Can face-slapping give you younger looking skin?

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Saturday, November 29, 2014
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Many women rely on age-old practices like massage and acupuncture in the quest to look younger. Some are even turning to face-slapping for youthful skin.

WEST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Many women rely on age-old practices like massage and acupuncture in the quest to look younger. Some are even turning to face-slapping for youthful skin.

Slapping your face to look younger? The concept garnered a lot of attention for one California massage therapist. The idea is to increase circulation and unblock energy. But is this trendy technique truly based in ancient practices?

Gam Pukkalanun is a certified Thai massage therapist in West Los Angeles. At her Thai Sabai salon, slapping is part of the routine.

"We use a chopping motion along the energy lines and to relax the muscles and open the energy lines," Pukkalanun said.

In Thai medicine, meridians or energy lines are called "sen." Like the rest of your body, the face also has specific ones. But can stimulating them make you look younger?

"The face slapping thing is, in my opinion, kind of a fad. I don't think it's a good treatment if anti-aging is what you're going to look for," said Dr. Shirley Chi, a dermatologist.

Chi says it's certainly not appropriate if you have irritable skin like rosacea patient Kristen Munoz.

"My skin is very, very sensitive. If I touch my skin, you'll see the mark on my face," Munoz said.

But gentle facial massage is something rooted in ancient tradition and common sense. Chi said when washing or massaging your face, use an upward motion.

"The concept behind the upward motion is that you're going against gravity and trying to get your skin to feel upward movement instead of downward movement," Chi said.

As for proven methods to help your skin maintain its youthful glow, Chi recommends a daily cleansing and moisturizing regimen, staying out of the sun, using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and getting enough sleep.

As for slapping, conventionally-trained Thai massage therapists keep it to a minimum.

"Slapping the face is not part of traditional Thai massage," Pukkalanun said.