Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many of us have utilised our time spent at home to focus on our wellness. Which explains a global increase in sales of grooming and wellness products as well as the popularity of content on social media in that genre. Whether you love skincare or not, we are pretty sure you must have come across videos of people massaging their faces with stone rollers and gua sha (a traditional Chinese face massage technique) tools. With fine line reduction, improved collagen production, lymphatic drainage, improved circulation and many more claimed benefits, gua sha has become a popular skincare step for many people across the world. If you too love a good face massage or like indulging in weekend facials and are looking for a change, it’s time to explore traditional Ayurvedic face massage techniques.
“Ayurveda face massage techniques are quite unique. Our skin’s complexion changes as we grow older, but there are lots of ways to keep our skin healthy. In addition to following a good diet and an active lifestyle, face massage is a great way to maintain your skin. Traditional Ayurvedic massages can be divided into an oil massage, fruits massage, and massages according to acupressure catered to different skin types,” says Dr Gaurav Tripathi of Birla Ayurveda. He says that the benefits of face massaging are many. When done right, it helps reduce acne and acne scars, it cleanses the skin by flushing out toxins, it keeps your pores clean. Any kind of face massage helps improve the blood and nutrition supply to our skin, keeping it plump and young for longer.
Dos and don’ts
One needs to be careful while massaging the face and not be aggressive and pull on the skin. While doing this at home, since not all of us are trained to do dry massages, it’s best to use an oil meant for your skin type for your DIY therapy. Dr Tripathi says that almond oil is a great option as it helps retain moisture, and is rich in Vitamin E which can help repair skin damage. Coconut oil can be tricky to use as it can clog pores, so it’s best used only by those with a normal skin type. “Coconut oil should be avoided if you have large pores, oily or acne-prone skin, as it can clog your pores when kept on for too long,” he says. Diluted tea tree oil is ideal for all skin types and is used to treat acne too. “Remember that tea tree is an essential oil that shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Dilute two to three drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of suitable carrier oil such as Kumkumadi oil, almond oil, coconut oil or sesame oil,” suggests the expert. Do not try to turn your massage session into an exfoliating routine by using harsh exfoliants and always apply gentle pressure. “Use circular or tapping motions to increase the effectiveness. Do it every night to release muscle tension. Use an upward motion to massage the face and neck for five minutes to get radiant and bright skin,” adds Dr Tripathi.
Oil massage for dry and oily skin
“You can also massage the acupressure points located on your face to feel more relaxed, reduce anxiety, induce sleep and get sinus relief,” says the expert.
1. Isolate the pressure points on your face with this guide:
- The centre of your forehead
- Between your eyebrows
- Sides of your forehead
- Near your temples
- In front of the opening of the ear
2. Make sure you massage in a unidirectional motion.
3. Repeat three to five times for each pressure point.
Dr Tripathi recommends Kumkumadi oil for this therapy.
- Wash face with lukewarm water mixed with lemon drops.
- Next, steam with plain water.
- Gently massage with oil in a circular motion for five minutes.
- For oily skin, massage with papaya or honey mixed with lemon drops.
Kansa or bronze bowls and plates have traditionally been used in India for massaging the belly and soles of the feet to tackle various issues such as stomach cramps and muscle tension. Check out Ohria Ayurveda’s kansa face massage wand for a truly desi face massage experience.