Monday, 9 September 2013

A Step-By-Step Guide to Dry Skin Brushing

By Marie-Helene Blackmore

   Skin brushing is an easy and effective home remedy for cellulite, fluid retention and poor circulation. Dry skin brushing gets rid of dead skin cells and improves skin tone, stimulates the lymphatic system and blood circulation, and even improves immunity. It only takes a few minutes every morning, but you will notice improvement in your energy levels and your skin tone within a few weeks.

How to Dry Brush

   Brushing does not take much time out of the day, but it is important to do it regularly. You will need about five minutes to brush the whole body. Choose a brush that is made of natural materials. Avoid plastic or other synthetic brushes that damage the skin.

   When you first start daily brushing, use soft pressure and be gentle. When you get used to brushing over time, you might want to start to use firmer strokes. A brush with a long handle is ideal for working on the back and other areas that are difficult to reach.

   Always work your way from the extremities (the hands and the feet) towards the heart and the collarbone area. When you brush in this direction you will follow the lymph's natural flow in the body. There are major lymph nodes near the collarbones, and there are important lymph nodes in the groins and in the armpits.

Daily Brushing Routine

1.  Start from the feet and work the soles of the feet first. Brush around the ankles and then up the lower leg, along the thighs and towards the groin. Use long upward strokes up the legs to direct the lymph flow to the lymph nodes in the groin region.

2. Once you have brushed both legs, brush your buttocks using circular strokes. Brush your abdomen gently, with clockwise strokes to follow the direction of the digestion. You can also brush the sides of your abdomen -- brushing towards the armpits.

3. Then move on to brushing your back, ideally using a brush with a long handle so you can cover the whole back. Once again the ideal direction is from the lower back towards the upper back. When brushing the back of the neck, brush down the neck. It helps to always think of brushing towards the heart, along the direction of the lymph flow.

4. Brush the arms starting from the hands, and brushing up along the arms and the upper arms. Cover the whole arm from the fingertips to the shoulders. You can even brush the chest. Some of the most important lymph nodes in the body are located in the chest area, and it is a good idea to work on this region to finish your daily brushing. You do not need to brush the face and it is not even recommended: the skin on the face is too sensitive.

The skin often becomes red when you brush. This is a sign that you are stimulating the circulation. However make sure you are not brushing so deeply that you are damaging the skin, and make sure that you do not have an allergic reaction to brushing if your skin is very sensitive.

Tips for Brushing

   The best time of the day for brushing is in the morning. Brushing as soon as you get up invigorates the body and wakes up the mind. Brush first and then take a shower to rinse off dead skin cells. Make sure to moisturize well after the shower, ideally using natural moisturizers or natural body oils. Because the brushing has removed dead skin cells, your skin is able to absorb moisturizers better.

   Do not brush on broken skin. If your skin is sensitive, choose a very soft brush and be careful on sensitive areas or avoid them completely. Do not brush sunburnt skin, over skin rashes or over open wounds. If you have cellulite, you might be tempted to brush it strongly. However it is better to use gentle but brisk strokes on areas of cellulite, as cellulite can feel sensitive to touch and deep brushing can feel uncomfortable.

   Ideally you should brush the whole body every day. If you cannot find time every morning, try to brush at least three times a week. Over time you might get so used to brushing that you will want to make it a part of your daily routine. Wash your brush regularly - Rinse clean, shake and hang to dry.

The Benefits of Daily Brushing

   Dry brushing works by stimulating the lymphatic system, which is the body system that is responsible for the removal of toxins. A sluggish lymphatic system is one of the main causes of cellulite. Unlike blood circulation that depends on the heart, the lymphatic system does not have a central pump. Some of the best ways to get lymph moving around the body include dry brushing, massage and exercise.

   Dry brushing also stimulates the circulation of blood around the body. Daily skin brushing removes dead skin cells and improves skin tone, making the skin look more toned. Because the lymphatic system is also connected to the immune system, regular dry brushing can help to improve your immunity. If you are feeling tired and sluggish, skin brushing is a great way to boost your energy levels and help the body to get rid of toxins.

   Many people notice improvement in their skin within a few of weeks. If you are prone to puffy ankles or if your legs swell up easily, you might notice a reduction in the swelling and puffiness relatively fast. If your legs get easily tired and if you suffer from poor circulation, you will probably notice an improvement in a few weeks and definitely in a few months. Over a few months you will also start to notice an improvement in the skin tone in areas that have cellulite. It is important to keep brushing daily and to continue with the routine for several months. The longer you brush the more improvement you will notice.

   We recommend using brushes made with natural bristle such as the Eco Max Body Brushwith Coir Handle or the Eco MaxTravel Body Brush, available in our eBoutique Savons d'ailleurs. The Eco Max brushes are environmentally friendly products that are kind to the planet. Made in Sri Lanka using Fair Trade principles, the brushes are biodegradable and entirely handmade from 100% natural, unbleached and sustainable material:
   Natural sisal – softens naturally in warm water. Sisal is a fibre extracted from the Agave sisalana plant.
   Sustainable timber – even the timber sealant is non-toxic.
   Unbleached coir – Coir, or coco fibre, is the fibrous material found between the hard inner shell and the outer coat of a coconut.
   Galvernised wire – it never rusts!
   Cotton cord
At the end of its life, you can throw the brush into your compost bin where everything but the wire will break down naturally.

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