At a recent seminar at the Repechage headquarters in Secaucus, NJ, Repechage founder and skin care expert Lydia Sarfati was teaching advanced techniques to 35 estheticians from around the world. When asked what would be one of the most important skills a new artist should learn from the beginning, Sarfati didn't skip a beat. "I actually have a few pet peeves," she said, "but one that needs constant re-training is facial massage. I am stunned how many estheticians really do not know how to do it properly. It is one of our most popular training videos (all can be found on

1.) Effleurage
Apply a massage cream to the face and décolleté to provide the ideal glide to perform a proper facial massage. Apply the cream in light upward and outward strokes. These strokes improve circulation in the blood vessels near the surface of the skin. Once you begin Effleurage, your hands must never leave the face.

2.) Petrissage
This compression technique includes kneading, squeezing and pinching. This friction affects the deeper muscle tissue of the face. First, crisscross massage toward the hairline and repeat to the middle of the forehead moving toward the bridge of the nose. Bridge over the right eyebrow to the temple and then return to the same spot by the hairline. Repeat the entire process over the left eyebrow to the left temple.

3.) Effleurage
Now, using your middle fingers you are going to use Effleurage again, this time in circular movements around the eyes. Move in circles going from the outside of the eye, underneath the eye and towards the bridge of the nose, and then up and around the eyebrow back towards the temple.

4.) Effleurage
Still using Effleurage, begin figure 8’s around the eyes. Keep your thumb of the opposite hand on the center of the client’s forehead and use your opposite index finger to create large figure 8’s around the eyes. Repeat three times and switch hands and repeat the entire process.

5.) Effleurage- Step Up
Place your index and middle fingers on the bridge of the nose and use a slight pressure to “step-up” to the corrigator. Your middle fingers go under the brows and apply the pressure to the motor points, your index fingers run up to the corrigator.

6.) Vibration
This highly stimulating movement should be used very sparingly. This is a shaking movement and it is performed over areas of broad muscle mass. Holding the head steady with one hand and working with the other, start at the temple with the ring finger. As you move across the forehead, add your middle finger then remove ending with your pointer finger at the opposite temple. Repeat back and fourth three times.

7.) Effleurage
This Effleurage movement is a two part cycle. Using your fingertips, circle the eyes once. Bridge over the right eyebrow to the temple and then make a second circle around the forehead. Repeat the two-step procedure twice.

8.) Tapotement
This is a percussive stroke in which the fingertips strike the skin in rapid succession. This technique improves circulation by stimulating the diffusion of the capillary network. It helps nourish the skin by releasing nutrients and helps purify the skin by releasing carbon dioxide and other waste material. Use a light tapping movement to move around the eyes and then around the cheeks.

9.) Effleurage
Using the middle fingers of both hands, circle your client’s entire face. Starting at the top of the forehead, move under the chin and then outward and upward onto the cheeks. Your fingers should move outside of the eyebrows. Repeat twice ending with finger at the chin.

10.) Effleurage
Now it is time to give your client’s neck and shoulders a little relief. Using your middle fingers of both hands, move in down and outward movements away from the heart.

11.) Kneading
Gently kneed the cheeks and along the jaw down the platisma. On the larger muscles, continue with tapotement, rolling and pinching, finishing with slow effleurage on the forehead.

12.) Shiatsu
To complete your facial massage, end by referencing the Motor Points of the face located behind the earlobes, at the temples, the Orbicularis Oculi muscles inside the corners of the eyes and at the top of the vertebrae. This will help to stimulate the muscles of the face and to relieve tension. At this time you can also apply pressure to the Lymph Nodes of the Face the Occipatal, Retroauricular, Parotid, Superficial Cervical, Buccal, Submandibular and Deep Cervical. Light pressure on the Lymph Nodes helps boost the immune system, improve the appearance of the skin, reduce water retention, relieve pain and promote the body’s own healing mechanisms. End the massage as it began with light effleurage movements and then light, gentle pressure on the temples.

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