With the stress of the holiday season over, most of us are back to our daily routine. However, with the mercury needle still hovering around freezing, most of us simply want to stay inside next to the fire, curled up under a warm blanket. Why not take advantage of this down-time by practicing facial massage. Just like eating healthy, staying active and getting our eight hours of sleep are important, so is remembering to slow down and take a few deep breaths. One of the best things to do to help you relax and re-center is to perform facial massage. Facial massage is excellent to promote blood flow, increase circulation and revive lackluster skin; it is also especially helpful to tone sagging and sluggish skin. After only ten minutes of facial massage, your skin will look rosy and pink, like you just went for a jog on a cool winter’s day. So for those of you who need a little “me-time,” or maybe just need help getting that wintery glow, it’s time you learn about the joys of facial massage. Just as complex as the map you use to navigate with, so is the infrastructure of your face. It is a complex map of striated muscles, nerves, arteries and veins with various levels of skin thickness and sensitivity. The thinnest skin of the body is found on and around the delicate eyelids, which is why care must be taken to avoid direct massage of that area. In addition, the tender area over the thyroid (center of the neck) should not be massaged. To get the most out of your massage experience, use a carrier oil mixed with your favorite essential oil. Carrier oils such as grapeseed, apricot kernel or safflower oil are used to provide a smooth and slick surface so there is less friction and pull of the skin. Essential oils such as lavender, jasmine, sandalwood and rose will further promote relaxation and allow the senses to unwind. derma e®’s Vitamin E Skin Oil 14,000 I.U. is a silky blend of Vitamin E and Safflower Oil that delivers intensive moisture while reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It can be layered over any favorite moisturizing crème or used alone for sensitive skin types. Using your fingertips and working in a circular motion, start massaging the temples; this helps relieve headaches and promote deep relaxation. Gradually work your way towards the middle of the forehead; this area can also be tapped to promote circulation (it also feels great and helps with concentration!). For the eyes, use the orbital bone as a guide; the area around your eyes are best massaged using the ring finger in a circular or figure-8 rotation. You can also use your palms to apply pressure across the entire eye are to alleviate eye strain. For the cheeks, jawline and chin, your middle knuckles will help to loosen a tight jaw, help to fight falling jowls, and foster a healthy flush. Using light pressure, massage in a circular motion. For the sides of the neck, use the opposite hand of the side of the neck you are working on. With a downward motion, use the pads of the fingertips to push down excess fluid into the lymphatic system. Don’t neglect your ears and scalp! Pulling and pinching the ears relieves tension and can help to re-balance many organs of the body. Scalp massage also reduces tension and pressure, restores concentration and can help to encourage faster hair growth! So even if “the weather outside is frightful,” you no longer have to worry that it will take your sanity as well! Cozy up, brew some chamomile tea, and don’t forget to take some time for yourself this winter season! Warm wishes and Happy New Year from all of us at derma e®!