Recently, one of my friends was going through a hard time with work. I cautiously recommended reiki—and to my surprise, my friend (no-nonsense, non-vegan) immediately agreed and said she will schedule an appointment. Somehow in the span of four years or so, reiki has gone from eyebrow-raising woo-woo therapy to a mainstream wellness lifestyle choice, like matcha, crystals, and palo santo. And like each of those things, reiki has now made its way to skincare. As someone who believes in the life-changing magic of both reiki and skincare, I had to investigate whether this is a beauty miracle or a phony consumerist ploy (I’m looking at you, 😾 crystal water bottle).
First things first: if you haven’t experienced reiki yet, it is a form of alternative therapy from Japan where a practitioner (called a reiki master) balances your energy by hovering or placing their hands gently on your body, or making sacred symbols. There is no scientific proof that reiki is effective in healing physical ailments—and while all this sounds dubious to the uninitiated, those who receive reiki often report feeling emotionally, spiritually, and physically balanced. Personally, I’ve experienced everything from intense mental and emotional rejuvenation akin to taking the world’s best nap for 5 hours, to an epiphany about my subconscious state, to the healing of my clicking jaw that had plagued me for months. I think of reiki as a spiritual self-care, much like going to get a massage for the body or a facial for the face, and I heartily recommend it to any friends who are going through a stressful period.
So how does reiki skincare work, anyway? A rising new trend is the reiki facial, a combination of reiki and more conventional facial. ” I always prep with them beforehand so we can set an intention going into the reiki. Once they are in that relaxed state, I’ll begin to feel my hands get warm behind their head or passing over them which is a form of energy moving throughout the body in order to release it,” Nousha Salimi, a registered nurse, reiki master, and facialist says. “I love doing reiki in my facials when the client has a mask on.” She recommends using KORA Organics Turmeric Mask, which contains brightening papaya and turmeric, plus peppermint oil, aspen bark, rosehip seeds, and rose quartz (vegan, organic).
After the mask, she moves on to a TCA peel (trichloroacetic), which erases hyperpigmentation and signs of premature aging: I love to use it in conjunction with the reiki because when the client is completely relaxed, and has relaxed their facial muscles, it is more effective in making the client look more rested and softens fine lines around the eye and mouth. When the face muscles are more relaxed it allows for more blood to flow to the skin and makes them look even more rejuvenated. Along with a lymphatic massage, it helps your body naturally depuff and drain excess water retention.” (Now I understand why my clicking jaw relaxed thanks to a single reiki session. Brilliant!)
If you’re balking at the idea of a supposedly holistic, energy-centric modality being conjoined with something like a chemical peel, that makes two of us. I don’t have any problems with more proactive, less natural forms of beauty treatments as long as they are vegan and cruelty-free—at 33 years old, the thought of “unnatural” interventions has definitely crossed my mind, and I don’t stand in the way of my friends who do try these things. It just feels like an awkward way to negate the natural method of reiki healing, much like pairing organic vegan farmer’s market salad with deep-fried Oreos. (See? Weird.) Keep in mind though that reiki facials are less formulaic than the traditional European facial, and can involve any number of things from crystals placed on different energy centers, to acupuncture, to gua sha massage, depending on where you receive it.
If you’re fascinated by the idea, but would rather try things out on your own, there are reiki skincare products as well. Keep in mind though that “reiki skincare” is a far less regulated term than even something like “organic” or “all natural.” For some brands, “reiki infusion” might just mean the founder making the sacred symbols on the products before they go out into the world. This may feel like too little, too abstract to some people—and just right for others.
pAra Botanica is a small-batch, cruelty-free, plant-based and shamanic-reiki-infused line created by a reiki master. All packaging is recyclable and a portion of the proceeds benefit horse rescue and rehabilitation.
Immortal Facial Serum—combines resveratrol, vitamin B3, and hyaluronic acid with wildcrafted helichrysum, frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood. This serum boosts hydration and collagen production, and reduces discoloration.
Coca Kerasa Mask—this mask contains cocoa, acerola cherry, reishi, and camu camu—the most concentrated source of Vitamin C we know of—to brighten and firm the skin. The antihistamines in reishi calm inflamed and stressed skin.
Would you try reiki skincare?
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Photo: Katherine Hanlon via Unsplash; pAra Botanica