Detox Your Skin by Dry Brushing: Get Your Glow On!

Dry_Brushing Get your glow on with this simple, quick, feel-good Daily Measure! Dry skin brushing will help you achieve softer, smoother skin, while also helping to cleanse the body – inside and out.

Give your body a helping hand.

Your skin is the largest organ in the body and is an organ of elimination. One third of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin, and dry brushing helps to unclog pores so your body can remove these toxins more efficiently.

The Benefits of Dry Brushing

Softer, Smoother Skin with Improved Texture Dry skin brushing exfoliates your skin, removing dead dry skin (and encourages new cell renewal), clears clogged pores and allows your skin to breathe! Practicing dry brushing regularly will leave your skin looking clear and feeling soft, smooth and supple. It also prepares your skin to receive more nutrients. Stimulates Lymphatic Drainage Your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating cellular waste from your body. Did you know there are hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules in your body, which is responsible for collecting waste from your tissues and transporting it to your blood for elimination? This process is what’s referred to as Lymphatic Drainage. When your lymph system isn’t working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick, and worse yet, can lead to inflammation and disease. Dry brushing helps stimulate the lymphatic system and help the body with this vital detoxification. Improves Circulation Dry brushing increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste. Reduces the Appearance of Cellulite Cellulite is simply toxic material that has accumulated in your fat cells. Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. Dry brushing breaks down those toxins, allowing them to be removed from your body and therefore improving the appearance of cellulite.

The Basics

DSC_0330The brush. You’ll need a brush with all natural bristles (no toxic synthetic versions allowed). Choose one with firm (but not hard) bristles. A brush with a long handle will help you reach all areas of your body. It can be tricky to brush your back if your brush doesn’t have a handle, unless of course you’re the super flexible person in your yoga class! When? Ideally you should dry brush in the morning right before you shower. You’ll find this practice quite invigorating and energizing, so it’s a perfect way to jump-start your day! How Often? In an ideal world (which we know it’s not :) ) you’d dry brush everyday. Some people even recommend twice a day! I’m all about doing it as often as you can. If you can only squeeze it in a few times a week, it is still well worth doing and you’re still benefiting your body. Caution When starting out don’t brush too hard or too much in one area. Get used to the feeling, and how your skin reacts before you get carried away :) Skin should be stimulated but not irritated. A little pink is fine! If you have a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis be cautious. Avoid any areas of broken skin and varicose veins. Do not Dry Brush your face unless you have a special separate brush for this purpose only. Brush Care Wash your brush with warm soapy water once a week and allow it to dry thoroughly before your next session.

Let’s DO this!!

  • Get naked
  • Stand in the shower or tub so as to contain the dead skin cells
  • With brush in hand, start on the soles of your feet and brush in gentle, circular strokes. Continue with long sweeping strokes up towards your knees. Circular strokes on the knees, and again long sweeping strokes up the thighs.
  • Brush multiple times, overlapping as you go.
  • If you’re working on cellulite, you might want to give a little extra time and love to the thighs and buttocks and throw in some good circular motion there too.
  • Brush the stomach in a gentle circular motion.
  • Move up the chest towards the neck (be super gentle with the delicate breast tissue)
  • Use long upward strokes on the back and short downward strokes on your shoulders
  • Move to the fingers and work up the arms in the same sweeping fashion.
  • Shower
  • Apply a moisturizer. These days, I am loving body oils. Argan oil and coconut oil are great. If your skin is extra dry, apply a lotion after the oil.

Tips

DSC_0314 Don’t get too caught up in whether you’re dry brushing perfectly! A good general guideline is to brush towards your heart, which is best for circulation and the lymphatic system. Do what feels right to you! Have some fun with it and make it your own. You can’t mess it up! You can spend 2 minutes or 20 minutes depending on the time you have available. If you only have time for a quick once over, that’s fine. Maybe on a Sunday morning you’ll indulge and take 15 minutes! It’s all good! Don’t dry brush at night, as it can be stimulating and give you energy (not what you want when you’re trying to fall asleep) but ideal when you want to wake up in the morning! This is a simple daily measure that you can add to your morning routine just like brushing your teeth and brushing your hair…now you can add in brushing your skin! It just feels SO good and your body will thank you!! Do you already Dry Brush? What benefits have you noticed? Are you going to give it a try? Please share your results in the comments, we’d love to hear! IMG_3082

Morning Sunshine: Why you should start your day with “Lemon Water”

DSC_0222 If you start your day right, chances are you will keep that theme going! This simple Daily Measure is a small change anyone can make to their routine, and one that comes with long-term health benefits. The first thing I do in the morning is to drink a cup of warm water with lemon. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it has become an essential part of my routine. I know this habit plays an important role in my continuing good health and therefore I make it a priority! There are SO many benefits to drinking warm lemon water but I am going to focus on what I consider the most valuable. Here are my top 6!

Hydration

You’ve just woken up from 7-8 hours of sleep (I hope!) and your body is dehydrated. Warm lemon water is the perfect way to rehydrate, and get your body and mind going for the day. Warm water is kind to the system, and doesn’t shock your body awake like cold water does.

Liver Lover

While you’re sleeping, restoring and repairing, your liver is busy, busy!! Your liver is the main detoxing organ in the body and is responsible for so many vital functions that support good health, so it’s crucial that we give it all the help we can to do it’s job right! The liver can make more enzymes out of lemon juice than any other food. Lemon water cleanses the liver and stimulates it to release toxins and flush them out of your body. Bye, bye!

Digestion

The citric acid in lemons interacts with other enzymes and acids to stimulate the release of gastric juice, which aids digestion. Good digestion allows your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to operate at it’s best. It can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn and bloating.

Immune Support

The vitamin C in lemons gives your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy and fight off infections. With cold and flu season upon us, this is a great reason to start this healthy habit now!

Skin

By supporting the body in detoxing and improving the digestion, lemon water can lead to clearer skin. The vitamin C in lemon also boosts collagen production to create smoother, healthier skin. The antioxidant properties in lemon help fight free radical damage, which is responsible for the symptoms of aging. (My personal fav!) 

Weight

Lemon water is an ally in maintaining a healthy weight and can aid in weight loss, when included along with other healthy habits. The pectin fiber in lemons also helps suppress hunger cravings.

Here’s how I make mine

Daily_Measures_Alison_Drake_lemon_water
  1. I turn on the electric kettle (which I cannot live without) but if you don’t have one, you can just boil water on the cooktop.
  2. I start with half a cup of room temperature filtered water.
  3. Squeeze half a lemon into the cup. I have several different lemon squeezer options in the kitchen because we use lemons all the time, but if you don’t have one, just give it a good squeeze with your hands and use a fork to help get all the juice out. This is how I do it when I’m travelling :) If you’re doing it this way, be sure to strain the seeds!
  4. Next, I top up the cup with the hot water from the kettle. This creates the perfect temperature for drinking and also allows your body to gain the most benefits.
My latest accessory (and I DO love an accessory) is the addition of a glass straw. I’ve read conflicting reports about how the citric acid from lemons can affect the enamel on your teeth. Some say it does, some say you would have to drink huge amounts for this to happen. So, I’ve decided to add the straw, just in case. Another simple solution to this potential issue is just to rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

Confessions

As I typed my “how to” a little spark of guilt arose in me, and I feel I must share how I really drink my warm lemon water MOST mornings! My amazing husband Randall makes me warm lemon water (to my simple recipe above) and brings it to me in bed. I know!! I must have done something pretty fabulous in a previous life to deserve this sort of treatment. I almost feel bad sharing this, and yet I‘d feel equally bad saying I make it for myself every morning! I DO make it on the occasional morning when Randall has a ridiculously early meeting and I need a wee lie in. Do you already drink warm lemon water in the morning? How do you feel it’s affected your health? If you don’t already drink it, would you be up for a 14 day challenge to add it to your routine? I’d love to hear how it goes and what benefits you see and feel! Please do share! email_signoff1