Giving your body a firm brush all over makes the skin glow by removing the top dull, dead layer of skin and encouraging new cells to regenerate. The gentle massaging motion of the bristles also has a beneficial effect on areas of cellulite, and it is an effective treatment for helping eliminate toxins from the body during a detox programme.
The technique is a simple one, and you need only a body brush with natural bristles, such as those of goat or boar, or a loofah. There are various types of brush, all widely available at chemist shops. You will need a brush with a handle – some have detachable handles – so that you can reach all the inaccessible parts of your back. There are also brushes mounted on long straps, which are ideal for the back and buttocks, and most loofahs are long enough to reach over the shoulders and down the back. You need a much softer brush, or a flannel, for the face.
Skin brushing is carried out on dry skin. Start at your feet and work upwards, brushing the legs, then buttocks, then on to the chest and stomach and finally the face. Brush more gently where the skin is thinnest and always brush towards the heart.
This kind of skin-brushing , if done daily, is one of the simplest and effective treatments for lumpy thighs and hips that you will find anywhere.
Brushing your whole body in this way will take you between three and five minutes, depending on how many strokes you give to each area. Try to keep a rhythm going and brush for up to five minutes every day and preferably immediately before you have a bath or shower so that the dead cells are washed away.
Skin brushing is best done in the morning as the acceleration of blood flow has quite an invigorating effect. You should be able to see the difference in your skin after just a few sessions – it will become very soft and develop an attractive rosy glow.
Good reasons for skin brushing:
- Stimulates blood and lymph flow
- Helps eliminate toxins from the body
- Removes dead skin cells
- Encourages cells to regenerate
- Stimulates production of sebum
- Helps combat cellulite
- Results in smooth glowing skin
5-minute skin brushing routine
Make sure the room is warm and there are plenty of towels. Undress, and find somewhere comfortable to sit so that you can easily reach your feet and lower legs.
- Take the brush and begin with the sole of your right foot.
Use firm, rhythmic strokes to cover the sole several times. Next, brush the top of your foot, brushing up towards your ankle. Then go on to your lower leg, making sure you cover the whole surface – shin and calf. Always brush in an upward direction.Stand up and brush the area from your knee to the top of your thigh. Make sure you cover the whole area several times, using long, rhythmic strokes.
Brush your buttock area as far as your waist. Now repeat the whole procedure on your left leg, starting again with the sole of your foot. Starting from the top of your buttocks, and always moving in an upward direction, brush the whole of your back several times all the way up to your shoulders.
- Next, brush your right arm. Start with the palm of your hand, move on to the back of your hand and then brush from your wrist up to your elbow, always in an upward direction and ensuring that the whole surface of your skin is brushed. Brush your upper arm, working from your elbow towards your shoulder, again covering the whole surface of your upper arm.
- Repeat on your left side, starting with your hand. Then, very gently, brush your abdomen, brushing in a circle, always in a clockwise direction. Cover the area several times but with less pressure than on your arms and legs. If it feels uncomfortable, stop.
- The neck and chest are also very sensitive areas, so, again, brush here very gently. Always work towards your heart. If the bristles are too hard on your neck, don’t brush here. Lastly, work on your face. Use your soft brush or a dry flannel and soften and shorten your action, as brisk rubbing can stretch or otherwise damage the facial skin.
You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath, brush your skin all over for five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting because of the quantity of waste products that have come through the skin’s surface.