Ask the Expert: What Is a Buccal Massage?
You may think there’s not a lot of variety to massages. All you do is lie down and let someone (or, in some cases, something) work your skin for you to get totally relaxed. There’s usually calming instrumentals in the background, and maybe there’s even some oils or fancy wrist movements involved as well. If this is the line of thinking you’re coming from in terms of massages, we’re willing to bet you’ve never heard of a buccal massage before.
So, what is a buccal massage? To answer this question, we turned to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Julia Tzu. Ahead, Dr. Tzu helps us get to the bottom of what a buccal massage is and whether or not it actually works!
WHAT IS A BUCCAL MASSAGE?
The skin on your face gets a lot of attention when it comes to your skin care routine. There are face masks, face serums, face moisturizers, face washes, and more—so why not give your face its own massage as well? That’s where the buccal massage comes in. “This newly popularized massage,” Dr. Tzu says, “is essentially a facial massage that concentrates on improving the circulation around the ‘buccal’ region.” The word ‘buccal’ refers to the area around the mouth and chin. This is the area a buccal massage focuses on.
And yes, it’s become particularly en vogue when it comes to alternative methods to working on the skin on your face, with plenty of public figures swearing by the method. But what goes into a massage that focuses on such a specific area? More on that, next!
HOW DOES A BUCCAL MASSAGE WORK?
The skin care professional providing the buccal massage will manually manipulate the area within and outside of the receiver’s mouth with latex-wrapped fingers. This may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of places to receive a massage, but many people swear by it.
“In my own private practice,” says Dr. Tzu, “I perform a buccal massage after the injection of cosmetic fillers for nasolabial folds as well as for acne scar subcision.” Her own medical variant of a buccal massage, she adds, is to improve the distribution of injectable hyaluronic acid within the skin.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BUCCAL MASSAGE?
Like we said earlier, you probably just associate massages as a luxurious method of relaxation. This initial thinking is correct—massages are certainly a great way to de-stress and are used by many as a way to unwind from life’s frustrations. But they also provide a lot of physical benefits you may not have been aware of.
For example, do you feel as if your face looks more swollen that usual? The buccal massage may be able to help. According to Dr. Tzu, this physical working of the buccal area may also help to improve lymphatic drainage of the face, aiding to de-puff the appearance of the area around your mouth. The massage can also assist temporarily with blood flow and the contouring of the face.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A BUCCAL MASSAGE?
Interested in trying a buccal massage? Talk to your skin care provider! Keep in mind that buccal massages are still a relatively new trend and are not offered everywhere, so it’s possible that your skin care provider does not offer them.
Never received a massage before, period? We got you covered! Check out what you can expect and ways you can prepare here!