As the days get longer and temperatures begin to climb, off go the sweaters and boots and on go the shorts and sandals.
But while your spirit may be singing the praises of spring, it’s also likely your skin and your body is still crying out with the winter blues. But we are going to take care of that. Over the next few weeks we’ll be giving you our tricks and tips to get you ready for spring. Today we start with your skin.
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? It is a fairly important one too! Your skin protects your insides, keeps your temperature regulated, produces vitamin D when in contact with the sun and also produces antibacterial substances designed to protect you against potential infections.
We put our skin through a lot and though many of us spend time cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing the skin on our face, there is often a whole lot of skin that gets neglected.
Dry brushing is a great way to get the rest of your skin ready for spring. It’s a simple technique that has numerous health benefits, not to mention being very relaxing and enjoyable! Here are some of the reasons why dry brushing should be part of your weekly self-pampering routine:
The benefits of dry skin brushing include:
- Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
- Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
- It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
- Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
- It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
- Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
- And, in my experience, dry body brushing first thing in the morning can actually set up a perfect day! By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, starting with a healthy breakfast – why ruin all the good work you just did?
To get started, follow these simple steps:
- Purchase a natural (not synthetic) bristle brush with a long handle so can reach all areas of your body.
- Start on dry skin before bathing.
- Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
- Always begin at the feet and ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
- Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- After you’ve finished with the feet and ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms.Take care as you brush over more sensitive areas, like breasts. Your skin will become less sensitive the more you dry brush.
- Once you’ve brushed your entire body, jump in the shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities. (I like to alternate between the hottest water temperature I can tolerate and the coldest. This stimulates blood circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.)
- After getting out of the shower, pat dry skin and apply a natural fruit oil. Rose hip and coconut oil are my favorites.
- Continue to dry brush your entire body every day. Twice a day is recommended for best results. Remember to clean your brush with soap and water once a week. Leave to dry in a clean, sunny spot to avoid any mildew accumulation on your brush.
Give it a go for 30 consecutive days and your body will be ready for spring in no time!