There are many reasons why we may experience pigmentation issues on our faces. Sometimes these are caused by hormones, sometimes by sun damage, and sometimes it is genetic. Or there could be a mixture of factors at play.
I can’t promise you a magical cure for pigmentation or sunspots. But I can share some ways you can reduce the appearance of existing hyperpigmentation and prevent new areas from cropping up in the future.
Today’s post will start with a short Face Yoga routine that focuses on boosting the circulation to your face. It should take around ten to fifteen minutes.
Good circulation is vital to healthy skin. Fresh blood brings oxygen and essential nutrients to your skin cells and helps to carry away waste. Since pigmentation and discolouration can be caused by a lack of oxygen, we want to work on increasing the blood flow to the skin.
As well as encouraging healthy circulation, Face Yoga and facial massage are fantastic for unblocking stagnant energy. Known as Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Prana in Yoga, this energy equates to our life-force. When it becomes sluggish or blocked, it can lead to physical issues, including dull and discoloured skin. So, we want to get the energy flowing freely again to boost the health of our skin and reduce pigmentation naturally.
As well as this face yoga routine for pigmentation, I have a couple of other tips to share at the end that will help you reduce existing pigmentation and avoid further issues in the future. I talk about pigmentation in this podcast episode with Dr Rachel Ho.
Before You Start
Make sure you have clean hands and a clean face before you start this routine. Find a comfortable place to sit. Ideally, have a mirror available so that you can see what you are doing.
I recommend applying a few drops of a moisturising serum before doing any Face Yoga routine. It helps your fingers to move smoothly over your skin without dragging at it.
My preferred serum is Fusion by Danielle Collins. It is a deeply moisturising serum packed with powerful plant oils to boost your skin’s health. And, because it was developed with face yoga in mind, it doesn’t sink in as quickly as some serums, so you won’t have to reapply it halfway through the routine. You may want to also follow along with these exercises via my youtube video
Take the fingertips of both hands to your neck and begin to tap all over your neck, moving up to your jaw and then your cheeks. Use a lighter pressure as you tap over the skin under your eyes, then increase the pressure again as you go up to your forehead.
You can continue moving up and down these areas to wake up the skin and start to increase the blood flow to your face.
This is likely a familiar move – I use it in many of my routines because it is fantastic for the circulation.
2. Cheeks and Mid-Face
The next two moves start to work the muscles of your cheeks and mid-face, increasing the circulation from the inside out. They are also great for lifting the cheek area.
First, form your mouth into an ‘O’ shape, wrapping your lips around your teeth. Place one hand on your forehead and the other on your chin, slightly overlapping your lower lip. Open your eyes wide.
The hand on your forehead should help prevent you from raising your eyebrows, avoiding wrinkling your brow.
Hold the pose for a count of ten and then release. Take a breath, then repeat the move twice more, each time holding while you count to ten.
Next, give a big smile, concentrating on really lifting the corners of your mouth up. Tuck your lips around your teeth and use your index fingers to smooth any lines that appear between your nose and mouth as you hold this pose.
Count to ten and then release back to neutral. Repeat this twice more.
Place the fingers of both hands on your collarbone and tilt your head back, being mindful of your neck here.
Stick out your bottom lip until you can feel the muscles engage at the front of your neck. You don’t have to be really exaggerated with it, but you should feel the muscles pulling up.
Breathe through your nose as you hold the pose for around five breaths, then release back to centre.
With both hands, make a ‘C’ shape with your index finger and thumb. Stroke down your forehead from your hairline to make sure the area is lovely and smooth. Stop with your index fingers just above your eyebrows and your thumbs just under your cheekbones.
Move your eyebrows slightly up and out, using your index fingers to stop them from moving so much that your brow starts to crease. You might find you have to exert a fair amount of pressure.
Release and repeat the move continually for around 30 seconds. As you do it, visualise the energy and blood flowing to this area, bringing nutrients and oxygen to reduce pigmentation.
Then massage the forehead area by gently smoothing the fingers of both hands over it. Start in the centre and move out towards your temples, then lift off and replace your fingers in the centre again. This is very soothing but still encourages the blood flow to the top layer of the skin.
5. Around the Eyes
Using your index fingers, gently smooth in a circle around your eyes, moving over the top of your eyebrows and down under the cheekbones. This encourages lymphatic drainage, the mechanism by which our bodies naturally remove waste and toxins from our cells.
Once you’ve done several larger circles, make them smaller so you are coming under the eyebrows and above the cheekbones. Use a featherlight touch here – the skin under your eyes is very delicate and you don’t want to drag at it.
As you circle your fingers, take deep breaths in and out through your nose. Concentrate on making your exhale longer than your inhale. This gets more oxygen into your system, meaning there will be more available for your skin cells.
6. Corner of Eyes and Nose
Lightly press your index fingers to the corners of your eyes, just by your tear ducts. Give them a little wiggle to encourage the blood flow to the eyes. Repeat this at the corner of your nostrils.
Using the first two fingers on each hand, flick upwards just beneath your cheekbones, working from your nose out towards your ears. Return to your nose and repeat this a couple of times. You’ll feel the tingle as this move increases the circulation to your cheeks.
8. Jaw and Cheeks
Use your index fingers, middle fingers, and thumbs to pinch up from your jaw until you are level with your nose. Return to your jaw and repeat this several times.
Make sure you are working down into the muscle and not just pulling out the top layer of skin. This gets the blood moving into all three layers of skin.
Use the same pinching motion to work along your jawbone, starting at your chin and working out towards your ears. Repeat this three times.
The nose area is especially prone to pigmentation, often because of sun damage. To boost the circulation to this area, take the index and middle fingers of both hands to either side of your nose and smooth up and down repeatedly.
Then, use your index fingers to stroke up your nose from the tip to towards the eyebrows.
We’ll finish the routine the same way we started, by tapping our fingers all over the face and neck. Then, take a long, deep breath.
Daily Practices to Reduce Pigmentation
The routine I’ve shared above really needs to be done daily so that you see results. As I say, there are no magic cures for skin pigmentation, but following this routine regularly will reduce dark spots over time and prevent further issues.
As well as Face Yoga, I have three other tips that you should use daily to help you reduce pigmentation naturally.
1. Moisturising Serum
Our faces are very vulnerable to damage from free radicals, which can lead to pigmentation issues. To combat this, I recommend using a moisturising serum that is high in antioxidants. Look out for serums that are high in vitamins A, E, and especially C.
Rosehip oil is another ingredient to look for – it is clinically proven to reduce sunspots and age spots. Apricot kernel oil, carrot oil, and green tea extract are excellent sources of antioxidants too.
My own serum, Fusion by Danielle Collins, contains all these ingredients and is available from my shop. You can use it before your moisturiser or instead of it. Try this video from my Youtube channel.
If you take just one tip away from this post it should be this one. Use SPF on your face every day to reduce sun damage and prevent pigmentation. Even if it is a cloudy day or you are going to be indoors – the harmful UVA rays can penetrate through the glass and cloud cover.
I like the unscented factor 30 from Green People. This is not an ad or a sponsored link, just a product I’ve found works for me. But any SPF that suits your skin is fine, as long as you use it daily.
3. Gua Sha
Finally, I recommend adding gua sha to your daily routine. It can boost blood circulation by up to 400%, so it is a fantastic tool for reducing pigmentation naturally. Ideally, find a rose quartz one, which is best for sensitive skin and pigmentation. Try this youtube video from my channel.
It takes just one minute a day, and you can do it after your Face Yoga routine. Or do what I do and use your Gua Sha in the morning and Face Yoga in the evening as part of your skincare routine.
These small habits can make a big difference to your skin. If you’d like more tips on how to make Face Yoga part of your daily routine, I have a ten-day course available to help you. It comes with a free digital copy of my first book, so you have plenty of resources to help you on your Face Yoga journey.