In preparation for my talk on touch at the Anti-Ageing Conference in London, I am looking at evidence for facial massage.
Massage appears to inﬂuence the entire face and this may be one reason why visual evaluation is difﬁcult. The combination of 3D-CT analysis (enables us to recognize anatomical changes in the subcutaneous structures of the face) and visual assessment helps to evaluate the effects of facial massage in detail.
The nasolabial folds are groove-like structures running outside of the nasal alae and the corners of the mouth. They are easy to evaluate visually. The adipose tissue out-side of the nasolabial folds is thick and forms the shape of the cheek.
Facial massage method: Using cosmetic cream as a lubricant, facial skin and muscles were massaged relaxing the muscles and promoting blood and lymph ﬂow. The massage procedure (5 min long, repeated twice):
- 1) kneading the entire facial muscles with a ﬁnger tip,
- 2) upward rubbing from the bottom to top of the face with a whole finger (from jaw line, to cheek, forehead, and eyes)
- 3) rubbing from the bottom to the top of the face with all four ﬁngers
RESULTS: Facial massage caused morphological changes at multiple locations on the face:
a) the subcutaneous soft tissue around the jaw tightened, soft tissues moved upwards at sites around the jaw
b) the thickness of fat tissue at the nasal wing increased
c) the shapes of the facial mimic muscles changed
d) the cheek top is moved upward and subcutaneous changes i.e. thickness of the adipose tissue in the cheek increased.
There is an increase in thickness of the soft tissue and a change in the conﬁguration of the facial expression muscles. The massage affects the shape of the nasolabial folds by causing morphological changes of the cheek, which alter the appearance of the nasolabial folds.