beauty

TRIED AND TESTED: I let a stranger massage the inside of my face for an instant facelift.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark road-tested The Dermal Diary’s Intrinsic facial with ‘IntraOral’ massage.

A few weeks ago, I had the most hectic facial massage of my young life and lived to tell the tale.

The massage in question was an ‘IntraOral’ massage performed by skin therapist Isabella Loneragan as a part of The Dermal Diary’s signature Intrinsic facial. And the result? An instant facelift.

In short, I had the inside of my face firmly massaged and if I walked into the skin clinic with a babyface, I practically crawled out a newborn afterwards.

You can watch a quick snippet of my Intrinsic facial and IntraOral massage in the video below. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

I know, it’s a lot to process. It was in real life too. But let me back things up a bit and explain what the heck I’m on about.

Said to be the facial of choice for Meghan Markle, IntraOral facial sculpting (also known as Buccal) is a massage technique that works inside the mouth, giving the face an immediate, visible lift.

Loneragan is one of only a handful of therapists in Australia practising this specialised facial massage technique. It looks pretty intense but is said to pay off with benefits including ironed-out stress lines, re-sculpted features, a release of the emotional tension we hold onto in our faces, and a glowing, juicy complexion.

Keep scrolling for an in-depth recap of what it was like having the inside of my face massaged, including all the photos.

What is IntraOral facial massage and what does it do?

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An IntraOral facial massage is a technique whereby a therapist will work on the inside of your face, specifically around the jaw, mouth, cheekbones and sinus area, by sticking their fingers inside your mouth.

Loneragan uses IntraOral massage as the final step of her signature Intrinsic facial, which is a full comprehensive facial that addresses skin concerns as well as facial posture.

“After the comprehensive facial, I use a full sculptural technique which releases tension from the collarbone all the way to the scalp,” she told Mamamia.

“Then, I put gloves on and do an IntraOral massage technique. Internally, I work the upper half of the face and then I change gloves and work on the lower half of the face.”

The benefits are wide-ranging, from de-puffing and getting the blood well and truly flowing to the face, to that post-facial glow. But as Loneragan explains, it’s the release of tension that can cause the most dramatic visual results.

“Often my clients can see the difference as soon as they sit up from their treatment because the face posture changes completely. All that emotion we hold in our jaw, around the mouth and forehead is released, which causes a bouncing up of the face.”

You can hear more about facial massage tools including jade and rose quartz rollers in the episode of the You Beauty podcast below. Post continues after audio.

What does an IntraOral facial massage feel like?

I won’t lie, having someone stick their fingers inside your mouth and vigorously massage the inside of your face isn’t the kind of facial that’ll put you to sleep. If anything, I was asleep for three-quarters of the relaxing Intrinsic treatment before I woke up to the snapping of latex gloves being put on and Loneragan’s gentle murmur that the intraOral massage was about to begin.

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The experience was unlike anything I’ve felt or had done before, and as someone who loves a good, firm massage, I could not have loved it more. Although it looks like it would be painful (please see some of the most photogenic faces I’ve ever pulled below), I’d describe it as more of a ‘pull and release’ sensation.

Loneragan’s technique gets into crevices of the face I didn’t know I had. She uses firm movements to break down any tension held in the facial muscles, particularly focusing on the area either side of the mouth that can give the face a downwards, sad appearance.

At times, it’s a touch uncomfortable (mostly when the fingers got right into the corners of the mouth where it connects to the jaw), but no more uncomfortable than going to the dentist or having any other semi-invasive skin treatment. The massage itself also lasts for less than five to 10 minutes, as the technique is so damn effective.

intraoral face massage
Here's my face before the treatment wearing makeup. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
intraoral face massage
OK, I'm ready for my treatment, but I could also serve you up 100g of shaved leg ham wearing this hair net. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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intraoral face massage
Mid-treatment. Wow. I did not know my face could look like this. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
intraoral face massage
Here's my mug immediately after the treatment. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
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intraoral face massage
Here it is again about 30 minutes after the treatment. Check out that facial structure! Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

How much does an IntraOral facial massage cost?

The Dermal Diary's Intrinsic facial with IntraOral massage is only available at their North Sydney clinic. For new clients, the treatment costs $370 and includes a 30-minute skin consultation before the 60-minute facial and massage.

The final verdict...

It's important to note as a 27-year-old woman with reasonably chubby, collagen-filled cheeks, I don't fit into the typical demographic for this treatment (Loneragan said her clients aged 35 or 40+ experience a far more dramatic result).

That said, I feel like my result was pretty dramatic.

Long after Loneragan had removed her fingers from my mouth, my cheeks looked like two of the plumpest, shiniest, rosiest cherries one can only get when they're in season at Christmas time. The structure of my face from the base of my neck upwards also felt significantly more lifted.

Sure, the IntraOral facial massage isn't the prettiest thing to watch, but if it's good enough for Meghan Markle's face, it's good enough for mine.

Have you ever tried a facial massage like this before? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Mamamia's Tried and Tested series drops every week. Want us to trial and review a product or treatment you've seen everywhere? Easy, just send an email to [email protected] 

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