Oil Your Skin Before Showering + Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage

  Come winter and I ditch my body moisturisers and lotions for oils and butters. Oils give the skin a kind of healthy glow that lasts for days. Plus, I find it fun to mix and match my oils and essential oils -- I go for patchouli and sandalwood when I want something exotic, lavender to relax, orange to brighten my mood and rosemary if I've got a cold.
   Oils take a bit longer to soak in, so I've been going the Ayurvedic method and applying oil on my skin before taking a warm shower -- the water helps the oils to penetrate the skin and make it really soft and nourished. After the shower my skin isn't oily any more.
   My skin needs the extra nourishment, and I enjoy the moments spent on taking care of my body. Recently I have been taking a couple of minutes more and turning it into a small comforting massage. It's incredibly relaxing, and he oil penetrates the skin better. I use this video that explains how to give yourself a self-massage the Ayurvedic way:

  Maybe you've noticed that the strokes in Abhyanga are really similar to those in dry brushing, because both work to support the lymph system and the blood circulation.
   A massage like that at the end of the day is really grounding and helps me sleep better. I just do Abhyanga just on my feet with sesame oil when I feel particularly restless and know I'll have a hard time falling asleep. I'm a Vata-Pitta type and the sesame oil combined with a massage really grounds me. I have been using the Love Me Green Organic Massage Oil which is based on sesame oil, is nicely smooth and not sticky, and smells like Frangipani. The Papaya massage oil from Alterra (Rossmann) also has a lot of sesame oil in it. When I mix my own oils it's usually some blend of almond oil, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil,  sesame oil and essential oils.
   And in case you are wondering about the skin being still oily after the shower -- this really depends on the oils used and on the state my skin is in that day. If there is too much oil on my skin at the end of a shower, I use a gentle soap or body wash to clean it off -- not very thoroughly, just enough to not feel slick. My towel removes all other traces, and by the time I'm dry my skin is moisturised but not the tiniest bit greasy.

   Do you reach for oils and butters in the cold weather? Do you like  massages? What are your cold-weather beauty rituals?
Image Credit: Rachel K

Check these out: