CARE - Dry skin brushing
We’ve tried a lot of health practices over the years, and they haven’t all won us over. One of the few that remains a staple in our wellness routines is dry skin brushing. Although the name of this practice is a little off putting, it refers to an exfoliation technique that does not involve water. Rather, it is done on dry skin, ideally before a shower. Let us be clear: We love skin brushing.
Here are the details, followed by the benefits.
The only tool you will need for this practice is a skin brush. You can buy skin brushes at many locations, and they’re pretty reasonably priced. Our favorite skin brush was purchased at the Foundry in Minneapolis (http://www.thefoundryhomegoods.com), where they usually carry a few options. Once you have your brush of choice, get to it!
We recommend skin brushing first thing in the morning when your skin is asleep and dead skin has gathered. Hop out of your pajamas, and, starting with your feet, brush your skin in short, brisk strokes that move in the direction of your heart. Work from your feet up to your stomach, one leg at a time, front and back. A little extra attention to the backs of your knees is a good idea too. When you get to your belly, change up the movement so that you circle your belly in gentler strokes. It is very important in this area that you move in the direction that follows your digestive flow. Start with the brush at your right hip bone, moving it up and over your belly button, and down to the left hip bone, then across your abdomen, back to where you started. Draw these circles a few times and then move on to your arms, starting with your fingertips. Make sure you pay special attention to your armpits, and don’t forget about your back and chest as well, continuing to move the brush towards your heart with each stroke. The only area to avoid is your face. A final technique, that we have found helpful, is to use small circular motions on a few key joint areas—ankles, wrists, and elbows. After skin brushing, we recommend rinsing off in the shower and maybe following that up with an organic oil as a body moisturizer.
The first few times you try dry skin brushing, you might find the brush too scratchy or your skin too sensitive. After a few more times, you should be used to it and enjoying that tingly sensation!
Skin brushing has been toted as an amazing practice, with benefits that range from cellulite reduction to improved circulation and lymphatic functioning. The benefits that we have personally seen are enough to keep us hooked, and those are the ones we’ll share with you. First of all, this is a highly energizing morning ritual. We have found that it does, in fact, improve our circulation. It literally wakes your body up from the outside in and has a very warming effect that lasts throughout the day.
Second, it improves the overall appearance and feel of our skin. We have noticed that dry/flaky skin, scars, blemishes, and color discrepancies have faded and improved quite a bit since beginning to skin brush. Part of that could be due to the regeneration of new skin after old skin and skin debris is removed by brushing, and part of that could also be due to the effects of improved circulation. Either way, we’ll take it!
Although there are many more benefits, the final one we’ll share is the detoxification we believe occurs via skin brushing. We all use a lot of products, chemicals, and substances on our skin, and probably none of us has a perfect diet. Plus, there are the things we can’t control, like air pollution, yard chemicals, etc. You get the point. The skin is the biggest organ we have, and it plays a crucial role in disposing of toxins. Skin brushing helps clear away the chemicals we put on our bodies, as well as the toxins that we sweat out through our bodies. It sweeps all of that stuff off, giving the skin and our bodies a chance to breathe and to do its job.
Aside from looking and feeling better, we have found that skin brushing is an amazing way to start our day, and we hope you will give it a try!