Science Of Vertical Line Massage
Vertical Lines Evoke Negative Perceptions
Frown [glabellar] lines develop due to repetitive mimics associated with muscle movement often due to negative emotions or deep thought or concentration.This can lead to grimaces, squinting and also eye sight deterioration. Frequent frowning results in a stronger muscle causing visible, deep lines.
“Not all wrinkles are the same. Lines around the eyes can indicate a lot of laughter and happiness in life. On the contrary, frown lines can be unattractive for the brain because they mimic a negative emotion.” Dr Arnaud Aubert an expert in experimental psychology and senior lecturer at University of Tours [The Skin, The Brain and Our Senses workshop at In-Cosmetics 2014]
Not all people are keen to have Botox. An alternative approach is important – even if not immediately effective, but with a cumulative benefit. Many facialists have developed their own massage protocol for at home self-administration. I am the first to promote a single step mode of action, extrapolating the effect by marrying emerging evidence from related areas of skin research.
Vertical Lines Massage
My aim is to provide an alternative technique to Botox helping to reduce the appearance of frown lines.
Vertical Line Massage offers a mid-point between effleurage [gliding massage strokes] and micro-dermabrasion. The combination of 4 plant oils [due to their composition] has been optimised for effective delivery of the 4 technologically advanced actives as well as achieving a pleasant, luxurious and “dry” oil skin feel. The plant oils have beneficial properties for the skin but not enough to accelerate deep skin repair.
The VERTICAL LINE MASSAGE has two parts: DRY SKIN MASSAGE and EFFLEURAGE, a gliding movement with the 4 Anti-Ageing Serum.
- The benefits of dry skin brushing for health have been investigated in Japan and Germany where these techniques have a tradition and seem to positively affect body immunity.
- Dry skin massage of vertical lines – prior to serum application – opens up skin barrier for enhanced penetration of active ingredients. It has a function similar to tape stripping*** [a procedure done in the laboratory to reduce the skin barrier to understand delivery of active ingredients deeper into the skin] and microdermabrasion**** [in salon but nowadays also at-home abrasive procedure removing layers of the stratum corneum].
- The dry skin rubbing has to be done gently, so that the skin feels warm and pink, but, not too abraded.
I run a small pilot study in the clinic to demonstrate the benefits of using the Vertical Line Massage with 4 Anti-Ageing Serum. The InfoGraphics and best respondent photos are below. All good responders reported one-grade difference in glabellar grades in 28 interventions, simulating a month of daily application. [L’Oreal Skin Atlas Volume 1]
We Focus On The Frown Lines
We look people “in the eye” to see if we can trust them. Therefore, the eye region is the first place where we can differentiate even small changes in wrinkle depth; with an ability to detect as low as 20 % change in skin surface topography. Faces without wrinkles are judged as significantly younger and more attractive. Forehead lines and wrinkles can have a high impact on people’s judgment. [Samson et al, 2010]
Alleviating The Perception Of Ageing Is Important
In the context of evolutionary psychology, we now understand the significance of age-related changes in visible skin quality in social interaction. We are hard-wired to assess the faces of people we meet in terms of age, health and fertility. The intersection of the scientific fields of skin biology and evolutionary psychology provides a modern, powerful framework for investigating the perception of wrinkles, as it explains the human obsession with a youthful and healthy appearance.
Our Eyes Are Powerful
People view the world through eyes that are drawn to areas of high contrast. It has been determined experimentally that the minimum discernible difference in grey-scale level that the human eye can detect is about 2% of full brightness. This outstanding contrast sensitivity allows us to perceive the world around us in great detail. In simple terms, we view the world through edges created by contrast. This understanding of our vision is critical to the understanding of how we perceive those around us. Specific changes in the properties of facial skin provide visual cues that signal the progression of ageing. In young skin, reflection from the skin surface is largely diffuse, and this effect contributes to the perception of young skin as soft and firm. Lines and wrinkle represent a high contrast area to which our eyes are drawn. [Matts PJ, 2008].
Alternative To Botox?
Botulinum toxin is widely used and has become a popular mass phenomenon in aesthetic medicine. Considerable scientific data concerning the psychosocial impact of Botox use have become available. The bi-directional interaction of mimic and emotion, described as the Facial Feedback Hypothesis, is particularly influenced, as is mimicry. Furthermore, Botox can cause dysfunction of face harmony including false laughing or the “frozen face”. As a result, complex psychosocial disturbances can occur and may affect social interaction and cause flattening of affect. Thus one must ask whether in the future botulinum toxin will continue to be employed in aesthetic dermatology or perhaps be regarded as a misguided path. [Harth W, 2013].
Massage can provide an alternative choice to Botox in reducing vertical lines and wrinkles. However, further research into the full effect of different massage modalities and their impact on skin layers is required. The benefits of massage for the skin i.e. penetration of active ingredients and the impact on fibroblasts [collagen producing cells in the dermis], have been discussed recently. [Dr Howard Maibach, a leading US dermatologist, my review in SPC 2016 and in clinical studies in facial scar tissue]
***Ad Tape stripping: Tape stripping is one of the oldest procedures used in penetration studies. It involves the removal of a single layer corneocyte cells from the skin surface. This procedure is considered non-invasive and is applicable exclusively to the stratum corneum.
****Ad Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a professional technique using abrasive material to to remove cells in the stratum corneum. It has been reported to produce changes in dermal matrix and, as a result, an improvement in skin surface irregularities. Changes are seen in the dermis including increased density of collagen fibers with more regular arrangement in collagen bundles. It may also be beneficial in improving delivery of active ingredients. [El-Domyati et al, 2016; Spencer JM, 2005]