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Facial massage amps up anti-aging efforts

Article-Facial massage amps up anti-aging efforts

woman facial exercise

Mechanically massaging facial skin for five minutes increases blood flow to the treated area for more than 10 minutes after the massage, and five weeks of daily mechanical facial massages appears to have a longer-term effect on vasodilation in the treated area. That’s according to a small study by Japanese researchers published December in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Researchers conducted a short-term experiment in which they instructed 10 young adult males and two adult females to apply the ReFa CARAT (MTG) facial roller for five minutes on their right cheeks. The researchers used laser-speckle flowgraphy to compare the right and left untreated cheeks at baseline and after the intervention. They also did a second study with nine men and five women, average age 36, where subjects were told to use the same facial roller for more than five minutes daily for five weeks.

The company that makes the roller helped to fund the study and an MTG employee was among the paper’s authors.

They found in the short-term study that facial skin blood blow increased up to 25% on the treated cheek compared to the untreated cheek. And the increase in blood flow happened for more than 10 minutes on the treated cheek only. Visual reference available here

“The skin vasodilation response to mechanical stimulation, i.e. massage, decreased significantly after the intervention with an interaction effect, while the vasodilation response to the thermal stimulation increased significantly in the massaged cheek after the intervention but without any interaction effects in experiment 2 [the long-term experiment],” the authors write.

Facial vessels’ reactivity to the massage decreased after the roller was applied chronically, which the authors suggest could be due to desensitization.

Overall, the authors suggest that applying a facial massage roller has measurable effects on local vessels.
One way in which aesthetic physicians might use mechanical facial massage is in conjunction with topical skin rejuvenation therapies, according to a study published March 1, 2017, in the open access journal PLoS One. Researchers found that by combining mechanical facial massage with a skin anti-aging formulation, patients amplified the beneficial effects from the cream.

The research, supported by L’Oréal Research and Innovation and including authors who were L’Oréal employers, looks at the effects of mild skin massage in an ex vivo model and in vivo.

Researchers maintained skin explants ex vivo for 10 days and massaged them twice daily for one minute at various frequencies, between 65 to 85 Hz.

For the in vivo study, 20 Caucasian women, ages 65 to 75 years, applied a commercial anti-aging cream to the face and neck, followed by daily treatments using the anti-aging massage device for eight weeks. Twenty-two women in the control group applied the cream alone.

“The data presented here indicate that cyclic mechanical stimulation of ex-vivo human skin induces increased expression of certain [dermal-epidermal junction] and dermal proteins. Strikingly, protein expression was found to depend on the stimulus frequency and displayed a maximum around 75Hz. Such dynamic mechanical stimulation leads to amplification, in vivo, of the anti-wrinkle effect provided by the regular use of an anti-aging cosmetic regimen. Hence, with a device that delivers properly tuned stimuli, skin massaging provides an efficient anti-aging strategy,” the authors conclude.