Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Naturally Beautiful Series: Skin Brushing

One of my goals for the year is to put myself higher on the list. So far, the pursuit of that has meant focusing on my health. I’ve been exercising regularly, eating better (for the most part) and incorporating a few hippie (and I say that lovingly) natural beauty routines. I’ve had some good results so I thought I’d kick off a new series sharing my experiences/results. First up? Skin brushing.

One of the items on last week’s Love List was a natural bristle skin brush.  I bought mine after seeing a quick beauty segment on the Bethenny show a few months ago.  Here’s the clip:


Seems easy, right? I headed to my local drug store to find a natural bristle brush and end my dry skin battle once and for all. I couldn’t find one. There were tons of shower brushes with synthetic bristles and several small loofah style brushes for foot care but nothing I needed for skin brushing. Natural bristles are important for skin brushing. I took my search online and found one on Amazon very easily.  

The first time I tried it, I may have been slightly overzealous. It felt good on my skin but when I got in the shower, it felt like I was bathing in fire for about a minute. ..a very long minute. I decided I should do some studying rather than going by the quick segment I’d seen on TV.  After extensive research, I learned that skin brushing does a lot more than slough off dead skin.  Here are some of the benefits.

It removes dry, dead skin, which allows your body to soak up moisture better during and after your shower.

It helps with lymphatic drainage. If you don’t know what that means, here’s a little explanation (warning: It’s about to get slightly scientific in here). You know when you get a massage and they tell you to drink lots of water afterwards to help flush out toxins? It’s because the massage has helped to break up and move backed up/thickened lymph fluid. Lymph fluid is fluid in your body tissues. It travels through the body and through the lymph nodes and ultimately mixes back into your blood. The fluid can pick up bacteria, toxins, cancer, fats, etc. and help to eliminate them. Because of that, it is the first line of defense in your immune system. The circulation of the fluid helps remove toxins from your system and also helps excess fluid from building up in your tissues. Helping this process along with skin brushing (or massage) lightens the burden on your liver and kidneys.  In short, lymphatic drainage is a good thing.

It is a natural detox (because it opens your pores to release toxins and aids in lymphatic drainage) that doesn't involve starving and juicing for several days. 

It helps with energy by improving circulation.

It helps alleviate joint pain.

It improves the look of cellulite.

Sounds great right? So does it work?

For me, it does. I've been brushing daily for about 6 weeks and it has certainly made my skin very soft. Dry brushing got rid of the dry flaky skin on my shins and elbows in a way lotion never has.  That alone makes it worth it for me but I will confess, I do feel a little better. As you know, I have lupus, which can (and does for me) cause joint pain. My medication goes a long way in eliminating that pain but I still get residual pain in the morning. Since I started skin brushing, I don’t feel that pain. I also feel energized after brushing but I’d contribute that more to the feeling of a brush scraping across my skin than to any chakra opening and the like.

I think my circulation is a bit better because I don’t have as many issues from Reynaud’s as I did before. As for the cellulite, I'm still looking for that miracle cure. Skin brushing didn’t do anything to improve the back of my thighs. I think the exercise will be the best thing to assist with that.*

Getting Started

I checked out a couple of YouTube videos. There are so many!! The one I found most helpful is below (I know its long).  



Only brush once a day. Do it before your shower.

Use an all natural soap to wash and a natural oil, lotion or body butter as a moisturizer.  You’re helping your body eliminate toxins…don’t put them right back in.

Follow the watershed guidelines (in the video).

Avoid brushing injured or damaged areas of the skin.

* Exercise doesn’t eliminate cellulite. It comes from fat pushing through the collagen under your skin. You can't really reverse it. That said, creating strong, lean muscles under the fatty areas can help the affected areas look better. If you want other tips, click here so see what Dr. Oz has to say on the topic.

1 comment:

Mommy said...

great tips!