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Dry Body Brushing 101

 Bathers Having Fun

Credit: Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Amidst a sea of exotic body scrubs, fragrant lotions, and high-tech spa treatments, the modest practice of dry body brushing may appear a little underwhelming. But although humble in its appearance, the bristle brush offers remarkable, lasting results that only take minutes to accomplish. If you have a body brush discarded in the back of your cupboard somewhere, it’s time to dust it off and enjoy the benefits it offers.

 

Why?

Stimulates the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste, our cells produce. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and a compromised immune system. By invigorating the skin, the practice of dry brushing boosts the lymphatic system and increases blood flow and circulation, helping your body to metabolize toxins more efficiently, making it a potent detoxification aid.

Exfoliation

The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the body helps to loosen and shed dead skin cells, encourage new cell renewal and eliminate pesky ingrown hairs. After a few sessions; the skin's texture appears notably softer, smoother and suppler. As a bonus, by minimizing clogged pores, the skincare products applied after dry brushing tend to penetrate better, allowing for your skin to hydrate more efficiently.

Reduces Cellulite

The motion of dry brushing aids to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly, which in turn helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The technique is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue.

Improves Digestion

While one of the more immediate effects of dry brushing is plumper looking skin, the process goes below the surface, helping to support your digestion and organ function. In fact,  many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water retention and toxins, leading to improved digestion and kidney function.

Stress Relief

The quiet practice of dry brushing can be seen as a meditative ritual. The repetitive upward strokes soothe muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. 

 

How?

First, you'll need a high-quality dry brush, so make sure to look out for one with bristles made from natural materials (avoid synthetic brushes). Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.

The Technique:

Start at your feet and ankles and brush upward using light but firm strokes. You always want to brush toward the heart because that is the way the lymph flows naturally. After you finish brushing your legs work your way up to your stomach, arms, and shoulders. Your skin may appear a little pink afterward, but it should never appear red or irritated—if it does, you need to lessen the pressure. Make sure to avoid sensitive areas such as open cuts, abrasions, and any patches of eczema or psoriasis.

 

When?

Dry brushing is incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine and should be practiced daily for optimal results. Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning before getting into a shower, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities.  An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes, depending on your schedule.

dry body brushes 

 Left to right, top to bottom: Body Skin Detox Brush, $85, Elemis; Cactus Brush, $19.95, The Body Shop; Natural Dry Body Brush, $30, Mio Skincare and Dry Body Brush, $15.95, Manicare

 

   Written by Sofia Sosunov

Rolling Stones: The Ancient Beauty Tool that Will Instantly Brighten Your Face

Jade Roller image via thehoneycombers.com

(Jade Roller image via thehoneycombers.com)

When it comes to skincare rituals, it’s not just what you put on your skin that counts, but how you apply it. In a world of new and cutting-edge electric beauty gadgets and trends, an age-old Chinese skin-care tool seems to be making all the buzz.

Meet the jade face roller, a time-honored face massager that can be traced as far back as seventh-century China, where the lime green stone constituted an integral part of the Chinese beauty regimes. Also known for its healing and protective properties, jade is closely associated with balancing the chi (or qi), your body’s energetic life force. According to Chinese medicine, any number of physical and mental symptoms from anxiety to fatigue to actual pain can indicate a negative chi, which the stone is believed to have the power to ward off.

But even if that kind of spirituality isn't normally what you’re looking to implement in your skincare routine, you can still experience the more physical, youth boosting benefits of daily jade rolling as a form of a facial massage. Our facial muscles store a lot of tension, which can cause wrinkles and fine lines, especially around our forehead and eyes. Using the jade roller helps to iron out these kinks; in this way, the practice acts as both an immediate skin boost and a means of preventing the appearance of wrinkles.

Like most of the beauty rituals that stand the test of time, the enduring appeal of the ancient roller lies in its utter simplicity. In fact, the mechanism is downright basic, much like a paint roller: It features an oval stone of pure jade, usually an inch to an inch and a half long, that's attached to a handle with a metal frame.

But don't underestimate the tool’s minimalist appearance. Once you master the art of rolling, it can become a real game changer. By moving the smooth stone across your facial muscles, you increase blood circulation, assist lymphatic drainage (which aids drain the body of toxins), reduce puffiness and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Moreover, the rolling motion helps the products you apply to penetrate more deeply into your skin, thus increasing their effectiveness. 

How to Use:

The process is gloriously straightforward. After applying your favorite serum or moisturizer, roll the jade roller in an upward motion, working from your neck toward the forehead. Et Voilà, that’s all, folks. 

Jade rollers can be used as often as daily or weekly, but we recommend using it in the morning to wake up your complexion, which is particularly refreshing in these hot summer months.

Insider Tip: Put the roller in the fridge 15 minutes before you use it for an added cooling effect.

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Written by Sofia Sosunov

 

 

 

Menswear Inspired

It’s back-to-school season, and we all know menswear is a hot trend this fall. If men are inspiring women’s fashion, why not also pull that inspiration into beauty trends? Let’s get real for a moment, ladies. Men have the market cornered on the ability to go from shower to out the door in fewer than five minutes. By the time they are in the car ready to roll, we probably haven’t even decided “curly or straight today?” or which accent eye shadow to use.

Though the aspects of traditional and conventional feminine beauty practices are fun and self-satisfying for so many women, there is no denying that all that time getting ready can drain precious time from the day. What if we took a lesson from the men in our lives and realized that simple just may be the way to go? Let’s grab some beauty inspiration from the guys!

KISS: Keep it Simple, Sister

We all may have heard of the mythological man who fills his bathroom counter with this product and that serum and everything new and noteworthy. If you have seen such a magnificent creature, let us know! For most men, they are using their shampoo as face and body wash and slathering the same lotion on their elbows and as they do on their foreheads.

There is something to be said for paring down the daily products we use to save some time (and money!). Simplification becomes the name of the game. Why not try versatile skincare products that also benefit hair like the multitalented Argan Oil? Or invest in some some 2-in-1 makeup products. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge can add color to both lips and cheeks.

Go Neutral or Go Home

Since most men do not venture into the world of makeup, they are not too concerned with adding anything to the face that isn’t already there. We know the barefaced or “No makeup” makeup looks have been popular for some time, but what if we continued to reduce anything that added to the face instead of simply enhancing what is already there? Maybe try keeping a simple four-product routine.

Here’s a sample daily rundown that will give you a “No Makeup” makeup look: Laura Mercier’s Undercover Pot for concealing dark circles, blemishes, or discoloration, Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo for full, defined brows, Lancome’s Définicils Mascara for an everyday lash look, and Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm to finish off the barefaced look.

Is Expensive Always Effective?

Most men are not emptying their wallets to get a hold of the latest and greatest of beauty products. We ladies know that a great, sophisticated beauty product can often give a big bang for its buck (or many bucks). But maybe we too often fool ourselves into believing that the most expensive is the most effective. We could take a lesson from a guy and try cooling down the beauty product spending.

For example, the beauty YouTube and blogging worlds have been abuzz with NYX’s HD Concealer Wand for both dark under eye circles and blemish or age spot cover-ups. The price of this fabulous concealer? Five dollars. Plus, NYX is an entirely cruelty-free company.

As the temps are cooling off, this back-to-school season may be the perfect time to allow men’s style to not only permeate your wardrobe, but also your beauty routine. At the very least, you’ll add extra time to your mornings. But you may just find yourself a trendy new favorite style.

 

                     

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