Myth buster – Let’s start this article by busting two common myths – oil massage on the face cause acne breakouts; and oil massage on the face is only for those with dry skin type. No they are not. Oil massage must be inculcated into regular skincare regimen alongside exfoliation and facials. The best oil massage for face include both essential oils and carrier oils.
For example, massaging the face with diluted tea tree oil takes care of acne and zits. But, one can choose any essential oil and carrier oil combination because different oils have medicinal benefits for skin. And massaging the face with oils is not new. In ancient times the Egyptians used to apply moringa oil on face to keep the skin healthy and remove debris from the face.
However, experts suggest that the essential oils must be chosen wisely because some oils can have adverse reactions. Hence a small skin patch test is mandatory before trying new oils, especially on the face. Speak with a dermatologist and reap the many benefits of oil massage for face.
A 2007 study published in the Elsevier Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice concluded that facial massage with oils can lower blood pressure and heartbeat, and act as a therapy for insomnia (1).
Benefits of Oil Massage For Face
Facial massages with oils have several benefits. Different oils have different active ingredients and nutrients that nourish the skin and contribute towards better skin health. Some of the oils have potent antioxidant characteristics while others are powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.
And these oils are excellent moisturizing agents that keep the skin supple and fresh. Here are some of the benefits of using oils for facial massages.
1. Moisturizes The Skin
The skin loses its moisture due to many reasons. The environment, pollution, excessive sweating, dehydration and heaters are some of the factors that suck out the water content from the skin. The natural way of taking care of dry skin is by applying oils on the face. Massaging the oils into the face helps retain the moisture for longer times. It also avoids scaly skin condition and flakes.
2. Reduces Wrinkles
Environmental factors and lifestyle habits have fastened the ageing process. Nowadays, wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet do not wait till person crosses 50 or 60 years of age. It just shows up one day, unannounced. Facial massages with natural oils, with antioxidants, fight off the free radicals that damage the skin, thus protecting it.
Vitamins C and E are also present in most of the oils that protect from premature ageing. While choosing oil for face massage to turn back time on ageing, choose oil with antioxidant properties.
3. A Makeup Primer
A product before the actual product. This is the simplest way to explain a makeup primer for face. It is applied on the face before applying makeup. It is like setting up the canvas before painting a marvel. Carrier oils form the perfect primer or base for make ups. These oils are used as an ingredient in store bought primers. So why not use the oil directly.
4. A Makeup Remover
Applying makeup all the time can harm the skin. While removing makeup, carrier oils and essential oils not only remove the chemicals, but also replenish the skin with nutrients and moisture.
5. Protection for Skin
Oils are rich in poly saturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It also has other compounds that have therapeutic properties. The oils, thus, fortifies the defense mechanisms of the skin and strengthens the skin barrier. Therefore, regular application of oils protects the skin from pollutants and prevents skin damage. It also prevents acne causing bacteria from forming biofilms.
6. No More Big Pores
The oils with astringent properties help in reducing the pore size of the skin. While doing so, the oils also remove the dirt and dead skin cells. Natural oils are non comedogenic and do not clog the pores, thus allowing the skin to breathe properly.
7. Glowing Face
Oil massage on the face retains the moisture in the face, thereby making the skin supple and plump. Natural organic oils are better for skincare in the long term than cosmetic products. Many oils have skin lightening properties. Some oils also promote collagen production. This increases the glow on the face.
8. Prevents Infection
Essential oils and carrier oils have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated skin (due to rashes). It reduces the redness and itching of the skin. However, some oils may be irritants for some people. Consult a dermatologist before applying new oils on the face.
Best Carrier Oil Massage For Face
Organic oils used for massaging the face have unique qualities due to the active ingredients and its composition. The benefits for the face are many. The oils potent in antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties not only keep the skin healthy but enhance its aesthetic value.
The best natural oils for face massage lowers inflammations, acts as a natural moisturizer anti-aging, and skin glow agent. Let’s first start with the best carrier oils for face massage.
1. Fractionated Coconut Oil Massage for Face
Fractionated coconut oil is healthier that coconut oil. It also dilutes essential oils faster than regular coconut oil. However, fractionated coconut oil as a standalone face massage oil has its many benefits. Those with normal or dry skin type can opt for this oil for massaging the face; however, it is also suitable for oily skin type . It is emollient in nature, thus softening the skin. It has skin nourishing properties due to the presence of Vitamin E, lauric acid, linoleic acid, Myristic acid and stearic acid.
The linoleic acid in the oil helps with moisture retention. The lauric acid is known for its antibacterial properties which keeps acne away. And, myristic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and is a nociception that detects and prevents noxious stimuli on the face. Massaging the face with coconut oil reduces the puffiness around the eyes and the dark circles. It has a soothing effect on the skin, and treats cracked & chapped lips and winter rashes.
When applied regularly, the oil reduces skin pigmentation, thus giving the skin a radiance or glow. It antimicrobial properties fights against skin infections and rashes. Fractionated coconut oil penetrates deep inside the skin tissues and makes skin soft and silky.
2. Face Massage with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Olive oil is renowned for its skin benefits. Regular massage with extra virgin olive oil removes the dullness of the face, thus giving it a young and radiant look. The extra-virgin variety has high levels of Vitamin E that nourish your skin and reduce fine lines. This oil aids cell regeneration due to copious amounts of polyphenols and flavonoids.
The oil has linoleic acid which forms a skin barrier that traps the moisture in the skin. It gets its antioxidant properties due to its Vitamin E, which is known to stimulate collagen production and reverse the signs of skin ageing (2). Extra virgin olive oil is used in many sunscreens to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. It is also rich in essential fatty acids of omega-6 and omega-9.
These fatty acids ensure that the skin remains adequately hydrated. Another compound in olive oil that helps with hydrating the skin is squalene.
Extra virgin olive oil with its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-bacterial treats and prevents fungal and bacterial infections. Thus, it prevents the risk of scars on the face. This oil is best for treating the dryness of the skin in winters. Olive oil used for face massage is one of the popular choices and it has no allergic reactions on the facial skin.
3. Sweet Almond Carrier Oil Massage for Face
Sweet almond oil is highly nutritious as it contains omega 3 fatty acids, minerals like zinc and vitamins of A and E. It is a non-sticky oil that gets absorbed into the skin easily. It nourishes the skin and when applied regularly, removes skin dullness and signs of ageing.
It can be used as an anti-ageing oil as Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that neutralizes free radicals and reverses the damage caused by promoting cell regeneration. The oil also heals wounds and bruises as it has omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
When applied on the face regularly it gets rid of puffy eyes, dark circles, and dark spots. Sweet almond oil for massage is natural oil that replenishes the skin with nutrients and prevents premature ageing of skin.
4. Jojoba Oil for Face Massage for Anti-Ageing
A light massage everyday with jojoba oil rejuvenates the skin and within weeks gives a young appearance to the skin. The oil is obtained from the jojoba plant and is rich in tocopherol. This compound is a type of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant agent. Hence, tocopherol is an antioxidant that tackles free radicals that cause premature aging.
Jojoba oil is also a liquid wax with humectants properties, which retains the moisture in the skin. It acts as a natural skin barrier preventing the moisture from escaping and dirt from clogging the pores. These actions of the oils prevent microbial build up on the skin, thus preventing skin infections and acne. Exfoliating the face after jojoba oil massage removes all the dirt from the skin pores efficiently.
To see best results from jojoba oil massage, do it regularly. With regular application, the oil reduces wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet on the face. Not only does the oil reduce the dullness of the skin, but also increases its elasticity. Jojoba oil in skin care routine is good for skin hygiene.
5. Castor Oil Massage for Face For Glowing Skin
Obtained from the plant Ricinus communis, castor oil has high fatty acid content that keeps the skin hydrated and prevents flaky or scaly skin. The oil also triggers the production of collagen and elastin, which maintains the elasticity of the skin. It rejuvenates the skin and keeps dullness away. It also avoids skin signs of early ageing. There properties of castor oils results in a glowing skin.
Massaging the face with castor oil improve the skin complexion and increases the radiance of the skin. Castor oil has been used traditionally to increase the growth of eyelashes and eyebrows. It is because this oil has several proteins, acids and nutrients.
Some of the acids in this oil are stearic acid, ricinoleic acid, oleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and palmitic acid. The antibacterial properties of the oil prevent acne and acne-scars. It also diminishes the scars and blemishes on the face. It is used in many cosmetic products as a base oil because of its high viscosity or thickness.
6. Evening Primrose Oil Massage for Face and Neck
The oil obtained by cold pressing the seeds of the Oenothera biennis plant is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. It has the omega 6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which is not only useful in lowering high blood pressure, but also managing dry skin and dermatitis issue (3).
This oil is highly recommended for those with skin problems including psoriasis and eczema. It is also useful for those with dry skin type and damaged skin. The oil is also said to balance hormonal fluctuations.
7. Grapeseed Oil for Face Massage
Also known as Vitis vinifera oil, grape seed oil is a popular massage oil. It has good amount of vitamins and minerals and has linoleic acid. It is easily absorbed into the skin because of its non-greasy nature. Generally grape seed oil is mixed with a heavier oil or essential oils to enhance its abilities.
8. Rosehip seed Oil for Face and Neck Massage
This oil is obtained from the Rosa canina plant is rich in polyphenols and anthocyanin, and has skin regenerating and anti-ageing properties. The other nutrients in the rose hip seed oil include essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and a type of Vitamin A called trans-retinoic acid. These nutrients promote skin health and enhance its complexion.
Those with dry and/or mature skin type should use rosehip seed oil. It is also good for sunburned or scarred skin. This oil can be applied directly on the skin or can be mixed with other oils and creams.
9. Sunflower Seed Oil For Face Massage
The oil extracted from the seeds of the sunflower plant has many ingredients that benefit the skin. Its nutrients and compounds include Vitamin E, oleic acid, linoleic acid and sesamol. It is a highly absorbent non-comedogenic carrier oil (won’t clog your pores) and in most cases is non-irritating. It is rich in Vitamin E and gets absorbed by the skin easily making it one of the best oils for face massage.
Massaging with the oil is good for the facial muscles and helps retain the moisture of the skin. Benefits of these oils include its antifungal and antibacterial properties that keep your skin healthy. It has anti-aging benefits and when massaged regularly, gives a facial glow.
Best Essential Oils for Face Massage
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil Massage For Face
The oil from eucalyptus tree is renowned for its positive impact on the skin. This oil is preferred by those with sensitive skin type. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties eliminate the biofilms on the skin and prevent acne. The oil is a natural sunscreen and can be applied on the face before wandering out in the sun.
2. Sandalwood Essential Oil Face Massage
Sandalwood essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and soothing properties that are useful for the skin. In earlier times, acne and pus were treated with applying sandalwood paste. The paste was rubbed on the face to get rid of stubborn blemishes. Sandalwood essential oil has the same properties and uses. Regular topical application improves the texture and soothes irritated skin.
3. Tea Tree Essential Oil Face Care Massage
Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil due to its potent properties. It is an antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. Tea tree oil face massage can be done by those with acne prone skin. It eliminates microbes and biofilms from the skin. Diluted tea tree oil can be used thrice a week to get good effects.
4. Rose Essential Oil Massage For Face
Also known as the Queen of Essential Oils, rose essential oil has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is generally used as atoner in makeup. It is ideal for dry and sensitive skin type as it moisturizes the skin. Besides hydrating the skin, the oil rejuvenates the skin and increases the blood circulation in the face. A blend of rose oil in rose water is generally used as a toner.
5. Geranium Essential Oil Face Massage
Extracted from the Pelargonium graveolen plant, geranium oil help the skin maintain its elasticity. It improves the blood circulation to the face which aids in cell regeneration and reduces scars and pigmentation. This is a gentle oil suitable for all skin types, especially mature skin type. It can be used by those with dry skin type to moisturize the face.
DIY Recipes with Oils For Face Massage
- 2 drops of geranium essential oil
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of papaya pulp
- 1 teaspoon of milk powder
- 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil
- 4 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of evening primrose oil
- 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
- 3 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 4 drops of rose essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of moringa oil
- 2 tablespoons of rosehip seed oil
Instructions – How to use
- Mix all the oils together
- Use your fingers to apply the oil on all parts of the face and neck.
- Using your fingers or palm, massage the oil on the face till it gets absorbed.
- Leave the oil on the face for 30 minutes or overnight. Leaving it on the face overnight is recommended as it gives the skin ample time to absorb the oil. Some oils may be phototoxic. Applying the blend at night avoids phototoxicity.
- Wash off the oil with a mild face wash.
Taking care of the face is the first thing everyone does in skincare. Natural oils (essential and carrier oils) have many nutrients and compounds that benefit the skin and face. Massaging the face with these oils and its blends can delay the effects of ageing, prevent acne outbreaks and give the face a charming glow. It is healthier than using cosmetic products incessantly.
A right massage to the face with oils stimulates blood circulation, removes debris, increases skin elasticity and rejuvenates the skin. The result is a glowing youthful skin. Oil massage for face everyday ensures that the face is truly the reflection of one’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which oil is best for face massage?
There are several carrier oils, essential oils and oil blends that are best for face massage. Some of the popular choices for face massage with oils include: –
1. Lavender essential oil
2. Tea tree essential oil
3. Geranium essential oil
4. Virgin coconut oil
5. Argan oil
6. Apricot oil
Is oil massage good for your face?
Massaging the face with oil has several benefits. The oils have nutrients and therapeutic properties. The nutrients nourish the face. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil prevent acne, and skin infections and inflammation. The oils hydrate the face and give it a supple look.
Should we wash face after oil massage?
After massaging the face with oil, leave the oil on the face for some time, about 15 to 30 minutes. Then clean the face with cold or lukewarm water.
Can I massage face daily?
Experts suggest that gentle face massage every day is harmless. In fact, it can be inculcated into one’s bedtime habit.
- Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. (2007). The effects of foot and facial massage on sleep induction, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate: Crossover pilot study. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388107000308
- Journal of Molecular Medicine. (1995). The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00203614?correlationId=0296dee7-6568-46d5-b16e-c3c21318b235
- J Oleo Sci. (2011). Dietary supplementation of gamma-linolenic acid improves skin parameters in subjects with dry skin and mild atopic dermatitis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22123240/
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