From the Magazine

The 6 Best Essential Oils for an Age-Defying Self Massage

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Paired with age-defying oils, these targeted mini massages will refresh, relax, and rejuvenate you — making the fountain of youth just a quick rub away.

How it works: Massage strokes encourage lymphatic drainage to fight bloat and swelling, boost blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s surface, and increase collagen production for firmer skin, says medical aesthetician Holly Cutler. “It also stimulates circulation so the anti-aging compounds of the oils used absorb deep into skin.”

Tone a double chin with grapeseed oil.

Thanks to its collagen-boosting compounds, grapeseed oil works to firm the saggy skin around the jawline while massage’s bloat-fighting mechanisms further slim the face’s appearance. 

Try it: Use your thumbs to rub 2 drops of grapeseed oil, like Aura Cacia Grapeseed Skin Care Oil ($4.99, AuraCacia.com), onto skin in small circles, starting from the base of your neck and moving up to your chin.

Shrink cankles with lavender oil.

The anti-inflammatory properties in lavender oil help relieve swelling around joints in the feet and ankles, explains Cutler. What’s more, the oil constricts blood vessels, reducing the appearance of spider veins! And the massage ensures movement of any pooled fluids from knee to toe.  

Try it: Mix 6 drops of lavender essential oil, like Nature’s Truth Lavender Aromatherapy Essential Oil ($6.99, Target.com), with 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil. Rub onto feet. Then place palms on each side of the ankle and move them up to the knee using long, gentle strokes. Next, rub from the heel up to the back of the knee. Do 10 times on each leg.

Banish belly bloat with peppermint oil.

Along with massage’s motions, the  menthol in peppermint oil increases blood flow to draw out belly-swelling toxins and eliminate the gas that can lead to bloat, says Cutler. 

Try it: Mix 2 drops of peppermint essential oil, like Now Essential Oils Peppermint Oil ($6.49, VitaminShoppe.com), with 1 tsp. of olive oil (to prevent irritation). Rub the blend on your belly in a circular motion. Let sit 5 minutes; rinse.

Smooth a crepey décolletage with rosehip oil.

“Rosehip oil’s fatty acids plump skin to diminish chest creasing over time,” says Cutler. And massage helps its potent fine line–fading vitamin A  content absorb even faster! 

Try it: Use circular motions to gently massage 2 drops of rosehip oil, like Acure The Essentials Rosehip Oil ($11.29, Amazon.com), onto your neck and chest.

Diminish dimples with grapefruit oil.

Grapefruit oil is a diuretic that helps flush the toxins that make cellulite more prominent. Rubbing it in breaks up the fatty deposits for a smoother appearance. 

Try it: Mix 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil, like Plant Therapy Grapefruit Pink Essential Oil ($7.95, PlantTherapy.com), with 1 tsp. olive oil and massage onto dimply areas using upward, kneading-like motions on each spot for up to 10 minutes; rinse off any excess oil.

Plump hair with rosemary oil.

The oil is an antiseptic that unclogs hair follicles to prevent shedding, and along with massage, increases blood circulation to speed growth. In fact, one study reported that  massaging rosemary oil onto the scalp promoted hair growth just as effectively as minoxidil.

Try it: Before bed, apply 4 drops of rosemary oil, like Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Hair Oil ($12.94, Jet.com), onto your scalp and rub in with your fingers using circular motions for 1 minute. Cover with a shower cap; rinse in the morning.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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