This 2-Step Facial Massage Can Help Smooth Away Laugh Lines & Firm The Skin
Of all the types of wrinkles, laugh lines (also called "smile lines," or "marionette lines") are one of the most difficult to treat. Technically, they fall into the "expression wrinkle" bucket, as they form by, well, smiling or laughing—and tend to stick around when collagen declines and your skin isn't as able to bounce back from these movements. But these creases are considered "gravitational," too: When your facial fat pads start to sag over time (the effects of gravity afflict us all at some point), the lower cheek area becomes more hollow, which can make those marionette lines more pronounced. All that to say: Laugh lines are no joke.
Now, we would never tell you to quit smiling and laughing—not only is that ridiculous advice, but your mental health is a vital component of skin care, anyway. But for those moments when you're not actively engaging, experts suggest slotting in intentional movement, via a face yoga practice or mindful massage, both of which can stimulate blood flow and promote collagen production.
If you're in the market for some facial massage tips, you're in luck: We recently came across an easy TikTok tutorial to target those laugh lines—with just two steps, it seamlessly fits into your skin care routine.
A two-step face massage for laugh lines.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, make sure you have some sort of slip before floating your hands across your skin. It's a nonnegotiable step before any facial massage—you need a layer of slick (like from a cleanser, cream, or face oil) to provide an easy glide. We especially adore Savor Beauty's Brightening Oil for a rejuvenating morning massage, if you're looking for a new bottle.
Once your skin is aptly greased up, follow the steps below:
- Move No. 1: Hook your index and middle fingers and place them at the corners of your mouth. Massage upward and outward, twisting your knuckles as you knead. (If you need a visual: Imagine you're turning on a faucet or rubbing your eyes; or just take a second to study the TikTok.) Travel upward with each movement until you reach the bottom of your nose.
- Move No. 2: Next, straighten your two fingers and place them on either side of your chin. Glide your fingertips upward, keeping the pace slow and steady, until you reach the corners of your nose. Once you get there, massage the area with slow, circular motions.
- Use light to medium pressure, the user says, and repeat both moves 10 to 12 times. Feel free to add more oil as needed—you never want to pull at your skin.
Laugh lines, smile lines, marionette lines—whatever you like to call them—are a natural part of aging and a marker of a happy, full life. Like all wrinkles, they are ultimately inevitable, but stimulating blood flow with a lovely facial massage is a helpful way to prevent early onset. At the very least, it provides a moment of pause to connect with your skin—and, for what it's worth, the movements feel superb. So good, in fact, they may just bring a smile to your face.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.