When we think of caring for our body, we want to support and nurture it as best we can, both inside and out. Last week I spoke of some ways to cleanse and support the body with foods this time of year, so this week I wanted to mention a wonderful way to love and care for your body from the outside.
Skin is our largest organ. It helps to regulate our body temperature, prevents the entry of bacteria, plays a huge part in our sensory functions, and also is responsible for eliminating toxins in the body. It is estimated that the skin secretes about 1 pound of toxins everyday!! Gross! But also awesome… (Thank you skin!) With all that it is responsible for and the fact that it covers our entire body, I think it is safe to assume that keeping our skin healthy should be a top priority.
There was a time in my life where CVS was one of my favorite places to shop, but as I have become more conscious of what I put IN my body, I have also learned the importance of what I put ON my body. Consider that we are feeding ourselves through our skin. Products are absorbed and ingested into the body just as if we were to sit down and enjoy a big bowl of them. Realizing this has created shifts in my life, such as moving away from products found on most store shelves and onto techniques like dry brushing.
Dry brushing is a great way to support the health of your skin, ensuring that it is properly excreting waste and toxins through the pores while also keeping it smooth, bright and healthy. Why purchase all those chemical laden exfoliators, lotions and oils when you can dry brush? This technique also supports the lymphatic system, the immune system and the urinary system, and increases circulation, which in turn supports detoxification and drainage throughout the body.
So, how do you dry brush? First you want to purchase a body brush online or in your local health food store. Then, spend 5 minutes each morning before your shower or workout to brush your entire body. The goal is to exfoliate the top layer of your skin, and this is done by GENTLY stroking each part of your body about 5 times. Start at your feet and work up towards your heart with straight or circular strokes. Then, start at your hands and work in towards your heart. Use straight strokes over your arms, legs, back, etc… and circular strokes over your joints. Brushes with long handles make it easier to brush your back. And don’t forget those butt cheeks!
This is a gentle process and in no way should you be in pain. While you brush your body, think loving thoughts, reflect on what is to come in your day, and simply love yourself. This can be a beautiful time to treat your body and your mind to some real nourishment.
It is recommended to clean your brush once a week by soaking it in warm water with a splash of white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Then, let it dry. Dry brushing is always to be done with a dry brush on dry skin.
Over time, you may not need all those fancy lotions and oils anymore. Dry brushing causes the skin to release natural oils, keeping it extra soft and not clogging up the pores the way most products do. Remember, we want our pores to be able to breathe so they can properly detox bodily waste throughout the day.
To continue the release of toxins, alternate between warm and cold water in the shower. This stimulates our blood circulation and invigorates the skin, further encouraging the body’s natural elimination process. You can also support the health of your skin by exercising and sweating regularly, staying properly hydrated, and eating the right foods (think healthy oils and fats).
Is dry brushing right for you? The only way you’re going to know is if you try it out. Happy dry brushing!
with love and radiant skin,