Dry skin brushing
We are so good at taking care of the skin on our face through our exfoliation, cleansing and moisturising routine, that we often neglect taking care of the skin on our body.
Did you know that the skin is an organ of elimination, and just like our kidneys and liver it releases more than a pound of waste products every day, so it is important to take care of it and give it a little extra helping hand. This is where daily body brushing comes into play as this can aid the lymphatic system and give the body that extra boost.
This elimination process can become much more effective, not only improving the appearance of your skin, but also giving general health benefits – such as improving poor blood circulation and strengthening the immune system.
The benefits of dry skin brushing
- Removes dead skin cells
- Helps stimulate skin microcirculation
- Ideal for dry skin that needs regular exfoliation
- Invigorates the whole body
Dry skin brushing is an inexpensive and healthy skin care routine that can easily be incorporated into most people’s daily lives. All you need is the right brush and a little patience to perfect your brushing technique. To help get you started, follow my 5 easy steps to dry skin brushing.
5 steps to daily brushing for improved circulation
1. Natural bristle brushes are effective and should have a long handle (making it easier to reach all areas of the body), firm, natural bristles and must always be kept dry.
2. Once a day, preferably first thing in the morning before you take a shower or a bath, sweep the brush over every surface of the body (except the face or any areas of sensitive or delicate skin).
3. It is important to brush in the right direction (always towards the heart), starting with the soles of the feet and working upwards.
4. Use long, smooth strokes and brush arms, legs and buttocks in an upward direction. Then brush your back and torso in a downward direction and finally sweep across the shoulders.
5. Concentrate on the hips and thighs to help improve the appearance of cellulite and dimpled skin.
The importance of good circulation
The circulatory system has a very important role to play as it supplies oxygen and nutrients to all body cells, as well as removing wastes and toxins from the body.
So what happens if you have poor circulation? There are many causes of poor circulation including age, general health, lack of exercise, lifestyle and hereditary factors, which can lead to a range of health problems. Common problems include Tinnitus, Raynaud’s Syndrome and memory loss due to poor arterial circulation and varicose veins due to poor venous circulation. So it’s very important to keep your circulatory system healthy, stimulated and flowing well to prevent or help treat these conditions.
For varicose veins, dry skin brushing can work to prevent them occurring, but if you already have them, this technique can also help reduce the symptoms of varicose and spider veins. However it is important to brush very gently to ensure you do not irritate them or make them worse.
So what else can help improve your circulation?
As well as dry brushing, the herbal remedy Ginkgo biloba can also help to maintain a healthy circulation, as this acts by increasing blood flow throughout the body and is used for treating a number of different conditions. Research indicates it to be effective in improving circulation (Muir et al 2002).
Alfred Vogel knew about the benefits of Ginkgo biloba many years before it became popular in the West and had his very own Ginkgo biloba tree, also known as the Maidenhair tree. He planted it on his return from the Far East and found that the blood flow improved within a few weeks of taking Ginkgo biloba.
Improved blood circulation and supply of oxygen assure the cells of the central nervous system is well nourished and more efficient. This knock on effect promotes circulation in the skin and aids the functioning of the finest capillaries.
Muir AH et al. The use of Ginkgo biloba in Raynaud’s disease: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Vasc Med 2002; 7: 265-7.
The Nature Doctors Secret of Therapeutic herbs by A. Vogel page 13