Unfortunately, because it is so exposed, our skin is also prone to many of the effects of aging. Perhaps, one of the biggest effects is the loss of moisture, which can affect the strength and elasticity of your skin.
Massage therapy can reduce the effects of aging on your skin by improving circulation, stimulating oil production, removing dead skin cells, and providing external moisture from the use of massage oil. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars getting a professional massage; you can get the same benefits by massaging yourself at home.
Massage for Healthier Skin
There are a few things that you need to consider if you are going to massage yourself at home, and the biggest is what type of oil to use.
If you go to any massage store, or even a regular drug store, you will find that there are several different kinds of massage oil, in liquids, creams, gels and solids; and they all have different functions and benefits.
• If your primary focus is moisturizing your body, then you will want to use a heavier oil, such as olive oil or apricot oil, which will coat the skin. You can also use a heavier cream or a body butter as long as it allows your hands to glide smoothly over your skin. Thinner oils can absorb too quickly, which would require you to use more to achieve the same effects.
• If you are massaging your face, then you want to use a light massage oil specially formulated for faces. These oils are designed to absorb without leaving heavy residue which can clog your pores. You don’t need to use as much of these oils, as you would the oils for your body.
• If you are looking to soothe sore muscles, in addition to making your skin more supple, you might want to consider massaging a medicated gel with menthol or arnica into the sore muscles, and then following with a medium to heavy massage oil, cream, or solid.
• If you have allergies, then you want to avoid nut-based oils, and oils with heavy fragrances, and instead choose hypoallergenic oils like grape seed, soy, or jojoba.
• Avoid mineral oils and petroleum-based oils, which tend to clog your pores and leave a heavy residue on the skin.
The other thing you need to consider is how you are going to use the oil.
• If you are giving a massage to someone else, consider wearing a body massage oil holster, so that you don’t have to worry about the massage container being out of reach during the massage.
• Put the amount of oil you wish to use in a separate container, such as a smaller plastic bottle or a small bowl. If you want to warm the oil, put the bottle or dish you wish to use into a larger container of hot water. Do not heat oil directly.
• If you do prefer a scent, it’s better to add essential oils to the massage oil on a case-by-case basis rather than scenting the whole bottle.
• Apply a small amount of the oil to your hand, and rub your hands together before applying the oil to your body. This will warm the oil, and will also prevent you from using too much. When using additional oil, always apply it to your hands first.
• If you find that you have too much oil on your body, wipe your hands with a dry towel and then apply some hand sanitizer to them. That will remove the excess oil from your hands, and as you continue rubbing your hands will absorb the excess oil from your body.
• If you are using several different types of oils, always wipe and sanitize your hands between each type of oil.
• Store your oils in a cool, dry place. Excess heat and moisture can cause the oils to go rancid. Rancid oil will still work, but it will smell really bad.