I found the translation of this to be interesting. When Jacob talks about being saved/preserved/living (depending on your translation), in Hebrew it’s likened to a rescue or a deliverance. Similarly, we could relate this to his earlier prayer in verse 11:
Genesis 32:11 NASB
 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children.
Jacob was seeking deliverance from his brother, and here he survives wrestling with the supernatural. He would be reassured that God will take care of him.
The passage says he wrestled a “man” (v. 24). Jacob recognizes he was in the presence of the God, but His messenger who represents God. Elsewhere it is confirmed in the Bible that this was an angelic being and not YHWH (Hos. 12:4).
On the issue at hand seeing God “face to face,” we can also find more interesting details in the translation. This is less like a visual reference of seeing God and more of a knowing Him clearly, especially since he was not wrestling God Himself. Without need of outside help, Jacob can now understand God better.  For example, consider Job’s comment when God answers him out of the whirlwind and testifies of Himself:
Job 42:5 NASB
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You …
This is a coming of awareness and not actual physical sight. Not only does Jacob become more aware of who God is, it is here his faith is bolstered as he moves on from his old life of being deceptive and fearful Jacob, to being Israel (v. 28).
 Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis: Chapters 18-50 in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, eds. R. K. Harrison and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 336-337.