What is your body’s largest organ?
You were probably thinking of an internal organ like the liver or intestines, weren’t you!? The correct answer is the skin! Your skin is responsible for circulation of blood and lymph, excretion of pounds of toxins per day, intake of moisture and oxygen, synthesizing vitamin D from the sun–the list goes on and on!
Our skin is important – very, very important. So how do we take care of our skin?
One ancient form of skin care is skin brushing, also known as dry skin brushing or body brushing, that has been practiced by various cultures around the world for thousands of years. It’s one of the easiest, least expensive and most effective ways we can care for our largest living organ, and aid our bodies in detoxing from the inside out!
What is Skin Brushing?
As the name implies, skin brushing is simply brushing your skin with a dry, natural-bristle brush to remove dead skin cells, stimulate blood flow and oxygen to skin cells, speed cell turnover and renewal and support the elimination of built-up toxins. A good natural brush can be purchased for less than the price of two lattes!
The benefits are seen and felt immediately but get even better over time- like smoother, softer skin; clearer, more even skin tone; major reduction in the appearance of cellulite; increased energy and invigoration; and some skin brushers also report better digestion and increased immunity to illness.
How is it done?
The type of brush you use is critically important. The brush needs to have natural bristles, which are usually plant or vegetable derived. Long-handled and hand-held brushes are available; some are convertible, meaning they come with a removable brush head and a handle you can attach it to.
Some skin brushers prefer to brush in the morning since it is an oxygenating and invigorating experience, but any time of day, or even twice a day, is fine. Before showering or while taking a shower is the best time to do it so that you can be sure to rinse away the dead skin cells.
As a general rule of thumb, the best motion and direction to use is long clockwise strokes, always moving toward the heart, and starting from the bottom, working up. So, start with your feet, top and bottom, toes to ankles – then front and back of the calves from ankle to knee, and so on.
The abdomen should be brushed in a clockwise circle. Three to five strokes per area will be sufficient, but more attention can be given to rough areas like the elbows or heels. The only areas to be avoided are the face and, for females, the breasts. A gentle pressure should be applied- but not so much that it hurts or your skin looks irritated.
It’s also advisable to make sure lymph node-rich areas are treated extremely well, which include the back of the knees, inner thighs, underarms, and neck; and to drink a full glass of filtered water when done.
To maintain your brush, wash with warm water and mild soap twice weekly, and allow it to air dry.
Start to finish this process can take as little as 5 minutes–but the rewards are huge! A beautiful, glowing complexion, clear, smooth, tighter, and more toned skin, blood, oxygen, and lymph movement, toxin removal- all of these benefits (and more) are well worth the time!
Incorporating skin brushing into your daily health and beauty routine is a fast, inexpensive, simple and extremely effective way to help your body renew itself as well as help you to look and feel your best.