Thursday, December 4, 2008

Home Wellness Treatment: Dry Brushing with Coconut Oleation

Dry brushing is one of our most popular treatments at the office studio. No froufy spa treatment (though we are human and we like those too), daily dry brushing is a wonderful practice for improving both skin softness and internal health. By gently brushing the skin, the lymphatic system is stimulated to eliminate waste matter. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and improves the appearance and existence of cellulite. Because of its detoxifying effect on the body, it also strengthens the immune system. And it wakes you up in the morning!

All good reasons to start a daily dry brushing practice. Here's how to do it:

Get yourself a natural bristle brush or a loofah mitt or loofah "sponge." Stand dry and naked on the bathroom floor. Start with the soles of your feet and move upward in circular strokes toward your heart. Go gently. The lymphatic system is just under the skin so there is no need for great pressure. plus, you want this to feel good, don't you? When you get to your belly, brush in nice circular strokes in a counter-clockwise direction. Counter-clockwise because that's the direction your digestive organs go, and we want to work with them, not against them. Keep brushing the back, the chest, the fronts and backs of your arms. When you get to your neck, move gently downward, again toward the heart.

No need to dry brush your face (too scratchy!) or your head (though a short fingertip massage would be nice to wake up the scalp).

Dry brushing in combination with a lovely oil treatment is a simple and luxurious way to keep your skin feeling and looking beautiful as it staves off the dread winter flakes.

When you've finished dry brushing, apply a thin layer of coconut oil from the soles of your feet to the top of your chest. Avoid coconut oil on the face and neck, as it can be comedogenic for some people. Those of you with very oily or acneic skin will want to avoid the oil on your chest and back as well. But for most people, coconut oil (especially a raw, unprocessed, organic brand) is beautiful for the skin, conveying softening, nourishing and antibacterial properties. Let the oil stay on your body for a few minutes, then head to a nice, warm shower to rinse off. (Not hot, as hot water dehydrates the skin and compromises firmness by weakening collagen. )

Shower as usual but be careful not to slip!

15 minutes from start to finish, and with this daily routine you will notice smoother and softer skin within two weeks. Plus, you'll start your morning smelling a little like Hawaii. And who wouldn't want that?

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