Japanese Facial Massages That May Transform Your Skin (And Face) | CoolJapan

With some calling it an alternative to plastic surgery, Japanese facial massages have gained traction in the international beauty community. Even aesthetic clinics in Los Angeles offer these services now. 

Although studies about its effectiveness are still sparse, the ones available do inspire. Benefits such as "feeling of freshness and rejuvenation", skin suppleness, "feeling of warmth and tightening of the skin" and even a perceived delay of the "onset of wrinkles" were some of the results of a 2002 study involving women from New Dehli. With these in mind, Japanese facial massages are truly something that you should try. Here are some you should check out.

Asahi massage

Asahi, roughly translated to "morning sun" in English, is one of the most popular Japanese facial massages. It's a method that targets the lymph nodes to reduce puffiness and keep the skin tight-looking. The massage usually includes long, soothing strokes similar to that of a gentle Swedish massage. It usually starts with massaging from the temples to the neck and then going into some "target areas" like the eyes and nasolabial area. This is said to make you feel more rejuvenated — just like after a full-body spa massage.

Yukuko Tanaka's massage

With her massage videos garnering a million views (and counting), the late hair and makeup artist Yukuko Tanaka has made a name for herself in the Japanese facial massages arena. Some elements of the Asahi massage are also present in a method Yukuko devised, but some unique strokes are added. Yukuko's facial massage also promises depuffing of the face and a more youthful appearance. Each exercise takes only three minutes to complete — perfect for busy bees.

Megumi Setoguchi's signature massage

As Koh Gen Do’s master aesthetician, Megumi Setoguchi knows a thing or two when it comes Japanese facial massages. In the video above, she demonstrates her own method that involves not just your fingers and a few strokes but also incorporates creams and other skincare products. This is even more time-efficient because you can do it in conjunction with your nighttime skincare routine. Two birds in one stone, indeed!


While the previous Japanese facial massages mentioned can be done at home with just your fingers, Harisienne is usually done in aesthetic clinics by trained professionals. Instead of fingers, this method uses a stick-like tool. The skincare aesthetician does poking and stroking movements in a  carefully curated sequence to stimulate facial muscles. 

Face yoga

While technically not a massage, the face yoga also uses different strokes along with the mouth movements. By doing this, enthusiasts say that it exercises the face and therefore prevents any sagginess and makes it more tight-looking. There are many face yoga methods you can try, ranging from quick one-minute ones to full versions that include exercises for the neck as well. 

(Cover photo from: Angélica Echeverry via Unsplash)