Skin Brushing. A high-impact, daily habit I wasn't engaging in until a short time ago, but am I ever glad I'm doing this now!
The skin, as our body's largest organ, requires regular maintenance and attention from head to toe. While we often gravitate towards paying greater attention to our facial care routine, our hands, our feet and sunscreen whilst being exposed to the sun's rays, for example, all skin truly benefits from regular care and attention.
Adopting a daily skin brushing routine has the potential to greatly enhance not only the skin's appearance and texture, but also makes an even bigger impact internally, via our lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating waste/toxins from the body, from the cells of the tissues. If lymph (the bodily fluid that circulates throughout the lymphatic system), is not stimulated enough to move through the body, toxins build up in the cells of tissues. Skin brushing facilitates lymphatic movement, thereby unclogging your pores and excreting toxins to allow your skin cells to breathe and absorb the healthy nutrients it both needs and wants to absorb.
Externally, skin brushing exfoliates dead skin cells, rejuvenating the cells and exposing a revived surface. As you engage in skin brushing, you'll inevitably notice white crystals remaining behind on your skin; these are crystals of uric acid and other waste products being eliminated from your skin - how exciting!
What Do You Need?
A natural bristle brush! These may be found at your local health food store. The one in my image was inexpensive, purchased at The Body Shop for approx. $15.00.
*Optional: Add a few drops of essential oil to the palm of your hand, then rubbing the brush bristles along your hand, for added effects as you brush. Pure (organic) "Lavender & Tea Tree Oil" is shown in the image above.
When and How Do I Skin Brush?
Skin brushing should occur just prior to taking a shower, as you'll need to be able to rinse off the dead skin cells that are brought about by the process.
Start at your feet and make long, sweeping motions TOWARDS your heart. I tend to complete a few strokes in each area before moving towards a new area, overlapping my strokes so as not to miss a spot!
Use counter-clockwise motions on your belly.
When brushing areas above your heart, brush strokes should occur downwards, TOWARDS your heart.
*Omit your face and other areas where the skin is more sensitive. Specific brushes do exist for these areas, so should be separate brush purchases if you so desire.
*The natural bristle brush may feel harsh on your skin as your get going with this process, due to the newness and stiffness of the bristles. Apply pressure accordingly. Naturally, there will be some discomfort but it shouldn't be painful. If you notice any bruising following, the bruising may be due to the bristle being too harsh for what may be more highly sensitive skin. You may certainly start with a less coarse brush if this happens, gradually transitioning back to your original brush if tolerable. Generally speaking, the stiffer the bristles the greater the impact, but within reason! You will gradually become less sensitive to the bristles the more regularly you brush, as as you break that new brush in!
How Do I Maintain My Skin Brush?
Wash your skin brush approximately once weekly with a few drops of natural liquid soap and hot water. Ensure that your brush is able to dry easily by leaving it in a warm location, far from your shower/bath where moisture will accumulate.