Thursday, July 11, 2013

Simple Healthy Skincare: Exfoliation

Our skin is a precious commodity. It's what presents a first impression when people meet us. Our epidermis, that's the technical name for skin (blah blah), is a billboard for our internal health as well. Before we've talked about the environmental pressures and how everything our skin touches and pores breathe in and soak in affect what we see. Well, you've probably heard the expression "That only runs skin deep."There is most definitely depth to our skin as it comes in layers. In order for our skin to have new growth it needs to actual shed. I realize the idea of shedding skin to some of you probably seems gross or possibly hasn't even occurred to you. Perhaps you thought only reptiles shed their skin. We do it too though, it's one way our body detoxes. That shedding of skin is called exfoliation. To exfoliate means to come apart or be shed from layers. (Ya know that dust on the coffee table....yeah, ewwwwww, I know!)

Often times, since we simply don't live in a perfect world, our skin that should be naturally exfoliating just doesn't. Our skin comes in contact with so many disturbances and just plain "yuck" from our environment that our skin can become coated with toxins or films that prevent proper exfoliation. Stress is also a huge culprit for causing our bodies not to operate in the way that they should. When our skin holds in those toxins that creates more damage to the body. We will discuss two ways to encourage exfoliation: scrubs and skin brushing.

Scrubs are a wonderful easily made at home and simple way to exfoliate. You can use scrubs all over your body. A scrub is made of something mildly abrasive that you massage on your skin to shed those dead skin cells. After scrubbing new skin should be revealed by a slight pinkish glow. The best way to apply a scrub to your skin is first make your skin is dry. To apply scrub to your face or other parts of your body by using an applicator like a Popsicle stick and place some on your finger tips. Then massage the scrub into the skin in a circular motion for 1-3 minutes then rinse with cool to warm water.

Skin brushing is an old practice that is a positive stimulator for the lymphatic system. It lies right beneath the skin. The lymphatic system is made up of special vessels that carry a fluid called the lymph. Due to diet, stress, and the physical environment our lymphatic system can get clogged with toxins. Skin brushing assists the lymphatic system with the flow of fluid. It is very important for this fluid to keep moving so toxins will be released. In order to perform skin brushing you will need a body brush with medium to firm bristles. You can find these at superstores, pharmacies, and health food stores. You want dry skin. The idea is to perform quick, firm strokes heading toward the heart. This practice should be done 1-3 times a week, each session lasting 15-30 minutes. It is extremely relaxing. Children who deal with any sensory issues usually benefit from skin brushing as a healthy form of relaxation. Since dead skin cells will be removed topically I usually do this right before I shower. Watch my video to see a short tutorial.

Do you skin brush or have a scrub recipe? Share your experiences below.

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