As more people are opting to go under the knife in this modern day, no one can deny that the way we feel about our appearance affects our wellbeing, especially our mental health.

Perfection is a dangerous quest that we’re all on, and heavily filtered, airbrushed Instagram photos makes us think that maybe somehow these images are real and attainable. Well, they’re not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take pride in our appearance and take care of ourselves and have a healthy relationship with the way we look.

There’s a very natural way of doing this – far less invasive and more affordable than plastic surgery. And far more relaxing too. And the best part is that there’s no recovery time. In fact, you’ll probably increase your productivity AND create more time in your schedule because of how relaxing and stress-relieving this method is.

The funny thing: this method was practised way before the technology for plastic surgery and other invasive treatments came on the scene. It’s a time-old, ancient beauty secret practised by the likes of Cleopatra.

Keep reading to find out how you can incorporate this self-care technique into your day for a calmer you and a glowing face.

Pick your oil

Choose an oil you and your skin will love and look forward to using every day. This sounds super obvious, but self-care is supposed to be pleasurable, so experiment with different oils and find your favourites. Many swear by coconut oil for facial massage for its ability to easily slip over the skin, but other favourites almond, jojoba, argan, camellia and avocado as they’re considered to be highly unlikely to cause irritation.

Prepare a Tranquil Spa Area

Luxury doesn’t have to expensive. Create a peaceful tidy space with comfy cushions and maybe even light a candle. Burn some essential oils. Whatever you do to make your environment a space you love to chill in, do that! Make sure you have prepared for your massage so that when you start, all you have to focus on is relaxing and enjoying!

It’s helpful to have prepared the following in advance:

- your chosen oil

- soft large towel

- headband or cap to keep hair off face

Start the Massage

Dr. Mona Vand, also known as The Modern Pharmacist, has a wellbeing channel where she gives information on diet, exercise and mindset to promote a healthy lifestyle. Her video on facial massage is helpful if you prefer watching rather than reading when you learn.

If you prefer written instructions, here are some techniques to use!

1. Firstly, make sure your face is clean so that you’re not massaging pore-clogging debris into your face! Use your fingers to lightly tap all over the face. This loosens the face muscles and increases circulation and blood flow to the face.

2. Rub the chosen oil in the palms of your hands. Use the palms and fingertips to slowly stroke up the sides of the face and up to the forehead. Glide back down lightly. There should be more pressure going up the face, with it tailing off at the cheekbones.

3. In the centre of the forehead, place fingertips together, pressing firmly.Glide to the sides and release fingers to repeat a few times for a smoother forehead.

4. The next movement is stroking around the eyes, so minimal oil is used. Start with the fingertips at the sides of the eyes, stroke over the edge of the eye socket, over the eyebrows, down the centre of the nose, under the eyes and back to where you started.

5. Finally, stroking under the cheekbones will tone the cheekbones. To start this movement, place fingertips close to the nose with the hands on the inner side of each cheek. Make circular pressure motions out towards the ears.Focus on under the ear, and massage back to the nose. Repeat at least three times.

Essential Oils to Enhance the Experience

Before using any essential oils, always do a patch test on the inner foreman to prevent having any adverse reactions.

As essential oils are concentrated, you should never apply them directly as the skin will most likely react. They should always be only a couple of drops in a large amount of neutral carrier oil. If you choose to rinse after, use warm water instead of hot.

Choose essential oils depending on how you want to feel after your face massage experience. Do you want to feel invigorated? Energised? Uplifted? Calm? Ready for sleep? You can personalise your treatment to suit your mood.

Lavender and chamomile are ideal essential oils to promote relaxation. Lavender has even been shown in studies to promote a deeper sleep and make it easier to drop off more quickly. It also fights premature aging and moisturises the skin.

Grapefruit essential oil is uplifting, known to be a mood-booster and is suitable for acne-prone skin. It will give you a refreshing feeling after your massage!

Frankincense is an ancient essential oil known to be a potent anti-ager. It has a firming effect on the skin, nourishing it with nutrients to keep it supple. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and encourages new cell growth.

Tea tree oil is beneficial to use if you have acne-prone skin, helping to address acne-causing bacteria and heal wounds.

Do you have any favourite oil blends? Do you use facial massage as a way to feel rejuvenated?

Written by Jess Burman

Wellbeing Writer

BA (Honours) Writing