Well, I believe that massages don’t need preambles or excuses. In many cultures, massages are a standard part of body care, and people make it part of their weekly routine. And certainly, there’s good reason to do the same: Massage therapy has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (the stress chemicals) by an average of 31% for study participants and increase serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, body-specific massages have been shown to reduce pain in areas all over, from headaches and shoulder tension to back pain and knee discomfort. There’s also tons of research demonstrating the benefits for people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and other conditions.
Yes, massage—be it a self massage, done by a professional, or by a partner—is a great way to destress, get in tune with your body, and nurture your skin.
Now onto the logistics: Massages require some sort of oil or cream, as it will provide slip and comfort during the push-and-pull. Not only that, but a good massage oil contains a host of good-for-you actives, so your skin is getting some nurturing too. Here, some of our favorites should you be in the market to get your massage routine started.