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3 Self-Massage Tips To Ease Jaw Tension & Fine Lines (No Tools Needed)

Hannah Frye
Author:
September 07, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Woman gently massages under eye area with finders
Image by Emotion Matters / Stock
September 07, 2023
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Gua shas, jade rollers, and other facial massage tools are incredibly helpful, but you don't necessarily need them to start this healthy skin aging habit. In fact, your hands alone may be just what you need to help release jaw tension and smooth out fine lines. Below, find some of our favorite expert tips: 

1.

For jaw tension: Use your knuckles

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and founder of Lanshin Sandra Chiu L.Ac., MSTCM, previously shared a gua sha routine for jaw tension on mindbodygreen, but you can adapt this same technique with a hands-only approach. 

Follow along:

  1. Apply a few drops of face oil to your jaw and cheek. 
  2. Find an obvious knot or an area that feels particularly tight. 
  3. Bend your pointer finger and locate the middle knuckle. Connect that knuckle to the tense area of your jaw. Roll circles into the area of tension (make sure your jaw is relaxed while doing this). 
  4. Roll one way and then reverse your direction. Do this gently but with enough pressure to feel relief. 
  5. Repeat this motion on any other knots or problematic areas. 
  6. Now put your hands in the peace sign or "2" position and bend your fingers. Align your jawbone with the space between those fingers and run them from your chin to the bottom of your ear. 
  7. While you're doing this, work in some jaw movement by opening and closing your mouth. 
2.

For frown lines: Try mindfulness massage

Let's make one thing clear: Facial massage won't magically eliminate frown lines, also known as the "11s" between the brows. However, using a gua sha, jade roller, or your own hands to massage this area of your forehead certainly won't hurt. 

While it won't clear the fine lines instantly, it may help you draw attention to those facial muscles and help you become more mindful of your facial expressions going forward. Plus, it's a stress-relieving activity, so why not proceed?

Follow along: 

  1. Simply use your pointer finger and middle finger together (like a peace sign but with your fingers touching). 
  2. Run your tips from the start of your brow to the tail—be sure to add some face oil to your fingers if your skin is dry, or do this post-moisturizer application. 
  3. While you do this, be mindful of how it feels to have this area relaxed. The more you train your mind to relax these muscles, the easier it may be to break the wrinkle-forming habit. 

Beyond facial massage, target those fine lines with topical skin care ingredients like retinol, hydrolyzed collagen supplements, and of course, daily SPF. 

3.

After a long day: Move down your neck

This one is a personal favorite technique to relieve stress—an essential part of reducing tension and fine lines. It's also great for anyone who works on a computer during most of the day or deals with constant neck tension.

Follow along:

  1. Apply some lotion or body oil to the back of your neck before getting started. 
  2. Bundle your hands into fists with your thumbs on the side (like a thumbs-up). If your hair covers the back of your neck, tie it up in a bun to clear your space.
  3. Then, place your middle knuckles at the hairline on the back of your neck. You'll want to run your knuckles down toward your shoulders, not up, for relaxation purposes (as Chiu once recommended to me). Go along your spine but not directly on top of it. 
  4. Do this slowly for a minute or two, or until you feel at ease.

The takeaway

Self-massage is a great way to encourage healthy skin aging and ease tension in both your body and mind. And you don't always need tools to do it. Whether it's massaging sticky jaw tension, smoothing frown lines, or releasing stiffness in the neck, you'll be sure to feel a bit better after giving your skin some TLC. Here, more at-home facial tips for the ultimate self-care activity. 

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