Ayurvedic How-To

An Ayurvedic Beauty Guide to Face and Body Oils

Steal this advice for optimizing face and body oils from Kim Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina.

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Steal this advice for optimizing body oils from Kim Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina

4 Tips for Using Body Oils

1. Massage oil into your skin before bathing.

“Warm water opens your pores so oil can penetrate into deeper layers of your skin,” says Rossi. The oil acts as a barrier between your skin and the water, protecting you from any chemicals in the water.

2. You’ll want to give your towels some extra attention.

Using oil on your body before you shower means that over time, your towels will become a bit oily—and your usual laundry detergent may not be strong enough to keep them grease free. Rossi’s fix: Add 1 ounce of natural, plant-based dish soap to your wash load of towels. 

2. Create a self-care ritual. 

In Ayurveda, massaging yourself with warm oil is called abhyanga, and the practice is like “being anointed and saturated with love,” says Rossi, who recommends silently repeating an empowering mantra while massaging oil into your skin or sore muscles.

See also 13 Major Yoga Mantras to Memorize

3. Choose any organic, cold-pressed oil.

It doesn’t need to be beauty-specic, says Rossi. In fact, you should use the highest quality food-grade oils—something you would eat—on your ultra-absorbent skin whenever possible, she says.

7 Steps for Applying Face Oils

If you’re not already using face oils, it’s time to start, says Rossi: “Oils are fats, which means they pass through the lipid layer of the skin, leaving it dewy and youthful.” Boost the benefits of your oil with this one-minute massage: 

Step 1: Smooth oil all over your face and neck. 
Step 2: Using your index and middle fingers on both hands, swipe oil horizontally across your forehead (beginning at your temples) and then back. Repeat 10 times. 
Step 3: Pinch your eyebrows with your forefingers and thumbs—starting from the inside of your eyes and moving out toward your ears 10 times. 
Step 4: Using your middle fingers, gently massage below your eyes, starting from the inside and working your way out. 
Step 5: Make circular motions along your jaw line with your knuckles, starting at your chin. Repeat 10 times. 
Step 6: Place your thumbs at the center of your chin under your jaw and then flick them toward each ear along your jawline 10 times. 
Step 7: Using your thumbs, massage the oil in an upward motion on the sides of your neck, from your collarbones toward your jawline.

See also Oil Pulling: The Ayurvedic Health Technique You Should Try