Although things might look a little different this year, December is still a month full of busy times. You may even be noticing your skin looks tired and more stressed than usual as a result.
Late nights, rich food, and alcohol can leave skin looking dull and tired the next day. So, in this post, I’m sharing five easy face yoga moves you can use to revitalise and energise your skin after a night of celebrating.
I’m also drawing on some of the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to take the benefits of this short routine beyond your skin. For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has taught that different areas of our faces correspond to particular organs in the body. This is called face mapping, or mien shiang.
When the flow of Qi (lifeforce) is blocked or stagnant in one of our internal organs, the effects show up in the corresponding area of our faces. By working on those areas with Face Yoga, we help to rebalance our organs and get that life energy flowing freely again.
If you are interested in learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and the relationship between our faces and the rest of our bodies, check out the facial gua sha teacher training course I offer in partnership with the Hayo’u Method.
You can also find a video of this routine over on my YouTube channel.
Before you begin, make sure your face and hands are clean. Apply a few drops of the Fusion by Danielle Collins moisturising serum to help your fingers glide smoothly over your skin.
Find a comfortable place to sit. Start by connecting with your breath – one of the most important parts of The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method is simply taking long, deep breaths in and out through your nose.
When you start to feel calmer and more relaxed, you are ready to begin.
1. Wake Up the Skin
Using all your fingers, stroke upwards over your neck and up underneath your chin. Alternate one hand and then the other.
Then move onto the side of the neck and stroke up onto your cheeks. This wakes up your skin and starts to get your circulation moving.
Don’t forget to continue to take those long, deep breaths as you do this move, and through the whole face yoga routine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the area between our eyebrows corresponds to the liver. So, if you’ve been drinking alcohol or eating sugary, greasy foods, you may notice more redness or lines in this area.
Of course, this is also our third eye point in Yoga. When the third eye chakra is blocked or unbalanced, we often find we have trouble connecting to our intuition and feel stressed or anxious.
Working on this area helps to reduce lines and release tension. But it also brings those deeper wellness benefits from stimulating the flow of energy.
Take your thumb to the point between your eyebrows and repeatedly flick upwards to increase blood circulation to the area and help to prevent number 11 lines.
Continue for around a minute. This is a simple move but a very effective one. It comes from my new book, the Face Yoga Journal, which is available now from Amazon.
Using all your fingers, tap rapidly all over your neck and face. Start on your neck and work upwards.
If you are a long-time follower, this will be a familiar move. It is one of my favourites and I use it in many of my Face Yoga routines to increase circulation and energise the skin.
The best thing about this technique is that you can do it multiple times a day to quickly brighten and revitalise your skin. Take a look in the mirror after you’ve done this for a minute or so, you’ll notice the difference.
As you continue to tap up over your cheeks and forehead, feel your face relax and your muscles release tension.
The cheek area is another one that often shows when we’ve been overindulging. You might notice that the skin here looks dull and sallow if you’ve not had enough sleep or have been eating or drinking things that don’t agree with you.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the area along our cheekbones corresponds to our stomach, so it is no surprise that the skin here looks a bit tired after a night of indulgence.
Form your hands into fists. Press the middle knuckles up under your cheekbones and gently rock them back and forth.
This move stimulates the stomach area and brings fresh blood to the cheeks. With that fresh blood comes plenty of oxygen and nutrients to revitalise the skin, making you look energised, healthy, and well-rested, even when you haven’t slept well.
Still holding your fists against your cheeks, start to open and close your mouth. You’ll feel the muscles working against the pressure of your hands. This is great for releasing tension from the jaw, so is a beautiful technique to use if you grind your teeth or are experiencing pain or tightness in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
With all Face Yoga techniques, please work to your own level and back off if anything feels painful. This is a very intuitive method, so I encourage you to connect with your own body and work in a way that fits what your face needs in the present moment.
5. Eye Area
The eye area is somewhere we often see the effects of a late night or dehydration. You might notice dark circles or puffiness, especially if you haven’t been drinking enough water.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the eye area corresponds to the kidneys. Like your liver, the kidneys help to remove toxins from your body after a night of over-indulgence, so we want to stimulate the energy flow to these organs.
Place three fingers on each hand just beneath your eyes and gently pulse for around a minute. This boosts the lymphatic drainage system, which is found just beneath the skin. It helps to combat dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.
Remember to take those deep, restorative breaths as you pulse your fingers.
We’ll finish this short Face Yoga routine with a relaxation exercise. In a comfortable seated position, lengthen your spine, feeling a cord pulling through the crown of your head to the ceiling.
Lightly bring your index finger and thumb together into the Gyan mudra, which is the one many of us are most familiar with. It brings calm, peace, and spiritual awakening.
Rest your hands on your thighs and close down your eyes.
Take a long, deep inhale through your nose. Concentrate on breathing from your abdomen, feeling it rise as it fills with air.
Exhale through your nose and feel your abdomen fall again.
As you inhale, say in your mind the word “calm”. As you exhale, say “let go”.
Continue four or five more times.
And we are done! This whole routine should only take around 10 minutes, so it is an easy addition to your morning.
It is also a great one to do whenever you want to energise your skin.
Many of the techniques in this routine come from my new book, the Face Yoga Journal. As well as teaching you 52 new Face Yoga moves, one for each week of the year, the book has loads of useful wellness hacks and information about crystals, the chakras, and colour therapy.
You can find it on Amazon and it is a great gift to yourself or someone else to kick off the New Year on the right foot.