Buccal Massage Anyone? This Unique Facial Will Completely Transform Your Skin

Do you desire that smooth, wrinkle-free skin all celebrities seem to have? You know the ones – who look flawless but can still move their face. There’s a good chance they’ve jumped on the buccal massage train. 

Maybe you’ve heard buccal massage by a different name: an inside-out facial, inner face massage, intraoral massage, or TMJ massage. Regardless, this form of facial massage is famous in Hollywood for providing the equivalent of invasive skin procedures – naturally. 

It may sound too good to be true. But it’s not.

Buccal massage is a deep tissue massage technique that provides similar results to botox or fillers when done with regular frequency. Because as you probably know already, any form of massage takes time and consistency to create lasting results. 
The buccal massage technique is not widespread in mainstream esthetics. But if you’re lucky, you may have a trained esthetician or two in your town. 

In the meantime, let’s dive into the details of this beauty-boosting, glowing skin regimen.

What Is Buccal Massage?

Though this is a somewhat obscure technique in esthetics, it’s gaining traction. Buccal massage is all about reaching the internal muscles of the face. Doing so helps to strengthen, build + maintain healthy facial structure.

Here’s what our holistic esthetician Courtney says about buccal massages:

“This intraoral technique (which means inside the mouth) allows for deeper tension release + relaxation in the facial muscles. On top of that, it releases emotional tension while visibly lifting and contouring the face. Buccal massage is used to soften, sculpt, and clear stagnation. It also stimulates lymphatic drainage to relieve TMJ and reveal a more firm, youthful appearance.”

The youth-restoring effects of external massage on the face have been proven in various studies.1 So it’s no surprise that an intraoral massage would have even more extraordinary results. So where exactly do Buccal massages originate from and how did they gain popularity so quickly? 

The buccal massage started in Russia, created by a man named Yakov Gershkovich. The name originates from the word bucca, which means cheek in Latin. Yakov is a pioneer in holistic beauty innovations.

His techniques are non-invasive and effective – without side effects.

In Hollywood, buccal massage is lovingly called “the inside-out facial.” Meghan Markle is among the celebrities who reportedly love buccal massage.

→ So why buccal massage instead of botox or fillers? 

Well, the buccal area is the largest fat pad on the face. It can significantly impact the structure of your face. And many nerves and tension points inside your facial muscles affect how your skin “behaves.”

The jaw (or the masseter muscle) is the most powerful muscle in your face. So stimulating a release can bring about massive changes in your skin + muscles underneath. The jaw is known to hold toxic hormonal buildup and stored/stagnant emotions. Buccal massage works to release these inhibitors. 

Buccal massage technique not only works on your jaw muscles but also stretches your cheek muscles and areas surrounding your mouth – top and bottom. It’s accessing deeper facial muscles than a simple external massage. That’s why buccal massage benefits are more pronounced + immediate.

Buccal massage is especially good for:

  • Clenchers
  • Tight jaws
  • Teeth grinders
  • Tension in your neck or head

Intraoral massage targets the lymphatic system, so it makes sense that it dramatically decreases puffiness. 

And trust us, we’re not just blindly jumping on a bandwagon trend. Courtney, our holistic esthetician, remembers her first time fondly: 

“The first time I had it done I felt like I lost like 5 lbs off my face. I didn't even know that was possible. And felt soooo much lighter – physically and emotionally.”

Speaking of what to expect + what buccal massage feels like, just check out the long list of incredible buccal massage benefits!

Buccal Massage Benefits 

A buccal massage gives you several immediate benefits. But regular treatments also provide buccal massage benefits like better blood flow for the long term. Either way, these buccal massage benefits are the reason many deem this a natural facelift.

  • Amazing for draining and clearing out stagnant waste – stimulates repair pathways in your skin and removes blockages in your muscles.
  • Tightening and toning – buccal massage lifts and tones muscles. You can expect a  more toned jawline + contoured cheeks. Not only that, your skin will feel firmer. Thanks to excess fluids moving out, you gain definition naturally. (Aka your underlying facial bones provide definition.)
  • Plumping effect – buccal massage creates an all-over plumping effect. It's been noted as a natural alternative to fillers.
  • Fuller lips – by resetting your mouth muscles and relaxing muscles around your mouth, you’ll notice fuller lips and softened lip lines. 
  • Releases tension to smooth wrinkles/fine lines – you’ll find results similar to botox, but without toxins. Intraoral massage trains and strengthens your facial muscles to lay flush, eliminating wrinkles and sagging.
  • Clears skin – by clearing out waste and kickstarting circulation in the skin, you deliver nutrients and fresh blood to areas that have been “cut off” from the flow.
  • Emotional release – since we store lots of tension/stress in the jaw, some experience a “complete meditative state” afterward. Similar to a massage in the full body, knots and tension may be painful at the time, but afterward, it’s so worth it! Botox can’t do that, can it? ;)
  • Decreases puffiness – as fluids are moved out of the tissue, your face will be noticeably less puffy – even if you didn’t feel puffy beforehand.
  • Relief for TMJ symptoms or chronic headaches – releasing tension in the jaw relaxes other muscles throughout your head and face. 
  • Improved blood flow and circulation – which improves the function of your muscles. That means fewer breakouts, wrinkles, and sagging.
  • Detoxes and increases the number of nutrients in the skin – this two-in-one benefit creates an overall glow and healthy complexion. The massage flushes out impurities and allows for more blood flow and nutrients to move through your skin. Out with the bad, in with the good.
  • Increased collagen production – helps stimulate new cell turnover and keeps the skin looking fresh + healthy. 
  • Improved pelvic floor function – many speak of a connection between the pelvic floor and the jawline.2 So even though it sounds crazy, releasing/correcting muscles and alignment in your jaw can positively impact your pelvic floor as well.

As you can tell, buccal massage benefits are kind of insane – in the best way. Rest assured, you’ll be rejuvenated + lighter after this intraoral massage.

What Does Buccal Massage Feel Like?

As with any new facial adventure, you probably want to know: what does a buccal massage feel like? Because we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing + providing intraoral massage first-hand, we’re gonna give you all the feedback, thoughts, and takeaways.

The Process

Every esthetician's training or process might be different, so this is a general overview. 

But it’s helpful to know what you’ll walk into, right?

There’s a good chance your esthetician will want to loosen up muscles on the outside with a gentle lymphatic face massage before moving on to the intraoral massage. So don’t worry you’ll have plenty of time to acclimate if you’re nervous. ;)

Your esthetician will make sure your face is properly cleansed, moisturized, and prepped for the massage before moving into the mouth. So no need to worry about the friction of the pulling, or germs. 

For the intraoral massage portion, your esthetician will begin the massage with very relaxing, rhythmic pulling, stretching, and rubbing in circular motions. 

We promise it’s not as weird as you’d think to have someone’s hands in your mouth. And your esthetician will use gloves throughout the entire intraoral massage. Plus your eyes will be closed throughout the process so you can just imagine it’s a tool if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Depending on their specific training, they may start/end in different areas. 

But generally, they’ll work on:

  • The areas around the mouth + lips
  • The cheek muscles that lay over your gums + cheekbones
  • Areas toward the jawline
  • Parts of the neck
  • Underneath the jawline
  • Behind the ears

If your esthetician is focused on lymphatic drainage (which is essential for results) you’ll likely feel them apply some “vibration” in certain areas. This is normal and helps “wake up” the lymph nodes so the toxins can flow through properly. It’s the same concept as the famous “wiggle” after each gua sha stroke. 

→ It’s important your esthetician is also trained to understand various pressure points on the face. These points release pressure to smooth the muscles, reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

But the main feeling we think buccal massage evokes? Here’s a perfect analogy:

It’s like the itch on your back you didn’t know you had until someone scratches it for you. Then you’re like, “WOW! How did I live before this moment?” 

It’s surprisingly pleasant to have someone stretch and prod these facial muscles. Think about it, these areas usually don’t get any attention from your normal routine. 

Often we don’t realize the tension or tightness we carry until those places are tended to. It’s a wonderful release you didn’t know was possible (or didn’t know you needed).

If you’re worried the pressure or tension might be too much – don’t stress. The esthetician will check in with you throughout the massage to be sure you’re comfortable.

Here’s what you can expect after the buccal massage (aside from the fabulous buccal massage benefits).

What to Expect After Your Treatment

Your skin will probably feel hot from all the fresh blood flow – this is normal. 

Sometimes the esthetician may apply a cooling mask with antioxidants to assist the skin rejuvenation. It’s also likely they use a warm towel afterward to support additional softening and relaxation in your facial muscles. 

It’s possible you may feel dizzy afterward – so get up slowly. You’re bringing lots of new blood flow to the face + head, so it may cause feelings of lightheadedness/dizziness for some people. It should subside within 5-10 min.

Just like with normal massage, it’s important to drink lots of water to flush out toxins. Preferably with lemon to make it more alkaline. If you want to take your detox a step further, take a bath with mineral salts to encourage extra detox effects.
In all, what you can expect walking out of your buccal massage is to feel lighter, more sculpted, and clearer – in skin, soul, and spirit.

While it can feel intimidating walking into an unconventional treatment, this isn’t one you should be scared of. We found it to be super relaxing, releasing + satisfying.

Plus, the results will speak for themselves, trust us on that.

Got any lingering questions? We’ve got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most resources we’ve found on buccal massage don’t include one of the most important sections: an FAQ. And we’re here to help.

Q: When should I get a buccal massage? 

A: There are a few key times that a buccal massage would be beneficial, including:

  • After an excess of sugar/alcohol/salt, which all create puffiness in the skin
  • Around menstruation if you struggle with bloating + holding excess fluid
  • While pregnant to support the pelvic floor (ask your healthcare professional first about laying on your back)
  • Any time you want a glow-up and a tone-up.

Q: Can you give yourself a DIY buccal massage at home? 

A: There are different opinions on this. Here’s where we land: while buccal massage requires the correct angles, points, pressure, and sanitation, it’s possible. Stay tuned for a tutorial from our holistic esthetician, where you’ll learn some simple techniques. It’s definitely possible to access deeper muscle + tension points with a little guidance.

Q: What if I can’t afford a buccal massage? What's the next best option? 

A: If you don’t feel comfortable trying to do a buccal massage at home, you’ve still got options. We’d recommend gua sha, which does many of the same things as a buccal massage.

Tip: Check out our esthetician’s gua sha tutorial, where she massages the jaw specifically with the point of the gua sha stone. 

Q: Does a buccal massage hurt? 

A: Like many things, it depends on your unique body + situation. Yes, it can be uncomfortable or even painful occasionally – but overall, it shouldn’t hurt. You could experience some discomfort when specific points are tender. This is normal and is pressure being released. But again, your esthetician should check in. So while it may feel uncomfortable at first (like a lot of new things you try), it's only meant to feel super relaxing.

Here's how we like to think of it: It’s sort of a “good hurt” like a massage. If you have a tighter jaw, you may experience more pain or discomfort but the process shouldn’t be painful.

Q: Can I get a buccal massage if I have fillers or botox? 

A: We would say it’s safer to wait a few months before getting a buccal massage since it will reach deeper tissues where you may have filler/botox injected. It could definitely cause unwanted migration too.

Q: How long do buccal massage benefits last? 

A: It depends on a lot of factors, but generally you should see a decrease in puffiness and tension for a few days – up to a week. 

If you’re looking for long-term results, it’s recommended to do a “series” of weekly treatments for 7-8 weeks. Then from there, all you’ll need is a monthly “maintenance” treatment.

You may have more noticeable results after multiple treatments since the results build. It’s about training your muscles to stay relaxed.

Did we cover it all? Our goal is to leave you without any lingering questions. If you still have other questions, don’t hesitate to message us on Instagram or email our customer support. Or come experience buccal massage yourself at our holistic spa. ;)

The Result: Glowing, Toned, and Healthy Skin

After everything we’ve covered here, it probably goes without saying: Buccal massage can rejuvenate your face. Not only does it affect the way your skin lays over your facial muscles. It powerfully detoxes built-up hormonal toxins, stagnant emotions, and blockage.

This intraoral massage technique builds a beautiful, strong foundation of healthy muscle. And when your muscles are able to function normally, without tension and blockage, your skin will glow. 

So glow on, babes. 

  1. PLOS ONE | Effects of a Skin-Massaging Device on the Ex-vivo Expression of Human Dermis Proteins and In-Vivo Facial Wrinkles 
  2. Align PT | The Mysterious Connection Between Your Pelvis and Jaw 


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Buccal massage, also known as intraoral massage, is a manual lymphatic massage that depuffs the face, clears congestion, tones muscles, and brightens skin. | Primally Pure Skincare 

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