How To Use Essential Oils For Facial Massage

by Annie Mascia March 25, 2024

How To Use Essential Oils For Facial Massage

Having a bright complexion signifies youthfulness and health and there are many benefits in embracing facial massage techniques to brighten the skin in your daily routine with carrier oils and essential oils. Whether using your fingertips to perform a simple facial massage or gua sha (pronounced gwah-shah) tools for a more specialized approach, it will take only a few minutes in the morning to seamlessly add these techniques to your skincare routine. 

What Is Gua Sha?

Although its exact origins are uncertain, gua sha(1) came to life through Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been practiced for centuries. Used to address health concerns such as pain and inflammation, it has been added to alternative medicine techniques as a complementary treatment to improve circulation, promote relaxation and relieve muscle tension. 

“Gua,” signifies to rub or scrape and “sha” refers to the small red marks that can appear on the skin when applying the technique. These red-purplish marks imply blood stagnancy in the body and gua sha helps to give movement to the stuck energy. Facial gua sha is meant to be performed gently and has become progressively popular to promote healthy and youthful skin.

The Benefits Of Facial Massage, Gua Sha And Essential Oils

You may think that facial massage and gua sha would only benefit microcirculation of the skin, but the multitude of facial muscles that hold tension can gain some advantage here as well. The face alone holds 43 small muscles that help to control facial expressions like squinting, yawning, smiling and frowning(2) and include the four main muscles for chewing and controlling the lower jaw(3). Tension and inflammation in the face can lead to maladies such as TMJ disorder(4) (google the temporal and masseter muscles that surround the joint) and Bell’s palsy(5) - an unexplained cranial nerve dysfunction leading to facial muscle weakness or paralysis. 

While studies are ongoing(6), many indicate gua sha’s positive results to initiate movement of stagnancy to facilitate oxygenation for cell renewal (the rate at which old or damaged skin cells are shed and replaced by new, healthy ones) and promote healing and nutrient delivery at the cellular level(7). Other benefits include reducing muscular tension and improving circulation, reducing sinus pressure and lessening inflammation. If you hold a lot of facial tension - in the jaw and between the brows, gua sha just may be the technique that you need to add to your routine. 

Facial massage works in the same way. By massaging the face, circulation and cell turnover rate are improved for a smooth, radiant and youthful glow. Other benefits of both techniques include skin hydration, lymphatic drainage, managing scar tissue, stress relief, muscle relaxation, anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant protection. The synergistic benefits of using gua sha and facial massage with a blend of carrier oil and diluted essential oils for the face can further rejuvenate the skin's overall appearance. 

Choosing The Right Essential Oils

Many essential oils work well at pampering the skin of the face by helping skin heal, reducing redness, adding hydration and even smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Some oils add moisture and are indicated for dry and sensitive skin such as Lavender, Rose and Sandalwood. Oils like Myrrh and Frankincense can assist in ironing out fine lines and wrinkles Rosemary and Tea Tree are utilized often to reduce bacterial load on the skin and improve circumstances of breakouts and acne. 

Whatever your skin type, Edens Garden mindfully crafts essential oil blends for the face that are both delicate and sophisticated. Let’s take a deeper look at some specific EG blends which also come in 10 ml pre-diluted roll-ons for your convenience: 

  • Age Defy is handcrafted with essential oils of Frankincense, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender, Myrrh, Helichrysum and two types of Rose essential oils, It is a phenomenal blend for hydrating dry skin of the face, lessens redness and inflammation and diminishing fine lines to help you age gracefully. It is one of the go-to oil blends for many of our customers who rave about subtle aromatics and its ability to soften their skin. 
  • Face Love is designed for all skin types to enhance a youthful glow, it has a calming sensation to protect those with the most sensitive skin to rejuvenate the skin at the cellular level. It combines essential oils of Frankincense, Copaiba, Tangerine, Geranium- Egyptian and Neroli to firm and tone skin while contributing to its radiance. Complete your skincare routine using Face Love with an at-home facial. 
  • Made for a wide range of skin concerns, Best Skin Ever was exceptionally formulated and crafted with Cedarwood- Atlas, Lavender- Bulgarian, and Patchouli- Dark to transform skin and extend a more youthful radiance, especially with mature skin. Its anti-inflammatory ability helps to lessen irritation and red patches even for those with sensitive skin.
  • Frankincense, Sandalwood, Lavender, Helichrysum- Italicum, as well as Evening Primrose, are Skin Love’s main restorative remedies. This blend is exceptional in firming and imparting elasticity to the skin while reducing inflammation. Skin Love essential oils contain calming properties to improve cell turnover, renewing the skin and evening out inconsistencies. 

Step-By-Step Guide For Self Gua Sha

The steps to perform gua sha and facial massage are straightforward and uncomplicated. Incorporating skin-loving carrier oils and essential oils can augment this process for their natural ability to regenerate skin cells and for the added anti-inflammatory and antioxidant healing powers. Below are pointers for using gua sha tools properly followed by step by step instructions.

Pointers Before You Start

  • Always wash your face, your hands and the tool first with warm water - this will hydrate your skin before applying a lubricant. 
  • Always use a lubricant and avoid performing massage or gua sha on dry skin.
  • Light pressure is always best especially on the face to gently stimulate the lymphatic system to drain away edema and improve circulation. 
  • Move your fingers and the tool in the right direction. Always remember to move upward and outward from the centerline of the face and swipe laterally toward the ears. When working on the neck, use upward motion to move energy upward against gravity. 
  • Hold the tool (and your hands) at the correct angle: Both facial massage and gua sha are meant to smooth the skin rather than pull on it. Using a slight angle where your hands and/or the tool are nearly lying flat against your face is important and will increase the surface area of the treatment while also giving a gentle touch to the skin. (*See note below.)

Made from many different gemstones such as jade, rose quartz and bian stone, gua sha tools have many shapes. We suggest using a heart-shaped tool that has a notch, a soft straight edge as well as a curve (see the demonstration video included below in this blog.) The straight edge is used for effective scraping and the notch is for smaller areas and more detailed “erasing.”

*Note: The only time you want to use the gua sha tool at a greater angle is to break up restrictions in the fascia and to attend to wrinkles that run deeper in the skin. In this instance work the tool directly on those areas using an “eraser” type motion over the lines. Follow this motion by lessening the angle and sweeping upward and outward to smooth over those same lines. 

Step-by-step guide (and a Video link) to perform gua sha and facial massage

No tool? No problem! Gentle facial massage with the hands follows these same motions and techniques to increase circulation by using your fingertips and forefingers - the benefit is that both sides can be worked on simultaneously. With either technique, the more you practice it the more it will become second nature. Feel free to follow this gua sha technique video to support these steps below:

  1. Gently apply your carrier oil and essential oil blend with upward strokes of the fingers beginning at the center of the face and neck to provide slip and prevent dragging or pulling on the skin during the face or gua sha massage. 
  2. Repeat each gua sha motion 5 times and wiggle the tool at the end of the stroke after the 5th swipe.
  3. Using the notched edge and starting at the shoulders near the back of the neck, move the tool gently in an upward direction up to the base of the neck and wiggle the tool at the base of the skull to relieve any tension at the back of the neck and move to the opposite side and repeat. 
  4. Moving onto the front/lateral side of the neck, stroke upwards until you arrive at the chin. Repeat on the opposite side. 
  5. Starting at the jawline, place 2 fingers on the chin for support, lay the tool on the skin and swipe upwards along the jawbone up to the ear. Repeat on the opposite side. 
  6. Moving the tool to engage the straight side of the tool, begin by the nose at the lower cheek. Hold the nose with 2 fingers to support the upward movement toward the ear. Repeat on the opposite cheek.
  7. Moving your support fingers higher up on the nose, stroke along the cheekbone under the eye to the temple area being careful and gentle under the eyes. Switch sides and repeat.
  8. Working on the frontal bone area above the eyes, use the notched side of the tool again. Place 2 fingers between the eyebrows and slide the tool across the eyebrows which will also help to reduce muscular tension. Repeat the opposite side. 
  9. Turn the tool again to use the straight side and place your fingers in the same place between the brows. Using an upward motion in the center of the forehead. Then move the tool to the left side of the forehead and swipe in an upward and outward direction. Repeat the right side of the forehead. 

Frequency and Lubrication

We recommend using these massage techniques at least 2 times per week and want to remind you that with most things, consistency is important. We also suggest experimenting with these routines to find the right rhythm for your skincare journey. Everyone's skin is different and only you know your skin to best understand the frequency of using these techniques.

When it comes to essential oils, once diluted with a carrier oil, can be utilized daily for smoother, healthier and radiant skin as well as a lubricant for your gua sha and facial massage routines. Edens Garden carries pre-diluted essential oil roll-ons and if you are unsure which to choose try out purchasing a personalized roll-on combination with our favorite face roll-ons. 

If you prefer to make your own DIY roll-on or desire an unscented carrier oil, Edens Garden has an abundance of specialty carriers such as Rosehip seed oil, Meadowfoam oil and Cucumber Seed oil that carry the perfect amount of hydration and love for the face. Other carriers such as Argan oil and Evening Primrose oil can also support your journey with gua sha and facial massage. 


  1. Exploring Scraping Therapy: Contemporary Views on an Ancient Healing
  2. Facial Muscles: Anatomy, Function & Related Disorders
  3. Anatomy, Head and Neck, Masseter Muscle
  4. Gua Sha for TMJ: Uses, Benefits and More
  5. Bell’s Palsy
  6. Gua Sha Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain
  7. Gua-sha: Application and Therapeutic Results in Musculoskeletal Pain Situations. Systematic Review

Grab The Essentials Here:

Leave a comment (Comments will be approved before showing up)