roller looks great on Instagram, but before it became a beauty essential in the Western world, this tool was used by ancient Eastern medical practitioners in a technique called gua sha. Back then, gemstones such as jade and rose quartz drew out negative energy and balanced patients’ 'chi.' Aside from this, a manual facial massage with these stones aims to boost circulation and bring new nutrients to skin cells.
While the roller has gained major social media recognition, many wellness brands are releasing special shapes to reach any nook and cranny of the face. Whether you’re looking to sculpt out your cheekbones or the many curves of the nose, there is a shape for every situation.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $28
To use: Ensure that skin is makeup-free (so as not to simply swirl bacteria across the face) and moisturized, so the stone is not skidding, but rather gliding, in its movements. Some professionals recommend gliding the stone of choice under your cheekbones, jawline, and the eyes. Others recommend moving the stone horizontally, from the right temple, across the under eyes and nose, and to the left. No matter which way you roll, skin is bound to look tight and toned.