Thursday, May 10, 2012

Massage and Mirth Series 1 - Random Facts of Realization

'Stress' has a very vital role in human life. For us, Stress is like Oxygen, always there and always wanted and without which we cannot work. Followed by an unhealthy lifestyle, irregular eating habits, smoking, alcoholism and everything what we consider good (like excessive amounts of milky tea and coffee, burger and all) can cause a plethora of problems and trigger concern areas in the body. We know this, but our lifestyle does not permit us to take important measures to curb it or cure such situations of Stress.

The result of all this is accumulation of toxins. These toxins could come from;

  • High amounts of saturated fat that we consume
  • Overdose of fatty non vegetarian food
  • Overeating of refined sugar as opposed to natural sugars
  • Excessive alcoholism enough to cause Liver Impairment
  • Smoking - that releases thousands of toxic waste and tar into our bodies. And not necessarily you have to be an ACTIVE one. PASSIVE one is much more harmed.
  • Artificial agents in foods, like preservatives and colorants and even pesticides in their ppm (parts per million doses)
  • Less consumption of raw food like fruits and salads.
So many vices and the list is endless. So the outcome is accumulation of toxins. We do not talk about detoxification methods in this post though. Anyways, our lovely LIVER is a huge powerhouse of detoxification and saves us from many poisons in our day to day lives. When gone wrong and exploitation of Liver with sluggish metabolism leads to accumulation of toxic waste in our body and face. A facial or a massage helps gets rid of those. (we will learn how subsequently).

The art of facial or massage is a gift of the EAST. It has although been tampered and modified to suit our needs by the WEST but its origin is here. Ancient Ayurveda talks about pampering the face and body with essential oils, vegetables and fruits that are applied externally to give fantastic results internally. Traditional Chinese Medicine talks about an even deeper thought of the body process and how FACE mirrors the ailments of the body. Japan and Korea talk about various ways of removal of toxic waste from its depots in between muscles and under the skin through the art of massaging. The French put in their insight on softer and gentle techniques to stimulate the skin and facilitate detoxification. This could be summing up the history of massage in a paragraph but I must say that there are millions of books written on this and are in my must reads list.

So lets see what are we reading in this post........

Massage is the working of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process and promote relaxation and well being.
A facial massage can do wonders to your skin and that can be done at home too.
Massage benefits us in many ways;
  • Promoting relaxation of body and mind
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety
  • Improves circulation
  • Lowers Blood pressure
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Relieves muscular pain
  • Improve muscle tone
  • Facilitates lymphatic drainage and elimination of harmful bacteria (Silly but true)
  • Balances the autonomic nervous system
  • Promoting easier breathing
  • Improves the overall appearance of skin
And a lot more. Though these benefits can be taken from a parlor or through an esthetician, one can be their own facialist at home and do a better job. Saying this, I dont go against the profession (of mine and all the estheticians). But 'time' is the biggest treasure that one could own and we are paupers there. No one has time to relax and enjoy a peaceful hour in a day and visiting a parlor is not a dream come true for everyone/ So I thought of adding some tips but I must say that anyone with a sound health and body should use these tips. Here is some statutory warning before we begin though.............

Please do not use any techniques mentioned here if you are pregnant, patient of uncontrolled high blood pressure or not medically fit (in general none of us are fit). Also do not use these techniques if you have skin ailments with eczema, psoariasis,  auto immune skin problems and acne in particular. This is a form of holistic self made healing process but in case of doubts please do try taking help of an expert. I do not give 100% authenticity of the information in this post and urge everyone to also do some added background reading and research. This post does not affect any profession and is just a pure source of knowledge. Also do click on the links within the post for some amazing websites for better reference and understanding.

With so many massaging techniques and process, someone can get easily carried away and spend a lot of their fortune in comforting themselves. But true comfort lies at home and especially lying in the bed. Thats the reason I always wanted to discuss DIY facials.

What are the benefits of a self-done facial (this does not eliminate the advantages of a professional facial which is as good or sometimes a better reason to relax and get pampered)?
  • Its easy and fun and not as time consuming.
  • Your face knows how much pressure your hands can give.
  • It is cost effective.
  • You know how much your skin can take and where to stop
and so many more reasons.

Who should avoid massages?

  1. Avoid a massage if you are hypertensive and have been a known patient of kidney disease.
  2. Avoid massage when you are ill (exceptions are sinus infections and all where massage can facilitate better and faster cure)
  3. Avoid certain facials and massages in pregnancy. Acupressure is strictly avoided. There are certain safeties that can be followed reading this article but I would suggest that I would not be the right person to talk about such situations.
  4. Avoid massages and  facials if you are prone to rashes and skin concerns like active acne, psoariasis etc.
  5. If in doubt, consult a physician and an esthetician before making the move.
  6. I have mentioned some of the things in the statutory warning but would like to reiterate.

Does self done facial give same results as a salon or spa?

My answer is NO. You may not get results when compared to a spa as there is lack of serenity and ambience at home. You can get results near to the benefits got in a spa but not exactly (this is what I feel). But you can use the best products that suit your skin and get maximum benefits from a serum or cream you have invested.

What products to buy for self done facials?

  • Buy your favorite product whatever brand it is.
  • Invest in a good massage oil or a face oil. These oils are essential oils and should not be misunderstood as oily that can oily skin. Not a trend in India though Clarins has a lovely essential oil serum which has different types and different benefits of sensitive, dehydrated and oily skins and so does L'Occitane.
  • Invest in a good quality massage cream. Massage creams are specifically designed to give an emollient base good enough to reduce friction while massaging the facial skin and muscles and does not penetrate into the skin like your regular moisturizer. Generally in the market only Asian companies have such creams especially in luxury brands like Shiseido and Kanebo. IF you find in any other brand, do let me know.
  • A hydrating moisturizer that is oil free and infused with essential oils, anti-oxidants and hyaluronic acids is perfect product that can be used for massages. Also cleansing waters infused with plant extracts, gentle alcohol free skin tonics and lotions, gentle scrubs with jojoba beads, hydrating and nourishing masks etc are good enough to be a part of daily skin care routine as well as self done massages.
  • The rule is to use whatever products you like. Only they should be allergy tested and dermatologically approved.
  • Aromatherapy and essential oils are a part and parcel of massages and facials. There is a lovely article to give a general idea about this. Please click here.
  • Indulge and pamper your skin in amazing hydrating masks that can do wonders. I also like skin brightening masks that can reduce pigmentation and prevent its occurrence. Although the list is endless I suggest buying things that will brighten up the skin without weighing down the pocket.

What products to avoid during a self done facial?

  • There is a lovely link to what ingredients should be avoided in personal care products. Please click here. It is important to stay and be safe than sorry.
  • I suggest avoidance of harsh ingredients or any products that should be and can be used by a licensed esthetician or dermatologist. Products contain acids meant for exfoliation are better left to specialists than creating disasters at home.
  • You must avoid abrasives like apricot kernels, almond powders etc. in exfoliators and stick to the well known and widely approved beads.
  • Apply in moderation serums or moisturizers that contain skin lightening agents, Vit. C, Retinol or Vit.A and fruit acids. Though the list is endless, these are some products that are very notorious.
  • Stay away from home made or kitchen ingredients like yoghurt or lemon juice etc even after there are millions of people out there bragging about it. Anything that is applied on face raw could be a potential antigen for the skin and can create allergic reactions beyond our thinking. One of them is called Steven Johnson syndrome or anaphylactic shock which could life threatening and causes by a mere use of garden Aloe Vera on the face.
The list is endless so our discretion is good enough to help us out.

4 things to avoid after a self done facial or a spa anywhere: -
  1. Avoid vigorous activity
  2. Avoid Alcohol as it can intensify the effect of toxins released in blood during a massage
  3. Avoid heavy meals to prevent nausea and vomiting
  4. Resist a shower as it can cause lesser action of any active ingredients used.

So after talking about basics of what this series of posts are going to be, in the next post I will be talking extensively on the products that should be used of facials, list of brands that I like and steps of doing a facial.
This maybe something that everyone knows and I am just channelizing it to make a group of self help posts.

I request all to give me a feedback and ask appropriate questions. Please remember 'Anonymous' questions would not be entertained. Hope you enjoy the post.

Till then,


Please do not copy any pictures or content of Beauty Traveller without prior permission. Thanks for reading my blog. I don't give 100% on the authenticity of the content here and it is subject to change without prior notice. Please read the disclaimer for any questions.


  1. hi Neeraj...this is the first time on your blog though I have seen many of your works and some of them, loved them totally!!! well, the series does seem interesting!!! I was so busy reading that when it ended abruptly, I was little confounded :D
    the clarins oils look amazing!! will definitely check them out :)

    1. Thanks a lot Swati....I am in the process of writing the next article but doing some makeup reviews and all too!

  2. Neeraj, this is a very interesting post and full of information. Please do videos attached to the post or on your youtube channel about the facial/massage techniques whenever you get to that part. So excited to learn more about massage and it's origins.I had also read somewhere how one can avoid facial lines and wrinkles just by massaging their skin in the right way with the right amount of product.

    1. Thanks Coral Crue...Yes there are amazing massaging techniques to improve collage production and also the resiliency of the skin...Shall be talking about it!

  3. Very interesting post. I do mini-self-home facials and it is important to remember that the "stroke" of the massage done on the face is very important. Most local salons do not accomplish this, I feel. The proper strokes/facial massage technique can be experienced at a Shahnaz Hussain salon.

    I know of 2 ladies (beauticians - one in Ludhiana and one in Bangalore) who make their own massage creams which they use for facials. I have used them as well for many years - and they work very well. If you want more info on these massage creams, I can share that with you.

    1. Thanks a lot let me know and I would mention it in the blog post for anyone who's interested.I am a lover of cold compressed massage oils for the face and really hydrating creams for massage...
      Not been to Shehnaz Hussain though!
      Thanks for sharing

  4. This is a super helpful post! I am waiting for the tute as wrong movements can create havoc for the skin :(

    1. no there are no wrong movements. The key is to follow the course that goes in the direction of the heart...of course I would be doing the tut too!
      Thanks a lot Shivangi

  5. I enjoyed reading your post, very informative and useful! I wanted to know cant we use yoghurt directly on skin????/

    1. Thanks a lot!
      No I dont advice applying anything raw on the face as it could incite an allergic reaction. Some of the readers may not have faced it but you never know what happens especially with dairy items on the face.

  6. Loved the looking forward to the next. Would love more brand or product suggestion :)

    1. thanks a lot! Just framing it....hope to put it in the next 2-3 days

  7. very helpful post Neeraj ... am bookmarking this :D it is absolute delight to read your post everytimeeee :D

    1. Thanks a lot Rashmi....writing the next post in 2-3 days in the meanwhile shall coverup with some product reviews!

  8. Hi Neeraj,
    this is a very interesting post and full of information. i have learn so many things from your blog posts. May i know do you write blog for others. If u,
    can you write blog For Viviana , we provide you a beauty gift hamper from Viviana .if you are interested please contact me at this email id

  9. Hi.. Very informative post Neeraj. I never thought about facials so seriously. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    1. Thanks Eesha..The posts would be coming soon.Starting in the beginning of June mostly!


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