Before We Move On

I know I touched on facial massage in my last post, and I really feel I should expand on it a bit more. As I previously mentioned, it seems like a lot of people overlook this step consistently. It may seem like a less important step, or maybe it feels like it would be too much effort to add into a routine. I can’t say for certain what others are thinking, of course. All I know is since adding a short (maybe five minute) massage each night has thinned my facial structure, toned and tightened the skin around my cheeks and jawline, given my skin a definite glow, and best of all I sleep so much better at night.

Alright, let’s get ourselves ready here.

The first step is to wash your hands. Why? Well, before we put any oils on our face we need to get all the yuck from the day off. We don’t want to slather the dirt into our skin.

Now, put a decent amount of oil or balm into your palm and rub it warm. Now start to gently massage it onto your face. Starting at the center of the forehead, massage gentle circles, using the fingertips and moving out towards the temples. Next, pinch the inside of the eyebrows between the thumb and side of the index finger and gently glide from the inside to the outside a few times.

Next up is the cheek area. Using the knuckles, knead just under the top of the cheekbone, again starting at the inner area moving towards the outer parts of the face. After that, pinch the jawbone in a similar manner to the eyebrows and glide from the chin to the ears a few times.

This will move excess lymphatic fluid towards areas where it can be drained/processed/removed. Not only will the massage help with better better bloodflow, but it will keep the face from being puffy.

In any case, the entire massage shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete, making it a great accessory in your skincare routine.

Using Oil? On Your Face?!

Yep, you read that right. Oil washing is starting to catch on here in the Western word, but has been a staple of clean, beautiful skin on the Eastern side for quite some time now. Not only is it amazing at removing makeup thoroughly, but it also has the benefit of emulsifying all the crud that might have gotten stuck in your pores through the day. Woo, I love a win/win scenario.

Cleansing oils generally come in two types; a liquid oil with a pump top for easy dispensing, or a creamy balm (not to be confused with your grandmother’s cold cream).Whichever one you choose, they both spread easily and rinse off completely with water. Not only that, but while the makeup remover is on your face is the perfect time for one of the most commonly missed steps on a great skincare routine; the massage. Since there is an oil on your face, take a few minutes and massage the eyebrows, jawline, and around the cheekbones to drain the excess lymphatic liquids. The massage is made to assist in proper blood flow, and is touted by most Asians to assist in slimming the face. No one wants a puffy face, right? We’re people, not blowfish after all!

My go-to right now is Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil.

Image result for kose softymo deep cleansing oil

At $9.99 it’s inexpensive and lasts for ages. Some people do worry about the mineral oil content, but I haven’t had any issue with clogging or acne, and it emulsifies in water beautifully. No oily residue and makeup is completely removed. Even if you’re not ready to invest in a cleansing oil or balm, you can always just go shopping in the kitchen. Olive or castor oil also work as a cheap and amazing alternative. Any oil slick left behind is going to be washed off in the second step anyhow.

My advice is to get out there and test anything that interests you. More often than not, Asian skincare and cosmetics are similar to luxury brands but at drugstore costs, so you don’t have anything to lose.

Why Asian Skincare?

First and foremost, let’s discuss the differences between European and Asian skincare. We all know that for our skin to look its best, we need to keep it cleaned of daily debris, properly toned, and well moisturized. For most of us, this is literally all we do. Three steps, maybe some heavy duty makeup remover if we used waterproof makeup, and we’re done. We step away from the mirror feeling like we’ve done our daily diligence and stop thinking about it till the next round. If we have something special happening, we might take it a bit further and slap on some sort of clay mask meant to shrink pores and draw out impurities.

When it comes to our Asian counterparts they tend to take their time, utilizing up to ten different products in a single evening. First comes an oil or cream wash to remove makeup and emulsify the daily oils that have developed throughout the day. The next step is a foam wash where the foam is fluffed up to gigantic proportions! The smaller the bubbles, the better it is said that they can penetrate the pores for more cleansing effect, although the main purpose is actually to create a cushion between your hands and face. That way there is less pressure and damaging drag on the skin. After the second wash, the face is then toned, but again not with what we usually think of for toners. Most Asian toners are a milky lotion that is used to begin the moisturizing process. A note on applying products, instead of rubbing them into the skin in a circular motion, in Asia they are usually patted into the skin.To this will be added a gentle essence, usually made to target a specific problem. Then, another targeted product, the serum is applied. This will all be sealed in with a moisturizer or cream.

While a bit more time consuming, it truly does benefit the skin to be treated gently and with care.Although, I have to admit my favorite part is that I can enjoy the fact that I am taking time for myself, really pampering my skin and by proxy nourishing my soul.

So, join me and we’ll venture through the world of luxurious skincare together.