Dry brushing: Give your skin that summer time glow!
We are headed into the summer so just like you dust off your summer gear, your skin needs a little dusting off as well. This weeks selfcare Saturday is all about dry brushing.
Dry body brushing is a traditional natural health practice, which involves brushing over the skin dry, followed by a shower or bath.
A lot of benefits of dry body brushing are not necessarily something you can only see… but also what you feel. You may feel energized after brushing and the reason for that is body brushing stimulates our circulatory system. Dry body brushing stimulates the connective tissue attached to the capillaries sitting under the skin, to improve circulation travelling to the heart. It also assists the lymphatic flow around the body. The lymph relies on muscle movement to pass through the body so if you are not an active person, dry body brushing is a wonderful tool to stimulate the lymph flow so that you are ridding the body of waste and toxins daily. Some key benefits of dry body brushing are: Lymphatic Drainage Lymph is a very slow moving fluid whose function is to remove metabolic wastes and dead cells from our internal system and return it to the bloodstream. Through every day functions like breathing, exercise, blood circulation, the lymph is assisted in its ability to drain waste. Dry brushing stimulates the dense network of nerves that run just under the skin layer, which in-turn increase blood circulation and the function of the lymphatic system.
Toxins are tucked away in all parts of our body tissue. Metabolic waste can be stored as mucus in the respiratory system, cholesterol in artery walls, stones in kidneys, form crystals around joints, and build up in fatigued muscles. If not removed the metabolic wastes become toxins. Skin brushing lightly stimulates the nerves under the skin that connect to the lymphatic system, which assists in draining these toxins from the body. Cellulite Research from renowned Naturopaths have shown that cellulite formation is related, in part, to local vein and lymph congestion. Proper skin brushing speeds up metabolism, this helps break down the fatty deposits or toxins into the blood stream and release the waste from the body and therefore help to alleviate this condition. Makes my skin glow? Yes regular body brushing will make your skin glow because it is assisting the body in a number of functions like:
Exfoliates dry, rough skin, enabling moisturizing products to readily absorb into the skin and opens pores to freely pass out toxins from the body.
Assists with stimulation of sweat and oil glands, contributing to the restoration of moist, supple skin.
Strengthen the skin pores by assisting with increased skin tone.
Gentle stretching of connective tissues from brushing helps to regenerate production of collagen and elastin fibres.
Alleviates vein and lymph congestion to reduce orange-peel appearance or cellulite.
Tips and Tricks for Dry Brushing:
Always use a plant bristle body brush. Plant bristle from coconut husks or from the agave plant (commonly called Tampico or Sisal bristle) provides the best exfoliation and stimulation for your skin. They are the highest quality, long lasting and don’t scratch the skin.
Always brush on dry skin with dry brush bristles. Plant bristles are nice and firm when they are dry, which is why they exfoliate skin and stimulate circulation.
Regularly cleaning your brush will prolong the brush life, optimize brush performance and most importantly, reduce risk of bacterial infection on the skin. A lot of dead skin is sloughed off when dry brushing, so it is essential to wash your brush once a week with hot soapy water and leave in the sun to dry or a well ventilated area. Never leave a plant bristle body brush in a wet area, they will mildew.
Stroke brush in one upward movement. Except when brushing fingers and toes, you can brush back and forth between them.
I recommend brushing upward and towards the major lymph nodes in the body, such as the groin, armpits and base of neck.
Work from left to right, which is the natural direction when massaging the body.
Follow dry body brushing with some form of hydrotherapy, this may be a bath, shower, steam room, body mud mask or massage and a good quality organic moisturizer.
Which body brush should I choose? Bodecare has dry body brushes for different parts of the body and 3 types of bristle firmness, Soft – Medium and Firm. In general, If you have never dry body brushed before and you are sensitive to touch, have a dry skin condition, mature skin or a child , start with the soft or medium firm bristle brush. If you are after something to move dry dead skin, help with the elimination of toxins to reduce cellulite or have a sluggish lymphatic system, you may like to start with a medium or firm bristle brush. I use the Jute soft plant face brush for the décolletage and face, it is a soft bristle that will massage and drain that area and won’t scratch the skin. Never use a body brush for this area.
Never skin brush over inflamed skin e.g. open wounds, inflamed sores, varicose veins, sunburnt skin.
Never skin brush during an active cancer state.
Avoid breasts & genitalia area.
If pregnant seek doctor’s advice first before skin brushing.
Wash brush before use.
If an allergic reaction appears stop brushing.
A slight reddening of the skin (erythema) is normal, it is the blood circulation responding to the skin brushing.
It is recommended not to brush on freshly shaved legs. If you are going to a spa to get body brushing either hold off from shaving your legs before the appointment or shave the day before.
If you have a severe dry skin condition, start with a soft bristle plant body brush and follow it with an organic body oil like Coconut oil, Jojoba oil or Rose Hip oil to soothe and hydrate, once the skin starts to return to normal then upgrade to a firmer bristle brush.
My prayer as you go into the summer is that you find little moments that are specifically for you. To take care of yourself and give yourself grace as you would give to others.
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