A five-minute do-it-yourself face massage before you sleep might be just the thing you need after a rough day at work.
A facial rubdown can help you relax, smoothen the contours of the face and make it look smaller as you get rid of water retention, as well as moisturise the skin thoroughly. It also gets rid of tension in your facial muscles which has built up over time.
Focus on these areas when giving yourself a massage:
Slide your knuckles outwards along both brows and the lower part of the forehead. Slide knuckles from the side of the nose towards the cheek bones. Place both hands at the bottom of the chin and sweep them along the jawline and towards the ears. Then, gently massage the lymph nodes, which are at the nook just behind the earlobes. Tilt your head to one side and use your fingers to massage the side of your neck in a downward sweeping motion, then press your fingers into the collar bones to drain excess fluid. Repeat on the other side of the neck. Picking the right facial oil for a massage is important. Massage oils for the body tend to be too thick and might cause clogged pores when applied on the face.
Instead, opt for facial oils which are more lightweight. The formula should also lubricate well, so you can massage your face comfortably without stretching the skin too much.
I like Boscia's Tsubaki Beauty Oil (photo 1, $68, from Sephora stores), which does the job well. Free of artificial fragrance, it is made with cold-pressed camellia oil and Japanese sea kelp to provide skin with hydration and antioxidants.
The popular Bio-Oil (from $15.90, from selected personal care stores) is another good option as it contains vitamins A and E, as well as calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile oils.
It is lightweight enough to be used on the face, to help firm up sagging skin and replenish the skin's natural oils. On the body, it can be used to improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian is said to use it to help prevent wrinkles from forming around her eyes.
The right cleansing balms also make good facial massage products, so you can incorporate the rubdown into your cleansing routine.
Dior Prestige's La Creme Demaquillante (photo 2, $120, from Dior counters) is a cleansing cream which becomes an oil when applied on warm, dry skin. Another plus: It gets rid of waterproof make-up too. When the oil comes into contact with water, it becomes a milky emulsion. The cream is made with nourishing Rose De Granville extracts.
Similarly, the waxy formula of Diptyque's L'Art Du Soin Nourishing Cleansing Balm (photo 3, $103, from Escentials Paragon and Tangs Beauty) becomes an oil when rubbed onto dry skin and turns into a milky emulsion when water is added. Spread a thick layer on dry skin and it becomes a hydrating mask. It is blended with ylang ylang, mimosa, geranium, almond and jojoba oil.
Also, try Creme Simon's new Brightening Detox Lymphatic Contouring & Lifting Gel treatment (photo 4, $98, available at Soon Lee @ 73 Haji Lane and BHG Bishan from July 20). The clear gel mask - made with rose, iris and jasmine extracts, as well as wheat oligosaccharides - becomes an oil when rubbed onto dry skin.
This article was first published on July 4, 2014.
Get a copy of Urban, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.