Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Cleanse has become not only a regular member of the Pure Green community, but we learn a lot from her too and are so grateful for her wisdom beyond her years. Last week we shared an article about Abhyanga, the benefits of self-massaging the body with nourishing oils, and what better companion than a how-to on dry skin-brushing. It's a habit I picked up from Claire and after getting used to the feel and getting the light touch just right I'm hooked. It's an effervescent feeling, your whole body tingles afterward, and it's an essential part of the holistic beauty routine. What's even better is that dry-brushing your skin helps keep your lymphatic system healthy, and it helps oxygenate your circulatory system which is great news for your brain. Because it's a fairly energizing process, mornings are typically recommended, however I shower at night so I do it then and relax myself following that with Abhyanga and a gentle night-time yoga sequence. Read on for Claire's compelling list of benefits and her simple how-to.
A NOTE ABOUT THE BRUSH - My first surprise after trying this is how stiff the skin brushes are. That's ok - the point is to brush the skin very, very lightly to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic system right under the skin. Don't apply too much pressure, and give yourself some time to get used to the feel of it.
OUR SKIN IS THE LARGEST ORGAN IN OUR BODIES AND IS A MIRROR THAT REFLECTS OUR OVERALL HEALTH. Our porous skin is permeable and can absorb up to 70% of what we put on it, including toxins from our beauty products and from the outdoor environment. Our skin’s ability to excrete toxins is paramount to our overall health. Adding in the daily practice of dry skin brushing to your rituals of self-love can help open up the pores, stimulate lymph drainage and aid the body in releasing accumulated toxins from our system. Dry skin brushing has been a daily ritual of mine for more than decade now, and I’ve been dying to share with you a favorite new product I’ve discovered to boost my brushing.
BENEFITS OF DRY SKIN-BRUSHING
- Helps to shed dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal.
- Increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.
- Helps to tighten the skin because it increases the flow of blood. Increasing the circulation to the skin can also help lessen the appearance of cellulite, as cellulite is toxic material that accumulates in your body’s fat cells as they are unable to be eliminated.
- Stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire system. This enables the lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified. After several days of dry brushing, you may notice the gelatinous mucoid material in your stools.
- Helps with muscle tone and more even distribution of fat deposits.
- Rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin.
- Aids the skin in nutrient absorption by eliminating clogged pores. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health.
- Individuals who sit at a computer screen all day long will especially benefit from skin brushing. People who have inactive lifestyles or jobs usually experience stiff and sore necks and shoulders that reach even into their arms and down their spines and into their lower backs.
- Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you will experience an increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated.
- Purchase a natural vegetable bristle brush, NOT a plastic one. A brush with a long handle is best, so that you are able to reach all areas of your body. I especially love this copper and zinc bristled brush from Living Libations that increases the potency of the dry skin brushing process. I’ve been dry skin brushing for over 10 years and noticed huge benefits by switching to their charged energy brushes!
- Skin brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning since it is very stimulating it’s better to avoid dry brushing right before you go to bed. Skin brushing should be performed prior to your bath or shower, when your skin is dry.
- Begin brushing your skin in long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction. Always brush towards the heart. Try and brush several times in each area, over-lapping as you go. Pressure should be light enough to stimulate the lymph, too hard of brush strokes means your reaching the muscles instead. Avoid sensitive areas like the face or anywhere the skin is broken.
- After brushing your skin, rinse off in the shower. Alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
- After getting out of the shower, dry off vigorously and massage your skin with pure plant oil, such as almond, sesame or coconut. For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, perform skin brushing daily for a minimum of three months.
*Need more guidance? Check out this great informational video on dry skin brushing from Living Libations founder, Nadine Artemis.
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS:
CLAIRE RAGOZZINO: Claire is a yoga instructor, plant-based chef, and holistic nutrition educator. Claire works with clients around the globe to inspire transformational changes in their health and wellbeing. Her wellness programs are infused with Ayurvedic principles, plant-based nutrition, and yogic philosophy to cultivate knowledge for intuitive healing. Learn about her seasonal cleanses, nutrition coaching programs and transformational retreats: vidyacleanse.com