The best spa treatments are all about giving you the luxury of time and expertise to achieve relaxation or results, or both. I always come away feeling inspired to carry on the care that the therapist has started, to look after myself the way they have looked after me in the treatment room. Obviously I don’t always manage it, but when I slip carving out some time to reset with a ritual approach really helps me appreciate the time and the results.
We all acknowledge that selfcare is essential, so here is a beautiful and simple selfcare ritual to honor your wonderful self and the therapists who have given you that care, time and expertise.
A soulful facial massage ritual.
To prepare; dim the lights, light a candle, play some of your favourite relaxing tunes and set an intention. Gather everything you need so you can stay in the restful space you’ve created, tell your household that you are very busy and important and cannot be disturbed.
Double cleanse your face.
The experts know the value of a double cleanse, I love using 2 different products to indulge in different textures and sensations.
Start with a light, gel cleanse. Use tiny tiny circles (the size of a 5p - remember cash money? Just about...) starting from under the chin, up to the cheeks, skimming around the eye sockets, pause at your temples for 5 breaths. Then to the sides of the nose, up to the forehead and around the hairline. With a warm flannel (wring it out so it is only slightly damp but still warm) cover your whole face and breathe gently. You’ll benefit from the scents and essential oils in your cleanser. Then really gently place both palms on your cheeks and use slow, big circles to remove the cleanser.
Now find a rich balmy or oily cleanser. Use the same route around your face with slightly larger circles (50p size). Slow, mindful movements as you breathe gently. As you let the balm or oils melt into your skin, rinse your flannel and warm it up with hot water. Wring out and place the warm cloth over your whole face again. Breathe… this is a ritual, don’t rush. Take a moment to repeat a mantra, breathe into all the corners of your lungs. Same technique as before to remove the cleanser.
Tone and awaken.
With a fresh flannel, rinse it in cold water, wring out and place over your whole face. It feels gorgeous to have the different temperatures and this chill will take the place of a toner. Gently tap over the flannel to reignite your circulation - light finger tip taps all over your face, following the same route. The power of this ritual is in the repetition. Remove the flannel.
Warming a couple of drops of your favourite facial oil in your palms, repeat your mantra and breathe. With the same gentle finger tip taps and repeating the route around your face tap in the oil...Mindfully and with the intention of enlivening circulation.
I love using stones, jade or rose quartz tools. You can deep dive on the benefits of facial rollers, gua sha tools and other applicators, but for our soulful ritual we’re using a jade gua sha.
Stimulating circulation and facial muscles to lift and renew, take the straighter edge of your gua sha and with medium to firm pressure ‘scrape’ the edge along your jaw then round and down to your clavicle, repeat 3 times each side.
There’s a big difference between the feeling on bone and on muscles so adjust your pressure. With the more curved edge, work from the side of your mouth, up and under the cheek bone to the temple, dipping the smaller semi-circle part of the gua sha into the temple - 3 times each side.
Take your time and use a pressure that is on the edge of comfortable (the nice edge, don’t hurt your face). You might see your skin reddening as the blood comes to the surface delivering oxygen and nutrients. Run the v shaped dip of the gua sha up your nose (more gently) and pause at the points just at the start of your eyebrows.
Use your thumbs to work some little circles into these points for 5 breaths. Onto the forehead and using the flat side of the gua sha to go from the centre to the temple smoothing out your brow, 3 times each side.
Use the finger tip taps to work in a day cream, or an indulgent night balm. Tapping continues the stimulation and means you don’t have a super thick layer of cream to contend with, allowing your skin to breathe and absorb.
Feeling pink faced, fresh and dewy? Me too!
If you need some inspiration on lush products to upgrade your new facial ritual, here are some of my favourites: