To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Aromatherapy Facial Massage,” by Carollanne Crichton, in the October 2013 issue. Article summary: Aromatherapy involves the skillful application of essential oils to support a desired outcome. In an aromatherapy facial massage, the desired outcome may be focused initially on skin conditions, but a superficial effect is never the whole story when working on the face with essential oils.

Types of Base Oils to Use for Aromatherapy Facial Massage, MASSAGE MagazineBase oils in any aromatherapy massage practitioner’s inventory could include:

Sesame oil. This oil is expeller pressed from sesame seeds. This sweet, warm, unctuous oil is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B and E, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. This oil is best for mature, thinning or dry skin conditions.

Sunflower oil. This oil is abundant in oleic acids, with high amounts of vitamins A, D and E, plus beneficial amounts of lecithin and unsaturated fatty acids. This oil provides a protective barrier on the skin. This is good, all-purpose facial-massage base oil.

Jojoba oil. This oil has high content of proteins and essential fatty acids, which closely resemble our own skin’s lipids, so they are readily absorbed into the skin. This oil is best for oily skin.

Coconut oil. This oil is light, nongreasy and has cooling properties. This oil is best for acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Beeswax. This wax naturally helps seal moisture into the skin, while still allowing it to breathe. It is best for lips and eye areas.

Carollanne Crichton, L.M.T., is board certified as an ayurvedic health consultant, aromatherapist and continuing education provider. She is based in Guilford, Connecticut, where she maintains her healing arts practice as well as Solavedi Organics Formulary (, a massage-and-aromatherapy products company. She is available for classes and consultations.