Lately, it seems that face sculpting has been on everyone’s radar. Unlike contouring, which is done with makeup, face sculpting goes deeper, using massage and aesthetic treatments to bring out your natural, beautiful bone structure. Certain massage techniques, like Gua Sha and lymphatic drainage massage, can help de-puff, de-stress, and invigorate the skin. They can also enhance the more evident face-sculpting effects of some popular aesthetic treatments. Below, we’ll explore the massage methods and aesthetic treatments that can help bring your natural contouring into higher definition.
If you’re on any form of social media, you’ve probably heard of or seen the popular new beauty trend of Gua Sha. Gua means 'scrape' and Sha means 'petechiae' (tiny, flat red, purple spots) in Chinese. Originally used for conditions like heatstroke and the common cold, Gua Sha has become a beauty trend purporting to fix everything from enlarged pores to the puffy eyelids associated with hangovers. Is it all just marketing? Perhaps.
Gua Sha works on our hard-working and complex lymphatic system, which flushes waste and toxins from inside the body. Unlike the cardiovascular system, which uses our heart to pump blood through it, the lymphatic system circulates lymph fluid when the muscles of the body move and contract. Since we don’t use the muscles in our face as much, lymph fluid has a tendency to collect there.
The purpose of Gua Sha massage for the face is to manually drain that sluggish lymph fluid. A Gua Sha treatment involves lightly scraping the facial skin in a proscribed pattern to invigorate blood flow, release heat-toxins, stimulate lymphatic drainage, activate various points of the body, and bring helpful cells to the area by stimulating an immune response.
Acolytes of Gua Sha will spend hundreds of dollars on a session that they say leaves them feeling drained, more relaxed, and looking fresh-faced and toned. However, it’s becoming more common for people to perform Gua Sha on themselves using the tools of the trade, which look like flattened spoons in decor-friendly shades of pastel, usually made from quartz and other gemstones. Be careful if you attempt this, though—done incorrectly, Gua Sha massage can cause bruising, micro-tears in the skin, and broken capillaries.
While Gua Sha is certainly having its moment, the trend falls under the umbrella of a legitimate therapy known as lymphatic drainage massage. The main aesthetic benefits of a lymphatic drainage massage would be its ability to de-puff, reduce swelling, assist the elimination of toxins improve circulation, and support tissue healing. If that seems like a lot, it is—but keep in mind that the effects of a lymphatic drainage massage will be subtle. You can seek out a professional or perform a version of lymphatic drainage massage on yourself at home, gently massaging the face upwards with light strokes. Huda Kattan, owner of Huda Beauty, has shared an excellent how-to guide here.
As we’ve mentioned, the main benefits of Gua Sha and lymphatic massage for the face are improved circulation, elimination of toxins, tissue healing, de-puffing, and a sculpted and toned look. These techniques can both enhance various aesthetic treatments, which boast similar outcomes but are faster, more effective, and scientifically proven. Here are the facial treatments we recommend to put your best face forward:
TriBella™ treatments combine three of the most popular aesthetic technologies into one. First, a photofacial reduces sun damage and fades discoloration for a brighter complexion. Then, an anti-aging treatment erases fine lines and wrinkles for a firmer, more youthful look. Finally, a skin resurfacing treatment* smoothes out imperfections and improves the texture of the skin. The treatments boost the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin for an overall firmer, brighter, and more youthful appearance.
Lax skin can cause an overall loss of definition in the face. Non-surgical skin tightening treatments use radio frequency energy to rejuvenate the appearance of skin by safely and comfortably heating the tissue under the skin's surface. This triggers the natural production of collagen and elastin, the key building blocks of refined, youthful skin. The result is effortlessly tighter, smoother, and younger-looking skin, which gives the face a firmer, sculpted appearance.
Proponents of Gua Sha love how the stimulation can smooth wrinkles and plumps up skin. Wrinkle reduction treatments do the same, but the results last much longer. They work by delivering targeted radio frequency energy deep below the skin’s surface to stimulate skin cell renewal and promote increased collagen and elastin production. They use a gentle heating process to boost your skin’s natural processes, supporting skin health from the inside out in comfortable sessions, with no downtime. Quick and effective, wrinkle reduction treatments fade fine lines, restoring firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
All face sculpting techniques can benefit from skin resurfacing treatments*, a rejuvenating aesthetic treatment that correct signs of skin damage and improve the appearance of acne scars and other scars, stretch marks, rosacea, enlarged pores, deep wrinkles, and uneven skin texture and pigmentation. With the latest advances in technology, skin resurfacing treatments can be safe for all shades of skin, improving the health and appearance of skin after just a few sessions, with little to no downtime.
Far gentler than microdermabrasion or a chemical peel, Venus Glow™ facial renewal treatments are a fast, safe, and effective way to leave skin feeling noticeably healthier, cleaner, and more hydrated. Boosted with Glow Serums™, the treatment can be tailored to treat any number of other skin concerns, such as acne, rosacea, or premature aging. In combination with any other facial treatment, Venus Glow™ treatments enhance results by restoring and refreshing skin.
Whether you try Gua Sha or not, face sculpting is all about self care, and uncovering the best version of how you look. Get your journey of self care started by finding a Venus Treatments provider near you.
*Note: Facial massage is not recommended in the first 24 hours following a skin resurfacing treatment.
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