Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Dry Brushing: very simple skin care

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one step in a very simple skin care routine

What: Dry Brushing (also called lymphatic brushing)

Supplies: Natural bristle brushes for face and body. Not too soft, not too hard; should stimulate, not inflame. Brush used on face should be designed for facial use.

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Body:

When – Daily is fine, I try for a few days a week.  Some suggest dry brushing before you shower. If you choose to do so, just make sure your brush does not make contact with any moisture. Dry brushing can be done anytime of the day; however because it is so invigorating, it is wise to avoid brushing before bedtime.

Method – Skin should be dry. Do not dry brush if the skin is moist with lotion, sweat, or water. Dry brushing is to be done in long sweeping strokes using light pressure; “Remember, this is not tile or grout but a living organism!” Avoid sensitive areas such as bruises or wounds.

Direction – To put it simply, brush towards your heart. The idea here is to mimic the lymphatic flow. I use the picture below as my guide. I start with my extremities and work my way in; feet to hips, hands to pits, then my middle parts. Don’t forget, long sweeping strokes.

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Dry brushing is best done sans clothing!

Face:

When – Once or twice a week with a facial brush (body brush is too hard). After my face is cleansed, I pat dry and gently “exfoliate” with my softer dry brush. After dry brushing is complete, I can move on to moisturizing.

Method – I brush my face gentler than I do my body. Here, the skin is more delicate so I treat it with care.

Direction – Below is the diagram showing the direction I brush.  Simply put, I start in the center brushing out and downward towards my neck.  Some people suggest brushing up, but for me I have found sticking with the lymph system feels pretty great. Don’t take my word for it though, try it and see what works best for you!

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Why:

Feels Great

Stimulating, energizing, invigorating, tingly, cleansing…those are just a few words I would use to describe the experience of dry brushing. There are many health claims regarding dry brushing and I can’t say for sure if any of them are true, but I can tell you for a fact dry brushing feels incredible.  It is like a daily spa visit and is by far the most luxurious part of my day.

Saves Money

Imagine no more temptation to buy the latest exfoliating body wash that promises smoother skin and tighter thighs! Let’s say the average exfoliating body wash costs $15 and maybe it lasts about two months, that’s $90 dollars a year! $450 dollars over 5 years!

The “Beauty” industry is a big business! Why else do you think you run into a ridiculously large amount of advertisements that make you feel ugly? So you will buy their products that promise beauty, happiness, and riches.  I call BS! I promise, you are already so beautiful! While you might experience smoother skin, the aim of dry brushing is more about the feeling and care, at least that’s been my experience…

Point is, investing in a $10 dry brush that you can use for years and years will cost less than having to repeatedly purchase the latest wonder scrub.

(still love the scrub?  Get your DIY on with The Crunchy Urbanite: Salt Soda Scrub)

Less Clutter

You know how when you go to the spa and the counters and cabinets are just overflowing of half-used oozing/crusty bottles of toxic beauty chemicals? It’s just so relaxing…Hm, maybe not so much.

Perhaps the best part of simplifying my skin care routine has been the zen-like feeling of a clutter-free bathroom!

Healthy Body

Take a moment to read the ingredient list on a few beauty products. Do you recognize what you see? Can you even pronounce the words? I can’t. I’m not too crazy about the idea of loading my body up with a bunch of chemicals.  Here’s the rule I have adopted: If I don’t know what it is, I don’t consume it or put it on my body.

I am not a health care proffessional. That being said, there are plenty of health claims regarding the practice of dry brushing; boosts to the immune system, cleansing of the lymphatic system, cellulite reduction to name a few.  As mentioned above, I do it because it feels good, but if you are interested in learning more about the health claims and benefits check out the link: Benefits and Techniques

Healthy Planet

We have all seen the heartbreaking pictures of ducks with 6-pack plastic rings around their necks and grocery bags floating eerily next to a majestic sea turtle, but have you heard of microplastics or microtrash?

In 2012 researchers studying the Great Lakes found 450,000 bits of the microtrash per square kilometer.  Among the bits, microbeads! The same microbeads found in many cleansers and soaps! Microbeads are designed not to clog plumbing; because of this, they easily make their way into lakes, rivers, and ocean.

Dry brushing not only reduces the amount of chemicals that get rinsed down the drain, but also the number of plastic “exfoliating beads”.

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Want to learn more? Check out these articles:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/09/microbeads-cleanser-ocean-pollution)

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/12/new-concerns-about-plastic-pollution-in-great-lakes-garbage-patch/

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There you have it. Dry brushing feels amazing, saves money, and unless you throw your brush into Lake Erie, has little impact on waterways.

Wasting less doesn’t necessarily mean going without! Give dry brushing a try and enjoy 10 minutes of luxury a day!

♥ ali

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One thought on “Dry Brushing: very simple skin care

  1. Interesting. These may very well find themselves on my gift/wish list.

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