Your Guide to the Best Face Massage Medium (part 2)


14 Dec
14Dec

Following on from last month's blog here are another 3 considerations to take into account when choosing the best massage medium for each client. 

  • Client contraindications/allergies 
  • Cost per use 
  • At which stage of the facial the massage will be given

Let’s explore each point. 

  • Client contraindications/allergies

 Naturally, we need to be aware of any sensitivity or allergy a client may have to a specific ingredient or ingredients. Many massage oils are nut-based so if your client checks nut allergy to be on the safe side consider having a nut-free vegetable oil. This would be grapeseed or sesame seed based. Very useful to have for such clients. 

Alternatively, use a massage technique that doesn't require you use any product on the face or massage the scalp instead.


  • Cost per use

Some professional skincare product companies make a range of specific massage products, whether it’s oil, cream or lotion. Depending on the formulation, these items are usually very cost effective to use in a treatment.

 I have worked with other skincare companies that suggest you use the moisturizer for the massage medium. These products are generally more expensive and not necessarily formulated to last the entire length of the massage unless you use excessive amounts.

Aromatherapy blends are usually formulated to be used sparingly and can be cost effective when performing Aromatherapy massage or drainage techniques where little product is required. 

Serums can be used in a massage sequence applied sparingly and underneath a massage medium or masque. When used in isolation as a massage medium they would cost way too much and again this is not the function of the product. This is a useful practice if you intend to leave the masque on after the massage before removing and applying the finishing products. 

Masques can sometimes be an expensive medium for massage so I encourage you to be aware of cost per use but this can sometimes work well for water/gel-based masques or creamy non-setting masques. 


  • At which stage of the facial will the treatment be given.

 Another consideration is at what stage of the treatment will you be giving the massage? Following along the steps of a regular, traditional facial we could insert the massage at various points of a treatment. Here are several suggestions as to when and why you may choose a specific product or technique. 

During exfoliation. If an exfoliant is formulated to sit on the skin for at least 5 minutes you could utilize this time with an upper body/décolleté massage. Massage oil, lotion or rich body moisturizer would be a good choice for the region providing adequate slip and glide and could be left on the skin.

Following exfoliation and prior to extractions. Using an oil-based massage medium along with a European style massage can help loosen and soften impactions and depending on the skin. This alone may be enough prep for the skin prior to extractions. If you plan on using electrotherapy such as galvanic to further soften the skin the oil-based medium must be cleansed off the skin or it will prevent the flow of the current.

After extractions. To help calm and soothe the skin using a non-stimulating technique may be used such as lymphatic drainage massage would be useful here.  Anti-inflammatory ingredients can be used in the form of a water-based serum or calming, aromatherapy blend. These products could be left on the skin followed by masque application over the top.

During the masque. Facial Acupressure could be applied over a non-setting masque. Alternatively, a hand and arm massage could also be given at this time using massage oil, lotion or rich body moisturizer.

After the masque. Once the masque has been removed, I would choose any serum and moisturizer suitable for my client, that will be left on the skin. I may choose this option if clients’ skin is super touch sensitive. Featherlight lymphatic drainage massage or facial acupressure are both great techniques at this stage.


If you found this blog useful please consider sharing it with a fellow esthetician or two and tell us about your favorite massage product and why.


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