SELF CARE SERIES #13:
THE SECRET TO SUPERNATURAL SKIN
Dry Brushing is an incredible and invigorating self-care ritual that has been around for ages. It is the secret to radiant, beautiful, supernatural skin. This ritual of stimulating the skin by dry brushing has been used in several cultures from Ayurveda to Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and traditional Chinese medicine.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), skin is considered so important, that it is referred to as the third kidney that conducts vital Chi (energy).
Maintaining the flow of Chi, balancing the absorption of nutrients with the elimination of waste through detoxification, is vital to health and beauty.
"Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle."
- Erno Lazlo
Detoxification is performed by a number of organs, glands, and transportation systems, including lymphatic drainage. Just below our skin, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry nutrients to cells and remove toxins.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
The benefits of brushing your entire body with a stiff bristle brush are plenty.
Not only does it show it on your skin, it goes skin deep. Let's take a look.
Dry brushing gently exfoliates and eliminates dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling soft and helping the skin renewal process. This encourages cellular turnover and can be really helpful for avoiding ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris.
The motions of dry brushing help to sculpt and tone muscles and tissues below the skin’s surface. These same motions stimulate blood flow, increase circulation, boost the natural flow of lymph creating supple, rejuvenated, glowing skin.
Similar to massage, dry skin brushing is a self-care technique that can decrease stress. When in a state of relaxation, your body can function optimally and heal faster. Chronic stress eventually leads to an imbalance in hormone levels that can increase inflammation and result in poor endocrine system functioning.
Cellulite is stagnant fat deposits that have accumulated just beneath the skin. Dry brushing may help to soften these hard fat deposits by breaking down trapped toxins and eliminating them, naturally diminishing the appearance of cellulite.
The lymphatic system lies just below the skin’s surface. Daily dry brushing can stimulate the lymph canals to aid in the body’s natural detoxification process by draining toxic matter into the colon, thereby improving immune function and helping keep skin healthy and glowing.
The importance of clearing Lymph
Lymph, a clear fluid containing white blood cells, works to remove unwanted toxins and bacteria from the tissues in the body. Unlike our circulatory system, where the heart is pumping blood through the body, lymph can be stagnant, as it requires outside forces like muscle contraction to keep it moving.
Lymph channels run very close to the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, so rubbing a dense bristle brush over your body can actually stimulate healthy lymphatic flow. While our bodies do a pretty fantastic job of ridding themselves of toxins on their own, a little help from the outside can't hurt and your usual body scrub certainly wouldn't be able to do so.
How to Dry Brush
For those who are new to dry brushing, select a brush that is soft on your skin. Our Jute Meridian Body Dry Brush is made with Jute fibers, which are soft, and ideal for those with thin and sensitive skin. The jute bristles are gentle yet firm, but just as effective as the more commonly known Sisal fibers. As skin gets acclimatized, one may then opt for the more vigorous and stimulating Sisal Meridian Body Dry Brush.
- Starting at the feet, up the legs then up the back and the arms. Followed by circular motion around the stomach area, and over the breast and armpit area towards the heart and chest area where the lymph system drains.
- As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the center of the body.
- Shower and moisturize.Dry Brushing should be done "dry" before bathing by exfoliating skin with a body brush. Exfoliating on dry skin creates more friction than on wets skin, making it more effective.
Moisturizing after taking a shower is crucial. You don't want your skin to lose its moisture so sealing it with a moisturizer is ideal.
We highly recommend trying our Replenishing Juniper Body Oil.
In TCM, Juniper is known for its ability to promote Chi circulation, disperse cold, clear heat, resolve dampness, expel wind, and resolve phlegm. It also helps to treat symptoms of both damp-heat and wind-damp-cold.
Juniper is one of the best essential oils for cleansing both the body and mind. It can prevent or eliminate water retention and bloating by ridding the body of excess moisture. Juniper oil not only purifies the body physically, it is also an inner plane synthesizer, especially when emotionally draining situations or people interfere with balanced mental vibrations.
Read all about Juniper in our Herb & Mineralogy section.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used strigils (a bronze instrument with a curved blade) with olive oil, to remove dirt, sweat and oil before they bathed. The famous ancient physician Aristotle – the Father of Medicine was said to be a fan of the strigils. Many people in these times were buried with their strigils.
We hope you enjoyed this article.
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Enjoy your Sunday!