Duchess Meghan’s Favorite Buccal Facial Is Weird, But It Might Be Worth It

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Word has gotten out that one of the secrets to Meghan Markle’s beauty is her facial regimen. But it’s not facial peels or masks, but rather a massage of sorts. Meghan is said to be a regular client of a British facialist who does something called a Buccal Facial, or an inner massage, meaning that she puts her fingers into your mouth and massages your face from the inside out to increase tone and firmness.

Glamour sent one of its writers, Rachel Nussbaum, to give the Buccal Facial a try to see if Markle’s facial was worth the time and the money. Duchess Meghan swears by the facial massage skills of Nichola Joss, who she says taught her a series of facial exercises that make her face feel more sculpted and contoured even without makeup.

Back in 2014, Markle explained her skin secrets to Birchbox.

“I do facial exercises taught to me by one of my favorite aestheticians, Nichola Joss, who basically has you sculpt your face from the inside out. I swear it works, as silly as you may feel. On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are waaaay more sculpted.”

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Nussbaum didn’t go to the U.K. for an inner facial but found someone near her New York office who was trained in Buccal massage, and that is facialist Danna Omari, founder of Noy Skincare and Laser Spa. The process involves the massaging of your face and neck but added to that, the aesthetician puts on gloves and massages everything from inside of your mouth.

Joss has said that massaging the inside of your mouth stimulates your lymphatic system and encourages drainage.

“Massaging your facial muscles will immediately start working your lymphatic system, which keeps your body clear of toxins and fluids, and improves contours by removing tension and stress in the muscle. Also, it pushes blood with essential nutrients and oxygen into the skin and muscle tissue to nourish and improve cell renewal.”

Nussbaum explains that the Buccal Facial started like many facials, with hot towels, cleansing, and a facial cupping treatment. She explains that she was concerned that the cupping would leave bruises on her face like it does on the back, but luckily it didn’t.

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The next step involved an outer facial massage with shea butter. The facial continued all over Nussbaum’s face, neck, and chest with long, deliberate strokes. Omari then put on latex gloves and proceeded to put a finger inside Rachel’s mouth, and one outside, gently pressing the fingers together to massage her cheeks from the inside out. She explained it might look painful and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.

Omari did the inside massage for approximately ten minutes and then the facial was over. So what did Nussbaum think?

“When I looked in the mirror, my cheekbones were still my cheekbones, and my jawline was squarely where I’d left it,” she said. “But, I will say this: Even outside of the spa’s beautiful lighting, my skin had a soft rosy glow to it, like I’d just applied the perfect amount of Nars’ Orgasm blush.”

The Buccal Massage that Nussbaum received was $250 in New York, but according to Harper’s Bazaar, some places which tout it as a “facelift alternative” charge over $1000, putting it out of reach of many. Those who swear by the Buccal Facial have them done regularly, which possibly contributes to the efficacy of the service.