Myth Busting: Massage Techniques for Sensitive Skin – Lydia Sarfati

Sensitive skin can benefit greatly from the enhanced experience of facial massage yet may be the one skin type that estheticians are hesitant to massage. Massage during facials benefits the client’s skin in many ways.  Using massage helps cleanse the skin of impurities and soften sebum.  It also helps manually slough off dead skin cells.  Studies have found it can have psychological benefits, as well, however, with an average decrease of 31%  in cortisol levels, the chemical your body releases when you are stressed. Massage also has been noted to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are responsible for feelings of happiness and self-worth.

One study found that using a massage device can help increase the benefits of a moisturizing cream, to help increase anti-aging benefits: “As compared to untreated skin, the massaging procedure clearly led to higher rates of expression, in particular for decorin, fibrillin, tropoelastin, and procollagen-1. The mechanical stimulus thus evoked an anti-aging response.” Massage has also been found to help reduce pain and inflammation, stimulate blood and lymph circulation, improves overall metabolism and activates sluggish skin.

Sensitive skin is becoming more and more prevalent.  In fact, a recent study found that over 44% of nearly 1000 participants identified themselves as having sensitive-to-hypersensitive skin. 

A professional facial massage is one of the major differences between a professional treatment in a spa and a home-care regimen. By utilizing proper, non-irritating ingredients and practicing techniques that do not over-manipulate sensitized skin, estheticians can provide this large population segment with this important aspect of the facial. 

Before performing facial massage, always consult the client’s intake or health screening form.  If your client expresses a concern about having a facial massage and has a medical condition, advise her to speak with a physician before having the service. Facial massage is, however, contraindicated for clients with severe, uncontrolled hypertension. Excessive heat is also a concern. Additional contraindications include contagious diseases, inflamed acne, sunburn, open lesions and severe redness.  


Laminaria Digitata and Ascophyllum Nodosum Seaweed: Seaweed has been shown to have the greatest bio-affinity to the human body, its chemical makeup close to the elements found in human plasma.  These particular seaweeds are a source of many important nutrients, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, enzymes and bioactive peptides. Essential fatty acids help maintain our skin’s barrier, and polysaccharides such as Alginic Acid, help to lock moisture into our skin.  Among marine resources, it is also one of the richest sources of natural antioxidants such as phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides, fucosterol and fucoxanthins.

Niacinamide/Vitamin B3: This ingredient is known to have numerous proven skin benefits, including helping improve the overall appearance and texture of the skin, evening the appearance of skin complexion, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as dark spots and discoloration, and improving the appearance of firmness and elasticity.

Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid): Hyaluronic Acid is a natural moisturizing polysaccharide prevalently found in the skin that is known to hold 1000X its weight in water. In the body, Hyaluronic Acid is known to help keep skin moisturized, repair skin tissue, transport nutrients in the blood to skin cells, serve as a cushion to lubricate and protect against damage, and contribute to the resilience and suppleness of the skin. As the body ages, Hyaluronic Acid decreases, leading to loss of moisture and elasticity, and contributing to the formation of lines and wrinkles.9 In skin care, benefits include intense hydration of the skin, helping skin to appear more plumped and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.  

Chios Mastiha (Mastic) Oil:  From the island of Chios Greece, this extract is characterized by a balsam like odor and has been used in Greece for centuries. Chios mastic oil (CMO), the essential oil derived from Pistacia lentiscus has generated considerable interest because of its beneficial properties  In both essence and oil form, this ingredient is known to help strengthen the appearance of the skin barrier, to instantly help reduce dryness, while plumping the skin to provide lasting comfort.  Skin will look dewy, radiant and glowing. 

Camellia Japonica Seed Oil: One of the most important new ingredients that help strengthens skin barrier function and prevents moisture loss. 

Micro Silver: Micro Silver is a revolutionary new ingredient made from pure, micronized silver.  This releases pure, soluble silver ions at the surface, forming an invisible layer on the skin. 

Quercetin: A bioflavonoid found in apples, berries, parsley, onions, grapefruit, and wine.

Rutin: A bioflavonoid found in high concentrations in citrus fruit, buckwheat, asparagus, and rhubarb.  

Mirabilis Jalapa: Also known as the “Marvel of Peru,” this extract is useful to help lessen the appearance of dry skin.

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice: This extract contains over 200 substances, including 20 minerals, 20 amino acids, 12 vitamins, and active enzymes.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract: This extract, made from the daisy-like white and yellow heads of the Chamomile flowers, is known to be soothing and calming.

Be sure to use products that do not contain skin irritants and that can help reduce irritation and redness.  For example, the Repêchage Red-Out® Cleanser and Red-Out® Serum contain Seaweed extracts, Micro Silver, Rutin, Quercetin and Mirabalis Jalapa to help to soothe the appearance of the skin.    

The Repêchage® Hydra Dew Pure™ Collection for Dry, Compromised Skin was formulated in accordance with California Proposition 65 and Oncology Esthetics® (Morag Currin, 2020) list of ingredients to avoid in personal care products, is paraben free, fragrance free, mineral oil free, free of petrochemicals, and free of formaldehyde releasers.



A variety of techniques can be used to give the best massage for each client’s individual needs. Massage pressure, the direction of movements, and the duration will vary accordingly. Be sure you help your clients understand that excessive or deep massage is too rough for facial skin. Too much pressure on the face can weaken elastin fibers and break down elasticity.

Effleurage Massage:

Use the Hydra Dew Pure™ Oil, a unique facial oil combines pure Laminaria Digitata seaweed extract with Mastic Oil to help restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier and create soft, smooth skin. 

Put ten drops of oil on the skin, very gently working it in the skin.  Put the remaining oil on your hands. Begin the effleurage massage.  This is a light movement where one hand will follow the other. 

1. Gently, in upward outward movements, stroke upwards under the chin, up along the cheeks, the forehead then upwards on the other cheek.

2. Scissor fingers through the bridge of the nose and upwards on the forehead.

3. Step up at the bridge of the nose at the corrugator muscles.

4. Go upward on the cheeks, temples and forehead and continue upwards on the neck area and the décolleté. Repeat each step three times.

5.  Repeat step up motion. 

6. Circle face around the perimeter with hands three times, then downwards into the neck or platysma area and upwards on the décolleté.

7. Move up on the trapezius muscles up on the cervical to the occipital area.

Repeat Step #4, moving upward on the cheeks, temples and forehead continue upwards on the neck area and the décolleté. Repeat each step three times.  Repeat downwards on the platysma, outwards and in towards the neck, down, out and in, then repeat the movements on the face once again.

8. Finish by lightly circling the eyes three times.

The Repêchage® Kansa Wand Massage:

For centuries, the Kansa Wand has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition in India for holistic massage. The Repêchage® Kansa Wand is a massage tool designed to be used at home or in the spa with facial and body treatments for a unique, seaweed-based skin care ritual.  This important massage tool can bring both the relaxing and stimulating benefits to the skin. When used in conjunction with seaweed-based Repêchage® skin care products, this facial massage tool will naturally help to:

• Improve the appearance of toned, tightened and firmed skin

• Reduce the appearance of puffiness, fine lines, redness and irritation

The Kansa Wand is available separately or in a special Hydra Dew Pure™ Pro Anti-Stress Massage Kit.

To perform a Kansa Wand massage, use ten drops of Hydra Dew Pure™ Oil for Dry, Compromised Skin on the face and gently apply into the skin.     

1. Start on the bottom of the neck gliding the Repêchage® Kansa Wand in and out upwards to the chin, stroking upwards and outwards on both sides of the face.

2. Circle up to the center of the forehead and stroke gently back and forth above the bridge of the nose.

3. Circle down along the perimeter of the face then upwards, making small circles on the center of the forehead, then stroke downwards on the perimeter of the face on the opposite side.

4. Come back up and make small circles on the forehead then glide down in a circle under the eye, back and forth to the mouth and down to the chin.  Repeat on the other side of the face, gliding in and out.  Stroke downwards on the neck and up to the earlobes, creating small circles as you stroke upwards to the forehead.  

5. Circle down to the chin area of the face, creating small circles on the lower perimeter of the face, then circle up with Repêchage® Kansa Wand, creating small circles again on the forehead.

6. Glide the Repêchage® Kansa Wand around the perimeter of the face, creating a full circle around the face and back up to the forehead three times.

7. Circle down to the chin, going in and out downwards to the neck and décolleté area.

8. Gently massage the earlobe area and behind the ear lobe with gentle, circular motion. 

9. Glide under the perimeter of the face to the chin and create small circles under the chin and jawline, moving upwards to the opposite side of the face and repeat movements at the earlobe and behind the earlobe on the opposite ear.

10. Glide under the jawline again to the other side and press lightly at the temple.

Once you finish with the massage with Repêchage® Kansa Wand, you can then return to effleurage movements. Place hands on the platysma, lower jawline, lip area, forehead to finish.  

Once you finish massage, to remove excess oil, place cotton strips on the face in a mummy mask fashion.  These should be lukewarm or room temperature, never hot. Apply them, and gently put pressure on with your hands avoid any kind of deep friction. Remove each strip gently, wiping across the face, then throw them away. Everything should be a gentle movement.

Silver Ball Massage:

The ergonomically designed Repêchage® Silver Ball Massager is designed to be used on hyper-sensitive skin displaying the appearance of redness and irritation as found in rosacea.  This device provides hands off massage and stays cool to the touch while providing consistently correct pressure to facial muscles.

To perform the Silver Ball Massage, apply a few drops of Red-Out® Serum, or Hydra Dew Pure™ Oil on the face. Take two Repêchage® Silver Ball Massagers out of the sterilizer and place in the center of the forehead.

   1.  Lightly glide on the forehead area in small circles, working towards the temple area.

2. Glide massagers down to the chin, then upwards on the cheeks and inward towards the nose.  Hold at the bridge of the nose under the eye area for a few moments. 

3. Glide the massagers under the eyes and to the temple area on both sides of the face.

4. Glide the massagers down to the chin, then upwards to the top of the forehead, circling the Silver Massager’s tips at this point for a few repetitions.

5. Glide the massagers around the eyes and up to the bridge of the nose again, holding for another few moments on the bridge of the nose.

6. Glide upwards the forehead, then downwards to the temple area to complete this massage.

Do you have any questions about treating sensitive skin issues? Let us know in the comments.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button