The good oil

If your skin is oily and prone to breakouts, oil is probably the last thing you’d think of putting on your face. However, the latest rejuvenating facial oils designed for all skin types may have you rethinking your beauty routine.

Used for centuries to beautify the complexion, botanical oils are the most effective way to deliver maximum nutrition and hydration to the skin while normalising and regulating the skin’s own oil (sebum) production.

Plant-based facial oils containing concentrated plant extracts, including essential oils, are instantly absorbed into the skin and penetrate deep into the dermis (the layer under the epidermis) without leaving any sticky or greasy residue. Mineral oils, on the other hand, are not as easily absorbed and tend to remain on the surface of the skin, giving little benefit at a deeper cellular level.

While facial oil is appropriate for all skin types, Clare Dickens, business manager of More Than Skin in Auckland, recommends having your complexion analysed by a skin therapist before using a facial oil to ensure you choose the right one. If you have oily skin, for example, jojoba oil and hazelnut oil are good base oils, as jojoba helps to balance sebum production while hazelnut is slightly astringent. Dry skin can benefit from the soothing effects of almond (base) oil and neroli (essential) oil, which are both emollient to the skin.

Facial oil can be used morning and night. Apply it to dry, cleansed skin instead of your normal moisturiser or 
use it under your moisturiser for an added boost of nourishment.

Neelu Ameen, director of Tamara 
Spa in Auckland, says the best way to apply facial oil is to put a dot of the oil 
on your forehead, each cheek, your chin and your neck. Gently massage the oil into your skin, starting from your neck. Use upward strokes in a circular motion.

“It’s important to massage the oil into the skin so it can reveal and release its benefits,” Ameen says. Massage the oil into your neck and face using both hands, to fully nourish the skin, stimulate blood flow, reduce facial tension and encourage an overall sense of wellbeing as you inhale the aroma of the oil.

Your skin will instantly feel softer and look more radiant after a facial oil massage, so make it a weekly ritual.

Note: check with your doctor before using any products containing essential oils during pregnancy.

Exercise for the face

How does facial yoga work?

It’s just like
taking you face to the gym. You need to do it at least three times a week,
but preferably everyday for 15 minutes. You are working your facial
muscles which helps to firm and tone the skin, even on areas such as
the dreaded turkey neck.

Where did you hear about it?

I heard about this many years ago and always thought it made sense. Since then clients of mine are always asking about what they can do at home to make them look young, fresh and glowing.

Facial yoga was a solution for clients who want to work towards long term skin benefits rather than a quick fix. This way the texture of the skin improves as does circulation encouraging radiance along with firmer skin.

What are the benefits of facial yoga?

Firm, toned skin and a glowing complexion. Not to mention looking good, feeling good, being proud of your skin and ageing gracefully. It’s a natural alternative to the invasive procedures that are on the market today.

It also encourages “you” time. If you spend 15 minutes a day practicing these techniques, combined with relaxing music, peaceful surroundings and a quiet meditation you will feel internally calm and grounded. This follows the same stretching and breathing philosophy as yoga. If you feel stressed, you will look stressed, no matter how much botox you have.

What is your favourite “pose”?

I like to target the muscles around the eyes. This is closely followed by moments of relaxation and the cool down. The exercises are completed by accessing a series of pressure points that make me feel like I am walking on a big fluffy soft cloud. I do this when ever I feel stressed and I can instantly feel the energy in my body change to a state of calm.

Describe customers’ response to the exercises?

It is very normal for clients to have difficulty with some poses and not others. Everyone is different, but it just takes practice and making sure you have the correct technique.

That’s why we offer the class one-on-one so I can watch closely to make sure the technique is right. Then the client is able to replicate this at home with our Skin Matrix Facial Yoga Manual. Giggling is very common as you pull some very interesting faces, but it’s meant to be fun.

What is your beauty philosophy?

Treat your skin as you would your body. Your body loves fresh healthy food, so feed your skin with loads of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and hydrators and your skin will love you. What you put on your skin is reflected right back at you.

Contact Sarah Wilkinson from SKIN MATRIX for further details on facial yoga classes.