Zendaya’s Facialist Shares Her 6 Hacks For Healthy, Radiant Skin

Known for her Japanese-inspired massage techniques and an A-list clientele (including Zendaya and Lady Gaga), LA-based aesthetician JOOMEE SONG is a big believer in the power of facial massage, proper cleansing and sweating in a warm bath to achieve a healthy glow. Here, she shares her top radiance-revealing tips with MALENA HARBERS

Zendaya showcases the clear, glowing skin aesthetician Joomee Song is best known for

Pay attention to your jawline

“If there’s one key place to massage on your face, it’s along your jawline – especially along your masseter muscles [which run along both sides of your jaw]. The masseter is the strongest muscle in the body [in proportion to its weight], and we constantly use it to chew, talk, clench and so on, so of course it gets tight. It’s also a pathway for the lymphatic drainage system, facial nerves and capillaries, so you need to make sure the muscle is flexible in order to keep these systems moving easily underneath it. When it’s relaxed, it truly changes everything about your face, and not just facial tension – it can relieve headaches and neck pain, too.”

Rely on your hands for massage, not just tools

“Facial massage isn’t really about the technique or how perfectly you press a certain area – it’s the connection time that you have with yourself that’s so important. In my studio, I start with a Japanese microcurrent while I massage. At home, you can use whatever tool you want – gua sha, a face roller, you name it – but it’s so important that you always finish your massage using your hands, since our fingers have a sensory memory that none of these gadgets have. By touching your skin, you’ll understand how your face carries tension and how the texture of your skin is different on a daily basis, so you can manipulate your muscles to relieve the tension and create a healthy connection at the same time.”

How and when you cleanse matters

Cleansing is the most important step in your regimen, and many people start off by overdoing it. My top tip is to choose the most gentle cleanser you can possibly use to break down both oil and makeup, which, for most skin types, is an oil cleanser. Stay away from makeup removers that become milky because, while they tend to grab oil from your skin, they can’t differentiate what’s natural oil and what’s synthetic – so, ultimately, this causes skin dehydration and damage. After your oil cleanser, use a cream, or a light balmy cleanser if you have oilier skin. Overnight, our skin creates a healthy oil barrier that you want to retain to keep skin healthy, so, in the morning, you really don’t have to cleanse your skin unless you have a skin concern like acne.”

Balance muscle-strengthening with muscle-relaxing

“There’s a big trend towards facial-muscle workouts to create tighter skin, but, if you’re adding more stress to the muscles, it will only create inadequate lymphatic flow and connections underneath the muscles, so the best approach is to relax and ease tension instead. Working on my clients, I’ve found that everybody has a dominant side of the face that is bulkier and tighter, and that creates more water retention – allowing toxins to stay longer on that side – which leads to breakouts, redness and, eventually, lax skin. So, taking more time to massage your dominant side is extremely beneficial to balance out not only the alignment of your facial structure, but also to ensure that you have fewer breakouts or puffiness on that side.”

Take a bath and let your skin sweat

“Moving a blocked flow underneath the skin is everything when it comes to anti-aging – and, besides massage, the best way to do this at home is by taking a warm bath (or a long shower). It will really make a difference and give your skin a good glow from within. Make sure your bath water is a bit warmer than body temperature and sit in it for about 10 minutes – it’s important that you sweat a little bit because perspiration makes your skin create an oil barrier on the surface. Water that is too hot, however, isn’t helpful, because it will ‘melt’ down that healthy shield you’re trying to bring about.”

Treat inflammation with the right ingredients

“Having spent time training in aesthetics in Japan, I realize that a lot of the things we do to our skin in the US cause inflammation. What I see over and over again in my clinic is that skin reacts to stress and trauma – often self-inflicted by overdoing treatments or using the wrong products – with inflammation. Vitamin K and centella asiatica are two of my favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients, as is vitamin C, but you don’t need to use it every day. Our skin can’t take more than 20% vitamin C and, once it’s applied to your skin, it stays there for 72 hours, so it’s not something you need to use daily.”


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