Recently my mother proudly told me that a friend of hers’ told her that I have a very innocent, baby-like face. I was informed of this commentary when my mother and I were having lunch together on our dining table. While I religiously chewed my quinoa and palak paneer (an Indian dish made of spinach and chunks of cottage cheese), I began pondering over my innocence. I concluded that I’d rather focus on retaining my innocent looking face rather than figure out where I would stand on the Innocent Meter.
As I write this piece, I am 24 years of age. Occasionally when I remind my mum of this fact, during conversations that I don’t particularly enjoy having, she says “You’re hardly 24. You’re a few months away from 25.”
I don’t mean to boast, but I have been refused entry from nightclubs and have been denied drinks multiple times. I am not an attendee of the petite party and the unofficial legal drinking age in India is 21 years. The above, along with my mum’s friend’s opinion, is obviously confirmation that I look like a high-school’er.
Since one of my many life goals is to preserve my youthful appearance through naturopathy, I developed my facial massage routine that I do on myself at home at least once a week. I prefer easy-quick-mini-detoxifying-techniques (Oil Pulling is another favourite) that I can incorporate into my daily/weekly routine; as compared to a weeklong juicing diet or other such detox programs that may or may not include starvation and a bucketful of angry tears.
The facial massage techniques that I use are mainly adopted from Lymphatic Drainage Massage. This form of massage stimulates the body’s Lymphatic System by applying slight pressure over the lymph nodes. This boosts blood circulation and helps the body get rid of toxins and waste. I find that the techniques that I use help stretch my facial muscles, improves metabolism, boosts immunity, resolves water retention issues, de-puffs my eyes and face, clears sinusitis congestion and is a natural to way to plump and lift my facial muscles. These facial massage techniques can be done as often as you like, whenever you have the time. The entire routine takes about 5 minutes to do effectively, but if you only have half a minute then you can do the whole thing with fewer reps. The idea is to do what works for you and to make it your own. Change it up if you prefer and incorporate other techniques that you may know off, but do it consistently to look and feel younger. To retain my innocence, I perform my facial massage routine at least once a week, usually on Sundays when I pamper myself with DIY home-spa treatments and a glass of red wine.
- Available hands.
- An oily/balmy substance.
- The last step requires the use of your own tongue.
And the excitement begins..
Start with a clean face. Smooth the oil or balm over your entire face and neck.
Step 1: With 2 fingers press behind each ear and focus on the spot where your ear meets your jaw. Work your way downward toward your collarbone. Repeat 3 times.
Step 2: With 3 fingers work your way outwards from the center of your forehead toward your temples using bearable pressure. Repeat 3 times.
Step 3: Pinch your eyebrows back and forth. Repeat 3 times. This action completely relaxes me.
Step 4: With 3 fingers start below your eyes and work your way downward toward your jaw. Repeat 3 times.
Step 5: With 3 fingers start below your cheekbones and work your way downward toward your jaw. Repeat 3 times.
Step 6: With 2 fingers start from above your lips and work your way toward the corners of your mouth. Give yourself a slight mouth lift before repeating 3 times.
Step 7: With 2 fingers work your way outward from the center of your jaw toward your ears. Repeat 3 times. This step might be the most painful. Use bearable pressure and focus on your lymph nodes. Try feeling them and applying pressure directly on them.
Step 8: Work your ring finger around your eyes in a clockwise and anti-clockwise motion. Repeat 3 times in each motion. This action helps to reduce puffiness around your eyes, in particular.
Step 9: This is a technique that I learned at a yoga class. It boosts blood circulation and exercises your facial muscles, amongst having other health benefits. It may seem silly, but I promise you it works. Roll your tongue in your mouth as if you are trying to swallow it. Simultaneously focus your eyes on the tip of your nose. Do it for 20-30 seconds each time. Repeat 3 times.
If you’ve used an oil/balm cleanser, wash off and pat dry with tissue. If you’ve used a face oil, leave it on if you have dry skin.
The Beauty Reel tips:
- I like to use the Eve Lom Cleanser and the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. A more affordable (but still effective) alternative is the Hamdard Roghan Badam Shirin Almond Oil.
- If your ‘plus one’ owes you countless massages, this is a great one to ensure you get. Due to my detailed video, he/she cannot pretend to not know what to do. Leave out step 9 if you don’t want to look silly in front of your partner.
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– Photographs and video by Nithin Barath, BV Vishnu and Dinesh