These lymphatic-drainage massages are the at-home facials to give you the best cheekbones of your life

A-list facialist, wellbeing guru, author and influencer, Abigail James, is one of the industry’s most revered skin and wellness experts, whose unique methods and knowledge are regularly requested by those in the know on both sides of the Atlantic.

Abigail practices from one of London’s most luxury hotels, The Beaumont Hotel, where she counts Arizona Muse, Sharron Horgan and Cher among her regular clients.

That’s exactly why GLAMOUR UK has snapped her up as one of our new columnists so she can share her skincare know-how and best tips and tricks with you every month.

In her debut column, Abigail reveals how to give yourself the most amazing facial massage from the comfort of your own home.

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“Facial massage is something I am really passionate about within the treatment room, as well as at home. Not all techniques are the same, some are trickier to master than others but once you’ve grasped the way, it’s a super simple addition to your daily skincare routine. A little word of advice, for sensitive and acne-prone skin, select your method carefully so as not to aggravate; your skin is unique to you.

“We have 42 muscles on the face, all working hard to make expressions, hold stress and show emotion so the benefits of massaging our faces are plentiful. Boosting circulation, bringing fresh nutrients through blood flow to the skin, supporting healthy cell production, as well as taking a little moment for yourself, are all major benefits.

“A key element of facial massage is the action of draining, which supports the lymphatic system – the hard-working part of our body that gets rid of toxins and excess fluids.

“You may have heard of Lymphatic Massage, this is a unique method that you’ll find more in the professional treatment space. I have personally trained in the Vodder Lymphatic Drainage Method, which I use in lots of my facials, including the Naked Facial. It’s a gentle method focusing on health and detoxification. The technique releases tension in muscles and connective tissues of the face, neck and head, which in turn reduces stress and improves facial contouring.

“In terms of tools, obviously you can use your hands, which are the perfect tool, but you can also use gadgets to give a different effect and feel.”

Guasha: This is a traditional Chinese medicine, which has a smooth crystal shape with different curves to use on different parts of the face. It is often jade or rose quartz and is ideal for draining, lifting and brightening, and perfect for neck and shoulder tension.

Jade rollers: Another old school holistic method with a smooth roller, often with two sizes to roll across the surface of the skin then focus around the eyes with the smaller.

Foreo: A silicone covered facial cleansing and massage devise, this vibrates with a T-sonic vibration to work deeper through muscles and tissues to really boost results. Think vibrator for the face.

Clarisonic: Smart profile uplift, your usual Clarisonic with an upgraded massage head, you still get the brush head for cleansing plus a separate massage head, which can be used daily. This has a knuckling and kneading effect massage.

These are the questions I am asked most often and the answers you need to know…

How often can I do face massage at home?

Once to twice a week is fine, you might find that some methods are easy to add into your daily cleansing routine with a cleansing oil or balm.

How long to see results?

At-home face massage is not a quick fix or one-trick-wonder; it’s intended as an ongoing support alongside your skincare routine. I have some clients who are elated with the results and others who just enjoy the process.

How young is too young?

Face massage is non-invasive, a great relaxer and safe facial boost. Younger skins may flush quicker so go gently and a few times a month is fine for 16-year-olds and over. From the age of 25 onwards, we are physically ageing so help nature out a bit and factor in a few moments of massage.

What do I massage with?

Any plant-based oil or balm is perfect. Serums and moisturisers are not for massaging with. Avoid brightening oils as these might cause the skin to over flush.

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