Skin Health and Detoxification
When was the last time you took special care of your skin beyond bathing and moisturizing? You may give special attention to your face, hands and feet but what about all of the space in between? Skin is the largest organ of the body. It acts as a barrier between the outside world and our delicate internal world. The layers of skin combined with numerous nerves and cells is an extremely complex system. Working tirelessly as part of the whole, skin deserves some superior attention.
Dry skin brushing is an exceptional practice to make a habit. Brushing the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush boasts these benefits:
- Exfoliates dead skin cells
- Stimulates the lymphatic system*
- Unclogs pores and de-congests the skin
- Improves circulation
- Improves digestion
*Our lymphatic system works to eliminate unwanted materials such as toxins and waste. Stimulating the lymphatic system with dry brushing helps to aid this process by reducing inflammation that prevents the system from functioning at its best.
How can this be? Skin protects us from over-exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals, extreme temperatures and much more. Although skin protects us it is also super absorbent. Our pores act as ventilation which allows the skin to breathe so it also attracts bacteria and dirt. As we are exposed to our environment, our bodies have to process out all of the bad stuff it doesn’t want. This is where the lymphatic system goes to work to purify our blood. When we overload our bodies with exposure to toxins, chemicals, unhealthy foods, poor sleep patterns, and stressful situations our bodies work harder than they have to. By stimulating the skin using dry skin brushing methods, we are aiding in the natural processes already being performed. This ensures higher functioning and a better quality of life.
How do I do it? It is best to dry skin brush before showering so you can wash away any dead skin cells that may produce during the practice. If you stand in the shower while you do it, you can avoid a clean up afterwards. Since dry skin brushing may actually generate more energy due to better circulation, it is recommended to perform this practice in the morning to avoid troubles sleeping.
Starting at your feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up your legs in long, gentle strokes. Repeat this process from your hands to shoulders. Don’t forget about your stomach, sides and back! Repeat over the same area several times to your comfort level. It is recommended to always brush towards your heart as this is where the lymphatic system drains.
If you are more of a visual learner, this great video demonstrates the process.
You will notice benefits after just a short period of consistent practice. Along with previously mentioned benefits, skin brushing is a definite beauty hack! The increased circulation and blood flow brings the glow back to our skin, creating an every day radiance.
Detoxification occurs naturally and daily within our body. As discussed above, it is important to help our bodies function by engaging in healthful practices. Detox baths are generally concocted using Epsom salt, pink Himalayan salt, magnesium flakes and essential oils. Using salt and/or magnesium boosts mineral levels within our body that help to relax muscles, relive joint pain and soothe arthritis or any sort of inflammation. The addition of essential oils creates a relaxing atmosphere.
Detox baths can have sedative effects on our minds and bodies so it is wise to take them at night before bed. It is important to stay hydrated before and after the bath as water is released from our bodies with toxins.
You can take a detox bath as often as you like, but start slowly to adjust to the influx of minerals and the flushing of toxins. Great times to take detox baths are when you’re feeling extra sluggish, inflamed, have sore muscles or just need a reset.
Make it a comforting ritual. Light some candles, make a cup of tea and turn on some soothing music. Since the baths can make you sleepy, if you’re home alone set an alarm so you don’t fall asleep!