From the moment we are born, touch is a fundamental part of how we grow, connect and flourish as humans. A myriad of research studies have been done on the importance of infancy massage, and profound health benefits of massage therapy; From relaxation, healing injuries, improving the immune system, to aiding anxiety and sleep issues, the list is a far-reaching path of betterment of one’s health.
Dating back to 3,000 years ago to Chinese, Egyptian and Indian cultures, massage was used not only for increasing vitality, but used therapeutically to heal a variety of ailments, provide pain relief and of course relaxation. Contrary to the mindset of contemporary life, massage was not seen as a luxury, but instead as a necessity where touch was an essential part of life. “The Chinese tradition of massage therapy was developed from the combined expertise and methods of doctors in traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners of martial arts, Buddhists and Taoists who viewed touch as essential to their spiritual yoga training, and laymen who offered massages for relaxation.”
When it comes to our skin, facial massage is often an overlooked and an underrated addition to one’s skincare routine. Stop a moment… and really think about how hardworking your face is. This complex map of muscles and nerves is always in action, more specifically, it is often in a state of contraction and tension. From the way we chew, talk, express ourselves, or even how we hold our jaw when we are in a resting state, our face is working tirelessly and would welcome the respite of touch, stimulation and relaxation.
The bare truth is, facial massage can be one of the most effective ways to encourage skin repair and see a transformation in your skin. From increasing circulation to the face, promoting drainage of the lymph system which aids in decongestion and detoxification, not to mention stimulating pressure points on our face can that help with headaches, sinus problems and overall skin condition. Dee Murphy of Chiswick Therapies in London, explains, “Professionally stimulating reflex points on the face can identify which parts of the body are out of balance and can help bring the body back to optimal condition. We carry so much tension in our faces through stress, and this locks into our facial expression. Slowly working the reflex points as part of a facial may unlock this tension, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the skin, resulting in smoother, more radiant skin, and a calmer mind and body.”
Facial massage can easily be done at home as a mindful step in your skincare routine. Instead of simply applying products on your face in a mad dash, the intention should be treating your skin with a purpose; in essence taking the time to get to know the contours of your face, while you focus on lifting, draining and improving circulation with a soft, methodical touch (remember, the skin on our face is delicate and needs to be treated accordingly). Our Active Boost Face Oil, (£75), lends itself beautifully to massage, as well as being a great addition to your skincare routine for dry skin. Containing prickly pear seed oil, rosehip oil and seabuckthorn (to name a very few of our fabulous inkys!), your skin will drink it in while you increase cell renewal.
Just a few things to think about when beginning your at home facial massage:
- Always clean your hands and cleanse your face before massaging.
- Start from the neck area (focus on the lymph nodes) in a gentle circular motion
- Target your jawline, and always remember to lift upwards
- You can be more vigorous on your cheeks, lifting and contouring the area
- Be gentle around the eye area (no rubbing or pulling)
- And don’t forget the forehead!
In a day and age when many facials have transmuted from the organic, hands on approach, to ones steeped in machinery, tools and ablative treatments, we highly recommend slowing things down and remembering the simplistic act of touch; although a simple approach, it can reap rewards that are beautifully complex.