Try This On Yo’ Face! Tanaka Facial Massage

January 12, 2015

Here is a beauty practice that doesn’t require spending any money.

Facial massage is an ancient technique that has a rational basis behind its application.

Adding facial massage to your daily beauty routine can help with the following:

– Drain lymphatic fluids
– Improve circulation
– Tone facial muscles

Thus helping to reduce puffiness, lift the sagging of the jowls, and reduce the formation of wrinkles on your face!

yukoku

The Tanaka Technique

The method I use is the Tanaka facial massage, which was created by Japanese makeup artist Yukuku Tanaka.

You can learn the Tanaka technique by watching these videos:

Tanaka Face Massage – Part 1
Tanaka Face Massage – Part 2
Tanaka Face Massage – Part 3
Tanaka Face Massage – Part 4

Although there are many of the Tanaka massage videos floating around on YouTube, I wanted to give a shoutout of thanks to Stephanie of Epic Beauty Guide who took on the the task of translating the videos into English.

If you watch the videos, there are some things that you may notice:

  • The massage is done according to a very specific sequence
  • Getting the right amount of pressure is important, “between pain and comfort”
  • For the sake of symmetry, always do to one side exactly what you did to the other
  • Yukuku Tanaka looks like a stern-faced Michael Jackson

Why I Think It Works

The reason for following the sequence according to the instructions and applying the proper amount of pressure is in order to facilitate the drainage of lymphatic fluids from your face.

Look at this illustration of the human anatomy:

lymph

[Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918. Source.]

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Ok, it may not be the most up to date illustration of the lymphatic system. But you get the idea.

There are lymph nodes in front of your ears, behind your ears, around your mouth, under your jaw line and down along your neck.

The movements of the Tanaka massage follow a path that hits the superficial nodes (the ones close to the surface of the skin) and moves the fluid down towards your chest.

Now you should be aware that lymphatic massage is a method that was developed and is used for people with lymphatic issues. It hasn’t been scientifically studied for its anti-aging benefits.

But personally, I do the massages on a regular basis and I’ve noticed that my jowls, which were starting to sag a bit, look better.

Also, if you suffer from puffiness because of allergies and sinus issues (like me), the massage can certainly help to reduce puffiness.

tanaka

How Often To Do This

Although the massage can be done safely every day, I do this about three times a week.

Usually it’s while I’m performing my nighttime routing using a creamy cleanser (like the sweet Aloree cleansing milk) or when I’m applying my nighttime moisturizer.

If your skin responds well to natural oils, then I would recommend using sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

Some words of caution

It’s very important to follow the sequence as shown in the video. If you don’t do it properly, it can lead to facial sagging.

Always keep symmetry in mind.

Also, it’s important to apply the proper amount of pressure so you are massaging the muscles and not just tugging at the skin.

If you are concerned about pulling the skin around the eyes, try applying pressure with the pads of your fingers on the space between your eye and brow bone. It will have the same effect of draining fluids and reducing puffy eyes.

And one last thing: if your skin is prone to acne, you may want to slowly try out the massage.

If it’s leading to more breakouts, I would suggest stopping or reducing the amount of time that you perform the massage.

In Closing…

No matter your age, I hope you bring the practice of facial massage into your life.

It can be a very relaxing and pleasant addition to your nightly or morning routine 🙂

And do let us know how it works for you!

9 thoughts on “Try This On Yo’ Face! Tanaka Facial Massage

    1. Kareen

      Yes, give it a try! What kind of oil do you use? I’ve tried many oils and found that my skin doesn’t like them. It’s too bad because it would make facial massages so much easier!

      Reply
      1. Helene @healthyfrenchie

        I’ve been using grapeseed oil lately and it’s great. Sweet almond oil (Welleda) works pretty well for me too. I’ve only been using them in the winter so far though. I’m not sure how my skin would react to them in warm weather

        Reply
  1. ashneli

    i have a really important question..if somehow i stop aftr doing this massage will my skin sag? am 20 n started doing it because i kinda wanted to reduce face fat but what if i stop? what happens after?

    Reply
  2. Meena

    my question is also same that I will start doing the massage but maybe sometime I could not do it like for long time so it will not start my skin sagging btw I’m 27yrs I have puffy eyes

    Reply
    1. Kareen

      Hi Meena. If you are concerned about sagging from improper massage, you could instead try facial exercises. But massaging around your eye area helps with draining fluid and therefore reduces puffiness.

      Reply

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