You've heard of skin brushing, right? You may even have tried it already and not even known it. If you've ever been at a spa or used my Smooth As Silk Body Scrub from The UnDiet Cookbook, you have likely experiences some of the tingling and invigorating benefits of dry skin brushing.
It's nearly impossible to avoid the pollution of our environment -- this includes the chemicals both outside and inside our homes. There are chemicals on the clothes we buy, in the soaps we use and in the water we bathe in. Sad but true. And our skin takes the brunt of that beating. Our skin also happens to be the largest organ of the body.
Conventionally we think that washing with soap is the best option, but there is actually a better way to cleanse and nourish our skin for a healthy glow, softness,and optimal moisture/oil balance. Though I couldn't find any reliable studies, rumour has it with regular dry skin brushing every day for three months you might just see a reduction in cellulite.
Personally, I skip the 'soap all over move' and instead opt to save the soap for my pits and bits and dry skin brush the rest instead. It feels amazing, cleanses the skin and is good for us too.
Health Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
- Sheds dead skin cells and other impurities to promote better oxygenation of the skin
- Increases blood circulation (which is also beneficial to the immune system)
- Stimulates the lymphatic system (helpful for immune boost and gentle detoxification)
- Breaks down and moves fatty deposits under the skin
- Supports detoxifcation actions of internal organs
- Promotes cell rejuvenation
- Improves immune system function
- Improves moisture balance by stimulating the sebaceous glands (so you are not too oily and not too dry)
- Softens and improves skin texture so you can be silky smooth
Dry Skin Brushing Basics
- Use a natural-bristle brush with a long handle (this way you can get at your back). I love the ones that have a removable handle so you can get up close and super firm on the front, but still be able to reach the back.
- Ideal timing is in the morning before you shower.
- Brush the skin when it is dry and never expose the brush to water.
- Use a brush with very stiff bristles and just go lighter at first. You'll get used it and be able to tolerate a firmer pressure over time.
- You may notice a white powder that comes off of your skin during the process. These are crystals of uric acid as well as other waste products which were produced during any perspiration. This is a good thing!
- Always brush towards the heart - moving away from the heart puts extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels and can cause ruptured vessels and varicose veins.
- Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.
- Use your coarse brush to brush the whole body except the face and for women, the nipple area (you only make that mistake once!). I recommend a softer brush for the face and breasts (details below).
- If diminishing cellulite is your goal, it's recommended that you brush areas of cellulite for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day consistently for a minimum of five months.
- After getting out of the shower, dry off vigorously and massage your skin with pure plant oils. You don't want to be gunking up your skin with chemical cosmetics after sloughing off the dead skin.
- Clean your skin brush using soap and water once a week. After rinsing, dry your skin brush in an open, sunny spot to prevent mildew.
How To Dry Skin Brush In 6 Easy Steps
- Using circular motion or short quick strokes, begin at the bottom and tops of your feet.
- Continue brushing up your legs, and then to your hands and arms, continuing to brush towards the heart.
- Brush your entire back, shoulders and neck.
- Use larger circular counter clockwise strokes on the abdomen.
- Lightly brush the breasts, mind the nipples.
- Brush upwards on the back and down from the neck.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ therefore you must take care of it. There's a ton of icky buildup that collects on your skin. Gross huh? So, not only will you be eliminating the accumulated toxins, but you'll be getting your skin into tip top shape. Skin brushing increases lymphatic drainage, reduces cellulite and gets you glowing.
My Dry Skin Brushing And Skin Care Routine
Over time, we all develop our own way of doing things, and as I've been skin brushing regularly for nearly eight years,this is my sacred morning ritual.
Essential Oils To Enhance The Experience
I love using a few drops of essential oil on my skin brush. I add two to three drops to the palm of my hand and gentle move the brush across my hand so the bristles can pick up the oil. Then I follow the "how to" directions above. If you're interested, I recommend these oils:
My Favourite Skin Brushes
When looking for a skin brush, you want to ensure you are getting with natural tampico bristles. Please be wary of brushes you may find at your local beauty shop or pharmacy as most brushes are made with synthetic bristles. Be sure to wash your brush once a week with a natural soap (see below for my recommendation) and let dry fully.
- For The Body: This Tampico brush from Bernard Jensen
- For The Face + Breasts: The facial brush featured here
Soap For The Pits, Bits And Dry Brush Washing
Post Shower Moisturizing
All you need to get started are the above directions and your natural bristle dry skin brush. The other products are all extras. What matters most is that you just get started!
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