Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dry brushing for sensitive skin + sweet orange body butter recipe

The thought of running brush bristles across your skin sounds a little painful, right? Yet, this perfectly describes the popular practice of dry brushing. A friend recently introduced me to the concept and from her explanation I imagined it might feel something like running a rake over my body. I was a little skeptical of the idea. She on the other hand had nothing but good things to say about the process and sent me this article which does a great job of breaking down the benefits including:

• Increasing circulation to the skin.
• Helping to shed dead skin cells, encourage new cell renewal, and prevent ingrown hairs.
• Rejuvenating the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings.

There are also claims that dry brushing reduces the appearance of cellulite by helping with fat distribution. Fingers crossed! These are the basic rules of dry brushing:

• Dry brush dry skin before your morning shower.
• Start at your ankles and gently brush in circular, upward motions, using long strokes toward your heart.
• Once you reach your neck, back and arms, brush downward toward your heart.
• Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and never brush inflamed skin.
• After dry brushing, shower to wash away dead skin cells and impurities.
• Post shower, liberally apply a moisturizer.

I was concerned about trying dry brushing because I have sensitive skin. Because of this, I modified my routine to accommodate my skin’s tolerance. I've been dry brushing now for a little over a month. These are my added tips for dry brushing sensitive skin and my recipe for a post-shower moisturizer, sweet orange body butter:

• Use a quality, long-handle natural bristle brush. You can find these hanging around a grocery store like Whole Foods.
• Dry brush every other day. For the first few days, I dry brushed every morning and I just felt like I was being too abrasive. My skin agrees with alternating days.
• Skip the chest area. I avoid below the clavicle and above the belly button all together. My skin is much too thin there to be agitating.
• Seal in the moisture. I created my own concoction that’s yummy, inexpensive and works great:

o 1 part Shea butter
o ½ part coconut oil
o 3-4 drops sweet orange essential oil

In a container warm the Shea butter and coconut oil together in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add a few drops of sweet orange essential oil (or your favorite scent) and whip together with a spoon. That’s it!

After a month of practicing dry brushing, it has become a regular part of my morning routine. It’s a great morning wake-me-up and start to the day.

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