Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beauty: Dry Body Brushing

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I vowed to post one 'Beauty' post per month this year, but in the last month to six weeks I have tried a whole heap of products to share, so this month I have more for you. For those of you who have read my other beauty reviews and stories you will know I try to use products in my skin care routine which are as natural as possible. I am finding that this is easier to do with skincare, but not as easy when it comes to hair care and cosmetics. More on cosmetics and hair in the next post, but for now, having good skin is like having an excellent canvas. After all, the skin is our biggest organ.

Dry Body Brushing
I recently picked up a bamboo dry body brush, which had been on my list for a long time to try. I got this one for under $20 at the local health food store, but you can also order them online (eg here). As long as the bristles are made of a natural fibre, you are onto a winner.

Why Body Brush: 
Well, it opens the pores to release toxins, promoting circulation to activate the lymphatic system assisting it to process the lymph fluids. Basically this means that those toxins can be processed through say the liver and the waste can be eliminated properly, rather than sticking around. This is why you must brush in a circular motion from left to right starting from the feet, moving upwards toward the heart- the same direction the lymph fluid travels. The lymphatic system does not have its own 'pump' like the heart does, so stimulating it through muscle stimulation via exercise and massage help get it working. Brushing also helps stimulate circulation. If you have bad circulation you may experience varicose veins, water retention and fatigue. By massaging the skin the brush stimulates blood flow which in turn activates oil and sweat glands moisturizing the skin.

Body brushing is known to help target cellulite as well, which is caused by lack of blood flow and lymph drainage leading to fluid retention and toxin build-up in fat cells. This build-up stiffens the septa (connective tissue) which then pushes down fat leading it to break through the dermis giving the dimple like effect which no one wants. It also probably goes without saying that using the brush exfoliates the skin to prevent ingrown hairs and remove dead skin cells, naturally leading to smoother skin with a more even tone.

How to brush:
 Brush in a circular motion from left to right, starting from the soles of the feet moving up toward the heart- likewise from the palms along the arms to the heart. Don't brush too hard, then jump in the shower/ steam room and later moisturize with a good oil like coconut. Rinse the brush with hot water regularly to get rid of dead skin cells and make sure that the brush is left to dry properly. You can also spray a little Tea Tree Oil spray once a week to kill off any bacteria.
I recommend brushing in the morning, showering then moisturizing with a good natural moisturizer or coconut oil. It is a calming way to start the day- weather you do it for a few minutes or up to 20. I guess the main thing is that it means you are spending time massaging, invigorating and caring for your body, which is a positive promotion of self love and appreciation.

If you don't feel very comfortable in your own skin, (at least this is how I have felt in the past), learning to look after it, and yourself is a really important step into letting those body hangups go. Now, don't get me wrong, you aren't going to suddenly have a Miranda Kerr like body, but it is a good step toward that glowing, healthy skin. Trust me people notice. If you have ever had someone notice your tan (lack there of or faux) it is evidence that healthy glowing skin does not go unnoticed.

Combine body brushing, or exfoliation in general (remember my last post testing out the fun natural coffee scrub Frank?) with drinking water throughout the day, eating healthily and regular exercise and you are looking after yourself. Probably don't scrub if you have weak skin (I am NOT recommending this to anyone who is suffering from sunburn, or say my Nanna who has super weak skin), to prevent unnecessary damage.
Respecting yourself is a really valuable place to start in gaining respect from others, and encouraging this of others toward themselves too.
xx Jenelle

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