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Sisal Brushes: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Sisal Brushes: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about sisal brushes, including sisal body brushes for dry brushing. Let's get started!

Introduction

The overly hectic and fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century has emphasized the importance of self-care. From simple skincare routines to weekly trips to the local spa, men and women scramble to find the best health and wellness treatments that can give their minds and bodies maximum relaxation amidst all the stress that comes with living in the modern world. Among the growing list of trends, there’s one that has been gaining attentionthe use of sisal brushes for body brushing.

Body brushing is the process of exfoliating dead skin cells and stimulating blood circulation in the body using a special type of brush with stiff bristles called body brushes. A sisal brush is one of the many types of body brushes. If you want to learn more about sisal brushes, then this article is for you!

This article will discuss the following topics:

  • What are the different bristle types for body brushes?
  • What is sisal fiber?
  • How is sisal fiber different from other bristle types?
  • What are the benefits of using a sisal brush?
  • What are the different types of sisal brushes?
  • How should you choose your sisal brush?
  • How should you take care of your sisal brush? 

All About Bristles

Before deciding whether to buy a sisal brush or not, you must first dive into the world of bristles. Bristles are, after all, the most important factor in any kind of brush, so a little bristle knowledge will help you differentiate between the body brushes available in the market. 

Bristle Type: Synthetic vs Natural

Synthetic bristles. The raw materials used to make synthetic or man-made fibers are either composed of inorganic polymers spun together or a mix of organic and inorganic chemicals. More often than not, the materials are petroleum-based chemicals called petrochemicals. Vegans who firmly believe that all products must be produced cruelty-free opt for body brushes with synthetic bristles for this very reason. However, synthetic bristles tend to be too rough on the skin, rendering them unsuitable for people with hypersensitivity issues. Although they are the sturdiest among all types of bristles, synthetic fibers do not do well in high temperatures since heat can break down the molecules that make up the fibres and melt them. That being said, avoid washing your synthetic body brushes with hot water.

Natural bristles. As the name suggests, the raw materials used in making natural bristles all come from the natural world. They can either be from plant-based fibers like cactus, palm, and sisal, or they can come from animals like boars and horses. Natural bristles are more porous than synthetic ones, making them softer, gentler, and non-irritating to the majority of skin types. The only downside is that they shed more easily than synthetic brushes. Thus, they must be handled with more care, and cleaning them will take longer.

Bristle Strength

Bristles also have a whole spectrum of strength, starting from soft, semi-firm, and coarse/firm. Choosing one is a matter of preference, but it will be good to learn about each of them so you can decide which brush meets your comfort levels and suits you best.

Soft bristles. For those who want to try body brushing for the first time, starting off with a soft-bristled brush is the most appropriate since it won’t irritate the skin. They are also highly recommended for people with sensitive skin, as brushing using firm bristles can cause damage to the skin. Some companies also produce specialized brushes with “ultra-soft” bristles which can be used by children and can be used for the face and other sensitive areas. Facial brushing is said to reduce wrinkles and fine lines while also promoting skin regeneration, but it is best to consult a dermatologist first before using brushes on your face.

Medium/semi-firm bristles. Soft bristles are great, but, if you want some extra stimulation without damaging your skin, brushes with medium-strength bristles are perfect for you. Beginners can also start body brushing using semi-firm brushes, but they just have to remember to use light strokes when brushing their skin. 

Coarse/firm bristles. Experienced body brushers, as well as those who are in need of deep exfoliation, often choose body brushes with coarse or firm bristles. People who are exposed to dirt during their work like mechanics, gardeners, and miners can use coarse-bristled body brushes to remove deep-seated dirt under their nails and slough off skin cells in areas that are most affected by their work environment. They are also great for massages since stiff bristles in body brushes can stimulate blood circulation more than soft and medium-bristled brushes. 

Some Body Brushes Available in the Market

Now that we know a little bit more about the certain characteristics we consider when looking for a body brush, it’s time for us to learn about the different kinds of body brushes available in the market. 

Synthetic Body Brushes. As mentioned earlier, the greatest advantages of synthetic brushes are their durability and economic value. It is cheaper to synthesize fibres using chemicals than to produce the more delicate natural fibres characteristic of natural brushes. Hence, the low prices. Since their bristles are also stiffer, they fall on the category of firm brushes which are known to provide invigorating massages and deep exfoliation. 

Boar Bristle Body Brush. This body brush is one of the most commonly found brushes in the market. Aside from body brushes, boar-bristled brushes also made a name in the world of hairbrushes. The bristles of a boar body brush are made of boar hair, falling under the semi-firm category. While it can give a nice body brushing experience without damaging the skin too much, some consumers refrain from choosing boar-bristled body brushes due to ethical concerns over their production. 

Horsehair Body Brushes. Horsehair may be used for brushes made to polish shoes and leather, but it can also be used to buff up your skin! One of its greatest advantages is that it has soft bristles: perfect for gentle cleansing and exfoliation. Horsehair fibers are also supple and pliable, which makes brushing hard-to-reach areas an absolute breeze. 

Cactus Body Brush. Bristles of this particular type of brush are made of cactus fibers⁠—a sustainable, plant-based raw material. It is also one of the firmest body brushes in the market, perfect for massaging sore muscles and sloughing off thick layers of dead skin cells.  

Palm Body Brush. Although a little less common, Japanese Body Brushes made of women palm fibers are also in the body brush market. This type of body brush is similar to a cactus body brush, except for the raw material used to manufacture them. Its bristle strength ranges from semi-firm to coarse. 

Ionic Body Brush. The health benefits of dry brushing are greatly enhanced through the use of an ionic body brush, which has its origin in ancient Ayurvedic practices. Ionic body brushes are made with extra-fine ion-charged copper bristles, which naturally create negative ions that protect your body from free radicals and have numerous other health benefits. In addition, the molecular composition of these unique bristles encourages the direct and immediate absorption of negative ions into your skin, which increases the benefits of dry brushing, including the speed of detoxification.

Sisal Body Brush. Another popular plant-based body brush is the sisal body brush, which uses fibres from a perennial succulent, the sisal plant. Unlike other all-natural brushes made from plants that tend to have coarse bristles, sisal brushes have semi-firm bristles which are perfectly safe for the skin.

Sisal Body Brush: The Best of Both Worlds

Body brushing offers some amazing benefits, but using the wrong brush can cause skin abrasion. Soft and semi-firm brushes may provide better options, but since the majority of soft and semi-firm brushes are made of animal hair, concerns of ethical production and sustainability arise. In this regard, sisal brushes offer a solution; plant-based, sustainable and skin-gentle, these brushes are ready to give you the soothing massages that soft-bristled body brushes just can't. 

Sisal brushes stand at the very centre of the spectrum of bristle strength, and utilize a sustainable means of production. It can exfoliate without being too rough on the skin, provide stimulating massages and soothe muscles. In more ways than one, sisal brushes can be considered the best of both worlds. 

Sisal Fiber

Sisal, also known as Agave sisalana, is a plant fiber from which sisal fibers are made. It used to be grown only in Mexico, but the increasing demand from the global market pushed for its cultivation and naturalization in several other countries like Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, and the People’s Republic of China. Sisal ranks 6th place in the world’s plant fiber production, providing almost 2% of all plant fibers produced yearly.

Its appearance is similar to the top of a pineapple. Toothed sword-like leaves containing long, straight fiber form rosettes that are about 1.5 to 2 meters tall. In its average life span of about 7 to 10 years, a sisal plant can produce up to 250 leaves with each leaf containing about 1000 fibers. On top of its high yield, sisal is also environment-friendly, as its weeding is mostly done by hand and it is grown sustainably⁠—the perfect product for both producers and consumers!

Sisal is well-known for its exceptional durability, so much so that it is even used as a part of the core of elevator wires. It exhibits good resistance against wear and tear while needing low maintenance. While it is highly compatible with a wide range of dyestuffs, it does not trap dust particles nor readily absorb moisture. 

The mentioned properties of sisal make it especially compatible as a material for a number of products. Recent developments in the processing of sisal also lead to the production of high-grade plant fiber which can be used as a reinforcement in rope cores, fiberglass, and cement. Traditional uses of sisal include the production of paper, scratch post for cats, carpets, hats, dartboards, geotextiles, handicrafts, bags, and (of course) body brushes. 

Benefits of Using Sisal Brushes

Like most brushes, the basic benefits of using a sisal body brush include skin exfoliation and energizing massages. Although there are a couple more claims mentioned in several product reviews such as a reduction in cellulite and improvement in lymph drainage, dermatologists and fitness experts expressed a lack of confidence in those assertions given the scarcity of support from the available scientific literature.

Skin Exfoliation

The most certain benefit that can be garnered from body brushing is skin exfoliation. Without a doubt, rubbing a bristled brush along your whole body can make you shed layers of dead skin cells; but what makes skin exfoliation great using a sisal brush is that the friction generated from brushing is gentle enough to not cause micro-tears in the skin and cause skin damage. 

Exfoliating removes deep-seated dirt and impurities by unclogging the skin’s pores. It can also decrease the rate your skin absorbs moisture after brushing. For coarse brushes with firm bristles, it can lead to extreme skin dryness; but, with sisal brushes, the loss of moisture in the skin is just enough to enable better absorption of beauty products.

Energizing Massage

Running stiff bristles across your limbs can stimulate blood flow, soothe your muscles, and provide relief from an overwhelming and stressful day. During brushing, the direction of strokes must always start from the feet going upwards, towards the heart. The goal is to use the body brush to accelerate blood flow in vessels deep within the vascular system, and make the blood circulate back to the heart.

Different Kinds of Sisal Brushes

Once you do decide to use a sisal brush, you will be met with another dilemma⁠—what kind of sisal brush should you buy? The market is flooded with all kinds of sisal brushes and it can be overwhelming for a prospective buyer. In this section, we will guide you through the kinds of sisal brushes one step at a time.

Wet or Dry Brush?

The first step is to determine when you would like to use a sisal brush. Body brushing can be done in two ways⁠—before taking a shower (hence, dry) and during a shower (wet). Both wet and dry brushing need their own specific type of brush. Brushes used during wet brushing are typically softer, more pliable, and sturdier than dry brushes. Their handles can be different too. Long handles are more commonly seen in wet brushes since they can brush hard-to-reach areas without taking too much time in the shower. Take these into consideration when choosing your sisal brush. 

Sisal Brushes for Every Purpose

You can also choose a sisal brush based on the body part you’d like to use them on. Sisal brushes for the back and bikini areas, for example, can be ordered in specialty shops and in some online stores. Their appearances vary depending on their use. 

Sisal Back Brushes. Long sisal back brushes are usually 19 to 26.5 inches long. It looks like a rolling pin made of bristles, except a flexible wire is found in its center instead of wood. It also has a string on each end which can be grabbed and be used to slide the bristles back and forth on the back.

Sisal Bikini Brushes. This type of sisal brush is small, ranging from 7 to 9 inches in length⁠—the perfect size for brushing the nooks and crannies in between the upper legs and inner thigh. It is best for scrubbing away dead skin cells in the bikini area, reducing bikini lines, and preventing ingrown hair. 

All-Purpose Sisal Brushes. Of course, multipurpose sisal brushes are the most common. Their lengths range from 11 to 13 inches, just enough for a comfortable grip and all-around access to body parts needing exfoliation. 

Additional Criteria for Choosing Sisal Brushes 

At this point, the sisal brush you’ll choose based on the criteria above will pretty much already be tailored to your needs, but some additional criteria can be added to further improve your choice.

Handle. Since you’ll be using your sisal brush on a weekly basis at minimum, choosing the right handle will be quite important. There are three types of handles that you can choose from. The first is a wooden contoured handle designed to target body parts such as the back and neck. Next is the strap type: sisal brushes with a single strap on its wooden base fit the user’s hand to make scrubbing easier. The last type of handle is made of cord hemp or jute to maximize grip. You can also consider choosing handles with strings attached to them so you can hang your body brush inside your bathrooms.

Aesthetic value. Some people prefer brushes with high visual appeal, and who can blame them? Sisal brushes are just so photogenic. If you want to buy a body brush worthy of an Instagram post, you can take a look at sisal brushes with ceramic handles or body brushes with bases made of expensive wood like cedar and oak. 

Caring for Your Sisal Brush

Wet and dry brushes are cleaned in a different manner. Using the appropriate cleaning techniques for your sisal brush can make it last a long time. 

Dry brushes are cleaned less frequently than wet brushes. As an alternative, dirt and skin residues are removed from the brush by lightly running the bristles across the palm right after using it. When the brush does need proper cleaning, the same procedure for cleaning wet brushes is applied. The bristles are briefly dipped in lukewarm soap water or an antibacterial solution. Then, the brush is rinsed and excess water is shaken out. For more efficient drying, the brush is hung upside down using the cord or string attached to its handle. Brushes must be allowed to dry completely before using them again. Additionally, they must be kept in a dry environment to keep wooden handles durable.

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Dry Brushing vs. Wet Brushing

Dry Brushing vs. Wet Brushing

In this article, we reveal the difference between dry brushing and wet brushing, how you dry brush your skin vs how you wet brush your skin, the different benefits of dry and wet brushing and factors to consider when deciding whether to dry brush or wet brush.

Introduction

Participating in wellness routines often requires considerable time and effort, and that is why the modern woman has fast embraced the relatively easy and quick practice of skin brushing. Many women swear by the benefits of dry brushing, claiming that it keeps their skin soft and smooth. There are also claims that brushing your skin brings a whole lot of health benefits. For example, proponents of dry brushing say that it leads to increased energy or circulation. Dermatologists even agree that brushing the skin gently has exfoliating benefits, which may stimulate your body in a similar way to a massage.

There are two main types of skin brushing: wet brushing and dry brushing. For a beginner, it might be confusing to know which method you should use. But it doesn’t have to be once you understand the difference between the two and the benefits of each approach. That can help you decide what method to use to achieve as well as maintain a healthy glow.

    What is the Difference Between Dry Brushing and Wet Brushing? 

    As the names suggest, the main difference between dry exfoliating and wet brushing is that while wet brushing requires water, dry exfoliation doesn’t. 

    Dry skin brushing involves moving a dry brush on your dry skin in specific motions. It’s done with the aim of getting rid of dead skin cells and improving circulation in the skin. 

    Wet brushing, on the other hand, involves scrubbing your skin with an exfoliation tool such as a wet skin brush, a loofah, or a washcloth using water. 

    Dry skin brushing is done before taking a shower or bath, while wet exfoliation is part of showering or bathing. 

    How Do You Dry Brush Your Skin?

    First of all, you’ll need to get a dry brush with bristles, preferably made from natural fibers. Natural fiber bristles are softer than synthetic bristles, and will, therefore, be less harsh on your skin. It’s better to use a brush with a long detachable handle that enables you to reach all parts of your body.

    To dry brush your entire body, you’ll need to go through the following steps:

    • Start with the bottom of your feet. Brush in circular motions, heading towards the heels. 
    • Move on to the legs, using upward motions. Brush one leg at a time. 
    • Brush your stomach in circular, clockwise motions. For your mid-section, always brush from the back towards the front, maintaining an upward movement. 
    • For your hands and arms, stroke the brush towards the shoulders. 

    When using a dry brush, always make sure you:

    • Stroke your dry brush in the direction of your heart. That means brushing upwards for parts of your body that are below your heart, such as your legs. For other parts like the armpits and neck, brush downwards, still towards the heart. The purpose of brushing towards the heart is to encourage the normal lymph flow within your body.
    • Use gentle pressure, just enough to scrape off the dirt and dead cells on your skin. When you apply too much pressure, you risk scratching your skin. That could result in redness, rashes, soreness, or even infections. 
    • Never use your body dry brush on your face. The face has more delicate tissues compared to areas such as your legs and back. There are special facial dry brushes meant for use on the face. Such brushes have softer bristles that are suitable for facial tissue. 
    • Dry brush your skin before taking a shower. By having a shower afterward, you wash off the dirt that has been loosened up by brushing. Failing to shower after brushing may not improve your skin in any way as the dirt is still on your skin and capable of causing more problems, such as acne. 
    • Always ensure that your dry brush is not dirty. Over time, your brush is bound to accumulate oil, dirt, and dead cells, which might expose your skin to infections. A dirty brush also affects the effectiveness of the mechanical action of the bristles. If you use your brush daily, you should clean your dry brush once every week. However, if you brush your skin sparsely, it’s okay to clean it once a month. 

    How Do You Wet Brush Your Skin?

    Wet exfoliation can be as simple as using a wet brush, loofah, or washcloth and water to scrub your skin. To wet brush, you should:

    • Begin from the top of your body, working from your neck downwards. 
    • Rub your skin gently in circular motions. That loosens up the dead cells and dirt on the skin's surface. Scrub down to the ankles then move to your back. 
    • Brush the arms, hands, heels, and soles of your feet. 
    • Rinse your skin with cold water, which closes your pores. 

    To ensure that you get the best out of wet brushing, you should:

    • Use lukewarm water – A long hot shower sounds like heaven sometimes, but it may not be the best for your skin. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and exposed. Lukewarm water is more effective in washing off the dirt without irritating your skin. 
    • Avoid showering for too long – Getting used to long showers can be detrimental to your skin. When you do it too many times (more than once daily) for too long (10 minutes or more each time), it dries out your skin. That defeats the purpose of wet brushing. 
    • Replace your loofah after two months – most people cannot remember exactly when they last bought the loofah in their bathroom. Your loofah should be replaced every two months. That is because it accumulates dead cells after every shower, which then acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s even worse if you don’t put out your loofah to dry after every use. 

    What are the Different Benefits of Dry and Wet Brushing?

    While dry and wet brushing are both aimed at exfoliating the skin, their benefits differ. That is especially as a result of the technique used in each method. When you dry brush, you’ll experience the following benefits:

    • The process of running a natural-bristled brush over your skin naturally exfoliates it by loosening and removing the dead skin cells. The result is much softer and smoother skin.
    • The lymphatic system is comprised of vessels, lymph nodes, and ducts that transport the lymph in the body. There are many lymph vessels just below the skin. Dry brushing frequently stimulates the lymph flow and encourages the body to naturally detoxify itself. 
    • Blood flow and circulation on the skin is improved. As a result, the skin gets nourished adequately, while waste is removed from the cells just as fast. This kind of activity enhances the production of collagen and sebum, hence making the skin tighter, stronger, and wrinkle-free.
    • A decrease in the appearance of cellulite. This is because when the pores and lymphatic system are unclogged, toxins are removed from the skin tissues. In the absence of toxins, there is an increased production of collagen. That strengthens and tightens the skin, making it harder for the fat cell lumps to push through. 
    • The systematic and slow pace of dry exfoliation is meditative and useful in relieving stress. Besides your body, your mind will also feel refreshed once you’re done with the exercise. 

    Wet brushing your skin, on the other hand, comes with these benefits:

    • You get rid of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. That cleans up the skin and ensures there’s no buildup of waste that may encourage bacterial growth. As a result, your skin is protected from breakouts.
    • Wet brushing allows the regeneration of skin cells after the removal of dead ones. That results in glowing and younger-looking skin. 

    Dry exfoliating is considered to have more benefits because the removal of dirt and dead cells is more efficient when the skin is dry. Water pumps up the skin, which makes wet brushing a bit less effective. 

    Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Dry Brush or Wet Brush

    Even though both techniques are used to remove dead skin cells, the decision to dry brush or wet brush may depend on your skin type, age, and climate. 

    For instance, if you live in an arid climate where the skin is more likely to be drier, wet brushing may be a better option as it will help infuse your skin with moisture. Also, since water is like a lubricant, wet brushing can minimize irritation for people with easily-irritated or thin skin. On the contrary, dry brushing can be quite harsh for older skin or those with sensitive skin. Dry brushing would be more beneficial for individuals living in humid climates, with oiler, or younger skin.

    If you are interested in dry brushing, you should consider trying an ionic body brush. These unique brushes use special ionized copper bristles to deliver an incredible enhanced dry brushing experience.

    The Bottom Line

    Choosing between dry and wet exfoliation may be a matter of personal preference. That said, skin that's broken or has cuts, sores, sunburns, or scrapes should not be brushed. Also, avoid using a dry brush if you have skin conditions such as eczema, acne, or excessively dry skin. If your skin gets inflamed easily, it’s better to avoid any harsh exfoliating action. This means that you may have to stick with gentle, wet brushing. Brushing is generally safer for those with oily and normal skin than those with dry skin. 

    At the end of the day, both methods are a great way to avoid chemical exfoliants if you're more inclined towards natural skincare regimens. 

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    8 Best Oils for Cellulite and Dry Brushing

    8 Best Oils for Cellulite and Dry Brushing

    Did you know that you can help eliminate cellulite and enhance dry brushing by using essential oils? In this article, we explain what essential oils are, how essential oils can be used for cellulite, what are the best essential oils to use for cellulite, how to properly dilute essential oils for cellulite treatment, and much more.

    Introduction

    Cellulite is a condition that’s characterized by dimpled, lumpy flesh on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and hips. The uneven lumps can also appear on the upper arms and breasts. Cellulite has a texture that’s similar to that of an orange peel and is sometimes referred to as orange-peel skin. Other common words used to describe cellulite are cottage-cheese skin and hail damage. 

    Both women and men have cellulite. But it’s much more common in adult and adolescent women compared to men. In fact, 80-90 percent of women will develop cellulite in the course of their lives. Cellulite is not a condition to worry a lot about, at least not in the medical sense. However, it’s a major cosmetic concern, especially for the majority of women. 

    The prevalence of cellulite among men and women is attributed to structural differences in the skin. Muscle, connective tissue, and fat are distributed differently in each sex. Internally, cellulite occurs when fat cells beneath the skin layers push against the connective tissue. The layer of connective tissue is found just above the fat cells, and below the dermis. Cellulite is less common in men because naturally their skin has more collagen fibers. That makes it firmer and harder for the underlying tissue to affect its structure.

    There has not yet been a proven cure for cellulite. The best you can do is try and minimize its appearance or take measures to avoid it. Treatments that are available usually just offer temporary solutions. Cellulite may become less noticeable after treatment, but it never really goes away. 

    Natural cellulite treatment methods, however, offer more promise of actually dealing with your cellulite problem. Essential oils for cellulite are some of the natural remedies that have shown tremendous improvement for those who use them. 

      What are Essential Oils?

      Essential oils are products or compounds that are extracted from plants. These oils can be obtained from roots, fruits, stems, leaves, or flowers. Usually, they are extracted from the plant material mechanically, for instance, through cold pressing. They can also be distilled using steam or water. 

      These oils have been used throughout the years to treat various ailments effectively. They are especially useful in aromatherapy, a type of treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote not only health but also well-being. Dermatologists even recommend different essential oils for some skin conditions such as acne scars. Cellulite is another one of those conditions. With the right combination of essential oils, you can create a treatment regimen that makes a huge difference in the appearance of cellulite.

      How Can Essential Oils Be Used for Cellulite?

      What differentiates essential oil-based treatments from other modern cellulite treatments is that with essential oils the cause of the lumps is targeted, not just the symptoms. That, in itself, promises better results.

      Essential oil for cellulite can remedy most of the issues that may cause bulging of fat cells beneath the connective tissue. That includes inflammation and poor lymphatic drainage.

      Poor circulation, fat accumulation under the skin, and structurally weak skin that lacks enough collagen also contribute to cellulite. Since essential oils can effectively improve all of these conditions, that makes them quite effective in combating cellulite. 

      What are the Best Essential Oils to Use for Cellulite?

      There are more than 90 known types of essential oils. Each essential oil carries the essence (scent and flavor) of the plant from which it’s derived. This means that each oil has different health effects. Among these oils, there are essential oils that are more effective than others when it comes to treating cellulite. They include:

      Grapefruit 

      Bromelain is an enzyme found in grapefruit oil. The enzyme has anti-inflammatory properties that break down cellulite. When applied topically, grapefruit oil has been observed to help in weight loss. By reducing the fat in tissues, the appearance of cellulite is minimized. 

      Cedarwood

      Cedarwood is a cellulite oil which has astringent properties. It not only reduces fat deposits but also helps in improving circulation. When regularly used on the skin, cedarwood oil tightens loose skin and reduces cellulite.

      Geranium 

      Geranium oil is effective in reducing cellulite. When massaged onto the skin, this essential oil removes the excess fluid, reducing puffiness, which can exacerbate the appearance of cellulite. 

      Some of the main active chemical components in geranium include geranyl formate, linalool, geraniol, and citronellol. These chemicals have anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties that make the oil useful when it comes to cellulite. 

      Geranium eliminates dead skin cells while encouraging the regeneration of new ones. With continued use, there’s also an increase in the production of collagen. That leads to firmer skin, which is less susceptible to pressure by the fat cells beneath.

      Rosemary 

      Rosemary essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties, which are useful in fighting cellulite. When used during massage, rosemary oil aids in unblocking the lymphatic system. Hence, circulation is improved beneath the skin layers. That prevents the accumulation of uneven fat deposits. 

      Lemongrass 

      Analgesic properties found in lemongrass oil makes it an excellent choice for improving circulation in the tissues. One of its compounds, limonene, reduces inflammation by contracting blood vessels. Lemongrass oil can also dissolve fat deposits beneath the skin. Ultimately, these effects result in improved circulation and less fluid retention. That diminishes the appearance of cellulite. 

      Fennel

      Hormones contribute to the formation of cellulite. When there’s low estrogen concentration in women, the flow of blood to the connective tissues decreases. That translates to lower collagen levels, which makes the tissues weak. As the fat cells enlarge, they easily protrude through the layer of tissue. When massaged onto the skin, fennel is absorbed into the body and mimics the functions of estrogen. That, therefore, makes it an important oil for women experiencing menopause who are fighting cellulite. 

      Juniper Berry 

      Juniper berry oil minimizes the appearance of cellulite by encouraging proper drainage of water in the lymphatic system. This gets rid of water retention that causes inflammation, which is a risk factor for cellulite. The oil can also promote the rejuvenation of your skin tissue, thus helping to reduce dimples.

      Cypress 

      When applied on the skin, cypress oil causes the skin cells to contract. That results in better blood circulation and drainage. As a result, toxins are properly eliminated from the skin structure, and water retention is prevented. Thus, the occurrence of cellulite is avoided or reduced. 

      Other commonly used cellulite essential oils include sweet orange, tangerine, neroli, and benzoin.

      How to Properly Dilute Essential Oils for Cellulite Treatment 

      Essential oils can cause irritation when applied to the skin in their original form. For safe use and faster absorption into the skin, you need to dilute them with a carrier oil. Carrier oils do not interfere with the function of essential oils, and are, therefore, good to use. 

      Examples of carrier oils include almond, mustard seed, argan, jojoba, coconut, and avocado oil.

      Here are tips for diluting your essential oils properly:

      • 1 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 1 drop essential oil
      • 2 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 3 drops essential oil 
      • 3 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 4 drops essential oil 
      • 4 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 6 drops essential oil 
      • 5 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 7 drops essential oil

      When choosing the best carrier oil for cellulite essential oils, you should:

      • Select pure, unrefined, and cold-pressed oil without additives
      • Buy the highest quality you can afford

      The advantage of cold-pressed carrier oils is that they aren't heated. As such, their innate beneficial properties are retained.

      Remember, to find the carrier oil that works best for you and your skin, you have to keep experimenting with the oils. Carrier oils have their different therapeutic properties which are based on the natural nutrients and essential fatty acids they contain. While these characteristics may be overlooked, they influence their shelf-life and unique application. Pairing the right carrier oil with your essential oil can result in the amazing benefits that you’re trying to achieve.

      Do Carrier Oils Including Coconut Oil Get Rid of Cellulite? 

      Carrier oils have skin benefits, such as increasing the production of collagen and preventing acne. Most carrier oils contain skin-healing vitamins. They’re also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. However, coconut oil for cellulite works when mixed with an essential oil, and so do the other carrier oils. 

      That said, for some people, coconut can be effective at reducing the appearance of cellulite when applied regularly to the skin.

      Different Ways to Apply Essential Oils 

      How you apply essential oils influences the health benefits you receive. Some of the most effective application methods when treating cellulite are:

      Through Massage 

      This involves making a blend of your essential oil with a carrier oil of choice. Use three drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. You can then massage this mixture into the areas of your skin with cellulite. 

      Dry Brushing 

      This involves dry brushing essential oils blended with a carrier oil onto your skin using a dry brush. The brush should have natural fibers as they’re less irritating to the skin. With the brush, apply the essential oil on your skin in semi-circular strokes towards the heart. Continue brushing until the oil has been entirely absorbed. Dry brushing is also a well-known method for reducing the appearance of cellulite.

      In Bath Water

      Mix 6 drops of your cellulite massage oil with 1tsp of milk. Pour this into a bathtub that's full of warm water. Disperse the oil into the water as much as you can, then soak in it for half an hour. During that time, massage the oil droplets floating around on your skin.

      Unique Oil Blend Recipes for Cellulite 

      To get the best results from your cellulite treatment while using essential oils, you may need to mix two or more types of oils. Some of the blends that can accelerate the disappearance of cellulite through massage are:

      Massage Blend 1:

      • 10 drops lemon oil
      • 12 drops grapefruit oil
      • 8 drops fennel oil
      • 2 tbsp almond oil
      • 5 drop jojoba oil
      • 5 drops carrot oil

      Massage Blend 2:

      • 5 drops fennel
      • 5 drops rosemary 
      • 5 drops benzoin
      • 5 drops lemon 
      • 4 tsp carrier oil

      Massage Blend 3:

      • 6 drops oregano
      • 10 drops lemon
      • 14 drops juniper 
      • 5 drops jojoba
      • 5 drops carrot oil
      • 2 tbsp almond oil 

      Massage Blend 4:

      • 12 drops cypress oil
      • 10 drops juniper berry oil
      • 8 drops neroli oil
      • 6 drops cedarwood oil
      • 2 tbsp jojoba oil
      • 2 tbsp argan oil

      Massage Blend 5:

      • 10 drops grapefruit oil
      • 8 drops tangerine oil
      • 7 drops sweet orange oil
      • 6 drops lemongrass oil
      • 4 drops geranium oil
      • 2 tbsp castor oil
      • 2 tbsp coconut oil

      Bath Blend: 

      • 2 drops each of fennel, basil and rosemary oil
      • 5 drops geranium oil
      • 2 cups Epsom salt
      • 1 tsp milk
      • 1 cup of sea salt
      • 3 drops turmeric oil

      How Should You Store Your Essential Oils?

      Storage of essential oils matters tremendously. Proper storage will not only protect but also prolong the shelf life of the oils. The temperature they’re stored at, the type of glass the oils are stored in, and the exposure of your oils to sunlight all significantly impact their quality.

      To prevent deterioration and protect the therapeutic and aromatic properties of essential oils, it’s best to store them in the following colored bottles:

      • Cobalt blue
      • Brown or amber
      • Green

      When it comes to light protection, the more opaque and darker the glass, the better protection it provides against oxidation and damaging sunlight.

      Avoid storing or purchasing essential oils in plastic bottles because the oils will eat the plastic, and, within a short period, the essential oils will be ruined. 

      Ideally, store your oils in a cool, dark place or, if possible, in the refrigerator.

      What are the Health Effects of Different Essential Oils?

      The benefits of essential oils transcend treating cellulite. Call it a win-win situation for you. Each essential oil has particular health benefits when used in addition to being powerful cellulite remedies. Some of these oils and their different effects are:

      • Lemon Oil – Lemon essential oil boosts metabolism and, therefore, energy, improves digestive function, and reduces blood pressure.
      • Geranium Oil – Using geranium results in enhanced circulation. The oil strengthens immunity and brings pain relief. It also soothes symptoms related to menstruation and menopause.  
      • Cedarwood Oil – Cedarwood is especially useful on the skin. It regulates the production of sebum, fights harmful skin bacteria, and protects the skin against pollutants.
      • Lemongrass Oil – It’s used to reduce fever, relieve muscle and joint pain, and as a detoxifying agent. 
      • Rosemary Oil – Rosemary is used for pain relief and soothing headaches. It's also effective in promoting healthy digestion and boosting the immune system.

      What Safety Precautions Should You Take When Using Essential Oils? 

      Some of the precautions to take when using essential oils include:

      • Always carry out a patch test before applying a new oil on your skin. The test involves applying the oil on a small area of your skin. Essential oils can cause skin irritation, burns, or even dermatitis. A patch test allows you to observe whether your skin will have an allergic reaction or not.
      • Never ingest essential oils, as they can be toxic. Essential oils are meant to either be inhaled or applied to the skin topically after being mixed with a carrier oil. 
      • If you're taking any medication, you should consult your doctor first before using essential oils.

      Consistency Matters

      At the end of the day, the secret to reducing cellulite using essential oils lies in being consistent. You can choose to massage your skin with essential oils for cellulite every morning or evening before going to bed. Alternatively, you can add the oils to each bath you take or combine your oil regime with regular dry brushing. 

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      Cleaning Your Dry Brush: The Complete Guide

      Cleaning Your Dry Brush: The Complete Guide

      In this post, we discuss what a dry brush is used for, why you should clean an exfoliating brush, how to clean your dry brush, how to make a disinfectant spray for your brush, tips on how to care for your dry brush, how often you should clean your brush, precautions when dry brushing, the benefits of using a clean dry brush and getting the most out of your dry brush.

      Introduction

      Dry brushing is a practice that has gained popularity in recent years. Softer skin, better blood circulation, and a rejuvenated nervous system are just a few of the benefits which come with dry brushing. However, after using your dry brush, when is the right time to clean it? And how should you clean it?

        What is A Dry Brush Used For?

        A dry brush is used to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. That is done by moving the brush over the skin in specific motions. Dry brushing, as the term suggests, does not require the use of water. It’s done using a completely dry brush on dry skin. 

        Why Should You Clean an Exfoliating Brush?

        The goal of dry brushing is to remove as much dirt, oil, and dead cells as possible before taking a shower. The result is smooth, clean, and healthier skin. It’s then obvious that a dry brush has a lot of dirt collected from your skin. This residue is bound to encourage the growth of bacteria if not cleaned after a while. 

        Cleaning your exfoliating brush regularly reduces the risk of developing skin infections and irritations. Bacteria in a dirty brush can leave you with skin breakouts and acne. A brush that is full of gunk is also not going to exfoliate your skin effectively. 

        Scrubbing using a dirty body brush can make minor inflammations such as red bumps even worse. You also run the risk of becoming infected and causing further damage to your skin barrier if you use a dirty brush with bacteria.

        A clean brush ensures your skin isn’t exposed to harmful bacteria. Some of the bacteria on the brush comes from your skin. Certain types of skin bacteria cause boils, cellulitis, and even meningitis. These bacteria include:

        • Propionibacterium acnes, which leads to the development of acne. The bacteria thrive on oily skin, where there's excess production of sebum. An abundance of this bacteria triggers an immune response that results in skin inflammation.
        • Staphylococcus bacteria causes pimples, a skin rash known as impetigo, boils, and cellulitis. 

            Clean and Reuse

            Some dry brushes come with instructions to replace them after about three months. That, however, is only applicable if you have no idea how to clean your brush. Unless you are using a special dry brush which naturally repels bacteria, then, within three months of using your brush, it will definitely have accumulated enough dirt to make it unsafe for use. Discarding your brush after a few months is not necessary: you can clean and reuse it. So, if you’re keen on recycling, here’s how to clean a dry body brush

            How to Clean a Prana Brush Ionic Dry Brush

            Copper is naturally anti-bacterial, so there is no need to clean your Prana Brush ionic body brush in the same manner as you might clean an ordinary brush. In order to keep your brush clean, we recommend brushing the bristles several times with a dry cloth, or tapping the brush with the bristles pointed down on a washable surface, such as a sink basin, in order to remove any skin particles. We suggest that you do this after every each use. Please make sure never to wash your ionic body brush with water or soap.

            How to Clean Your Dry Brush

            Keep in mind that, when cleaning your dry brush, the wooden base and handle should not come into contact with water. This is because water weakens the wood and may cause it to crack and rot. For brushes with a removable handle, exposing the wooden parts to water may also affect its fit. 

            It's vital to disinfect your brush while cleaning. There are several methods of cleaning a brush made with natural fiber bristles, and they include the following.

            Method One

            1. Fill a bowl with water. The water level should be lower than the length of the bristles, preferably halfway.
            2. Add three drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an essential oil with disinfectant properties. It will help get rid of any bacteria on the bristles of the brush.
            3. Remove the brush handle, then place the brush in the bowl, bristles facing downwards.
            4. Move the brush around. The movement frees dead cells and dirt in the bristles. Swishing the water around also helps in the even distribution of tea tree oil in the bristles. Be gentle to avoid wetting the wooden base.
            5. After five minutes, lift the brush, then replace the solution with clean water. Rinse the brush in the freshwater by moving it in the same way you did in step 4.
            6. Shake the brush then place it on a dry towel, bristles down. Secure it with safety pins then put it in the dryer with your clothes on a low setting. Wait for twenty minutes. During the cycle, the towel absorbs all the moisture from the brush, leaving it completely dry.

            Method Two

            The second method is just like the first one with only a slight change in the drying process. After rinsing the brush, you can dry it outside away from direct sunlight. It’s important to get the brush dry as quickly as possible. Keeping natural fiber bristles wet for too long can weaken them. If the weather does not favor this method, you should use the drying machine. 

            Method Three

            This method is also like the first one. The only difference is the drying process. Method three will come in handy when you're in a hurry. All you need to do is blow your brush with a hairdryer for a couple of minutes to dry it. 

            Method Four

            The fourth method involves swirling the bristles in soapy water instead of using a solution containing essential oil. The best soap to use for a dry brush is liquid soap, preferably baby shampoo. You can use alcohol as a disinfectant. However, alcohol should not be used frequently as it can damage the bristles with time. 

            Whichever method you use, ensure that, at the end, both the base and the bristles are completely dry. Keeping the brush wet can encourage bacteria growth. 

            Now that you’ve learned how to clean a dry brush let’s go over how to make a disinfectant for your brush. 

            How to Make a Disinfectant Spray for Your Brush

            For disinfection, you can use a variety of essential oils besides tea tree oil such as peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, geranium, ageratum, and citronella. 

            That said, here’s how to make a simple disinfectant oil spray for your dry brush.

            Ingredients

            • ¾ cup of water
            • 10 drops tea tree oil 
            • ¼ cup of witch hazel
            • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil 

            Once you have all the ingredients together, put them in a spray bottle, then shake well. Ensure you shake the solution well before every use. 

            Witch hazel, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil have all been proven to possess disinfectant properties. They are also ideal to use on the skin without causing irritation. 

            Tips on How to Care for Your Dry Brush

            • Keep the wood handle oiled. Oiling prevents the handle from splitting. Using oil helps to seal out moisture that would otherwise penetrate the wood. You can dip the handle in linseed oil or use tea tree oils.
            • Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. Exposing your brush to direct sunlight for a long period can cause the handle to crack and result in damage. If you decide to air your body brush outside, put it in a shady area, away from direct sunlight.
            • It’s preferable to use a brush with natural fibers. Synthetic brushes have lots of hiding places for bacteria and fungus and are usually too abrasive.

            How Often Should You Clean Your Brush?

            How frequently you use your brush will determine how often it needs to be cleaned. A dry brush is a personal effect just like your toothbrush or towel. As such, it needs to be kept as clean as possible at all times. Remember, the skin is a sensitive organ, and even a little mistreatment could lead to infections.

            If you use your brush once or twice every week, then you can wash it once, monthly. A brush that’s used daily, on the other hand, requires weekly cleaning. That is because it gathers more dirt and oil more quickly. 

            Different rules apply for a brush that you use to dry brush your face. The face is more sensitive than the rest of your skin. This means that it’s at a higher risk of getting infected or irritated. Hence, a dry brush used on the face should be cleaned after every use or after every two uses. 

            How clean your brush is affects its functionality. It might be impossible to exfoliate as much skin as you would like if your brush bristles are clogged. 

            Precautions When Dry Brushing

            You should never share your dry body brush with someone else. Doing so can lead to the transfer of bacteria and infections. 

            After cleaning your brush, pay attention to where you store it. You should keep it in a clean, dry place. That will prevent mold growth. Also, never use it in place of your body bath brush. Bath brushes are meant to be used in water, while dry brushes aren’t. 

            Sometimes, your brush might look dirty even before a week is over, or before a month has passed if you use it sparingly. You do not have to wait the recommended period to clean your brush. If it looks dirty or develops a smell, wash it right away. 

            While it might not be best to wash your brush after every use, rinsing your brush instead is a great way of keeping it clean. You can easily rinse it after each use then quick-dry it using a hairdryer. Doing so significantly reduces the buildup of dirt. That, however, is not to mean that you should skip thoroughly cleaning it. 

            Disinfecting your brush in between washes will also work in your favor. Using an essential oil of your choice, make a solution with water and the oil, then put it in a spray bottle. After every use, you can spray your brush bristles to help kill any bacteria. 

            The Benefits of Using A Clean Dry Brush

            Skin imperfections are cause for concern. Moreover, they contribute significantly to poor body image and self-esteem. And while dry brushing can considerably improve your skin health, using a dirty brush can cause more harm than good, even causing more skin problems than you initially had.

            The benefits of ensuring your dry brush is clean cannot be overemphasized. Here are reasons why you should always keep your body brush clean and dry. You’ll be surprised at the advantages of this simple rule.

            Stimulation of Circulation Within the Lymphatic System 

            The action of clean bristles on the skin opens up the pores. Sweating is increased, which means more toxins are released from the body. An excessive amount of toxins can clog up the lymphatic system. Reduced levels of toxins in the body help the system fight infections.

            Relaxation

            Using a clean, dry brush is like a form of body massage. Brushing your body will make you less tense and more relaxed. You’ll also feel more energized due to improved circulation and the effects of lymphatic massage and drainage.

            Softer, Smoother, Younger Looking Skin

            Brushing removes the dead skin cells on the skin surface. This allows the growth of new skin cells that replace the old ones. Having a lot of dead cells on your skin may have you looking dull. Once you get rid of the old dead cells with the help of a clean body brush, your skin will be a lot softer, feel smoother, and look even younger. 

            Improved Muscle Tone

            Dry brushing using a clean body brush supports muscle tone by activating the nervous system. It also improves your circulation, encouraging the delivery of blood rich in oxygen to the muscles. That, in turn, helps with toning and recovery. Dry brushing also leads to firmer skin. This can be quite helpful if you've recently lost a lot of weight and you're looking for a natural way to get rid of sagging skin.

            It Helps to Reduce Cellulite

            One of the most common skin problems is cellulite. Cellulite results in a dimpled, lumpy appearance on the skin and is usually on the hips, thighs, stomach, and buttocks. Getting rid of cellulite isn't easy, and sometimes going to the gym or eating salads may not really make those stubborn patches of cellulite disappear. 

            Using a clean dry brush actually reduces the appearance of cellulite. It works by stimulating your lymphatic system and promoting circulation, which in turn improves the texture of your skin. While dry brushing isn’t a permanent solution, you can brush, frequently, and always with a clean brush, to sustain your positive skin changes.

            Get the Most Out of Your Dry Brush

            It’s quite tricky to know or even estimate the expiration date of items that don’t come with one, such as a dry brush. The truth is a dry brush, among other things in your bathroom, collect more fungus, bacteria, and mold than you would like to believe. So, if you need the inspiration to clean, this is it!

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            Ayurveda Skin Care and Aging: Complete Guide

            Ayurveda Skin Care and Aging: Complete Guide

            In this article, we take an in-depth look at skin care and specifically skin aging from an Ayurvedic perspective. We explain the causes of skin aging, how an imbalance in our bodies can contribute to aging, anti-aging diets, and Ayurvedic skin therapies that can combat premature aging.

            Introduction

            The process of aging, which is known as “jara” in Ayurveda, is just one of the many inevitable changes we all experience as we grow older. Our skin, being our body's largest organ, shows the greatest sign of aging and is also the fastest organ to age.

            Since ancient times, skin care has been one of the most important aspects of self-care. From ancient Egypt to ancient Greece, our ancestors searched for that so-called "fountain of youth" in an effort to reverse the effects of aging on their bodies. Various techniques, practices and concoctions were developed, which founded the science of skin-care that we call today as cosmetology.

            The Ayurvedic view of aging is very different. In particular, Ayurveda posits that the approach to skin-care approach must be more holistic. For example, while Ayurveda recognizes that it is important to apply various natural ingredients applied to the skin, a youthful appearance can also be achieved by living a congruous, coordinated and well-balanced lifestyle. Ayurveda offers safe and solutions to anti-aging known as the Rasayana Chikitsa, or rejuvenation therapy, which engages both the mind and body.

            What are the Causes of Skin Aging?

            The appearance of our skin as we age is considered as one of the key measurements of one's overall health and well-being. By definition, aging is a biological process and happens as the rate of cell degeneration becomes more dominant than cell regeneration. It is a natural phenomenon and is influenced by both internal and external factors. Every skin cell in our body ages as our years increase. Though we may not be able to stop it from happening, having knowledge about the stages and causes of aging can help us work against its effects.

            The skin aging process involves four key phases, namely:

            1. Decline of skin cell activity due to lower energy levels
            2. Decline of skin cell renewal
            3. Loss of skin firmness
            4. Occurrence of age spots and wrinkles

            Internal factors which contribute to skin aging are generally genetic-related factors that are out of our control. These include heredity, hormones (especially for women, the most drastic changes of which take place during menopausal years) and cellular recession (namely when cell turnover and metabolism begins to slow down).

            External factors which contribute to skin aging are a different story. Luckily, these factors are not only controllable, but also likely to have the greatest influence on the process of skin aging. In this section, we list the top three culprits of skin aging. These are commonly considered the most significant factors that hinder our efforts to improve our skin appearance and keep it looking youthful for longer.

              1. Sun Exposure

                Specialists say that about 90% of all visible signs of aging are caused by overexposure to the sun. The harmful exposure does not only happen when you have been sunburned; any outdoor activity in the sun, such as gardening, jogging and even driving can contribute to skin aging. While sunscreen can be a helpful way to reduce sun damage, no amount of sunscreen (regardless of its SPF) will fully protect you against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

                  2. Stress

                    Unreleased stress, tension or strain can also cause a counterproductive effect to our anti-aging efforts. When you are stressed, your body's production of the stress hormone cortisol becomes elevated. Cortisol encourages the skin to produce sebum, which causes acne and oily skin. Further, it also affects our skin's microcirculation and hydration levels, which in the long term may lead to a dull skin appearance. And just like the sun’s UV rays, stress can also cause free radical damage.

                      3. Poor Lifestyle Choices

                        Needless to say, our food choices and overall health go hand in hand. While nothing can be that bad when done in moderation, regularly consuming sugary, fatty and salty foods in high amounts can impact skin quality. First, sugary foods can cause insulin levels to rise, which in turn can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which can manifest in many ways, including skin breakouts and sagging. Secondly, salty foods can cause water retention, which can make our skin look puffy. Lastly, fatty foods can cause skin inflammation, which can manifest in the production of excess oil.

                        Smoking can also wreak havoc to our skin, as it depletes our skin tissues of much needed oxygen. When this happens, the skin will function improperly and age faster. Smoking also damages the skin capillaries that are responsible for removing harmful free radicals. This is the reason why most smokers suffer from sallow skin and show age lines earlier than they should.

                        How Does an Imbalance in the Three Doshas Influence Aging?

                        In a related post, we discussed how the three doshas play a role in our life and health. Doshas are energetic forces present throughout the human body. Each dosha represents two natural elements and its related properties. Vata represents space and air, which are elements that govern movement and communication. Pitta represents fire and water, which are elements that govern digestion and transformation. Lastly, Kapha represents earth and water, both of which are elements of cohesiveness, structure and lubrication.

                        According to Ayurveda, these doshas have a fundamental influence on our cellular health and the appearance of our skin. Consequently, an imbalance in the doshas can affect skin health and skin aging. However, if you know your dosha, you can take steps to prevent skin problems before they even begin. To give you some insight, Vata imbalance can cause poor circulation of blood and nutrients to the different layers of the skin; Pitta imbalance can affect the metabolic functioning that balances the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin; and Kapha imbalance can affect the skin’s moisture balance.

                        There is a corresponding skincare regimen for each skin type and dosha imbalance. For Vata skin types, it is recommended that the skin is nourished through rehydration in order to avoid signs of premature ageing; applying essential oils and natural moisturizers to the skin is highly advised. For Pitta skin types, applying oils and sunscreens are highly advised and must be done regularly. For Kapha skin types, performing daily gentle cleansing and exfoliation together with an oil massage is highly advised.

                        Anti-Aging Diet from an Ayurvedic Perspective

                        There is nothing new about the concept that a well-balanced diet can pay dividends when it comes to skin care and anti-aging. But did you know that there are certain foods that contribute to premature ageing? As a rule, intake of the following foods must be lessened or avoided in order to better reduce the signs of ageing: dairy products such as cheese and soymilk, meat products (especially red meat), sugary foods such as pastries and chocolates, foods that are deep-fried in oil such as fries and junk foods, processed foods such as hot dogs and bacon, and beverages such as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.

                        There are also certain foods that promote a youthful appearance and should be an integral part of a regular diet. Ayurveda calls this kind of diet the Rasayana diet. This diet consists of foods that help build our vital essence, or “ojas”, and also help balance the Vata dosha, which is the dosha with the greatest influence on our aging process. Ayurveda recommends eating ojas-building foods such as almonds, walnuts and ghee; anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric and sandalwood; lymph, blood and liver cleansers such as leafy greens; and fruits that contain high amounts of cell-renewing antioxidants such as mangoes, figs, watermelon and grapes.

                        Ayurvedic Skin Therapies to Combat Premature Ageing

                        Ayurveda also offers exceptional herbal treatments in the form of body wraps that can effectively restore the youthfulness of the skin. Herbs such as turmeric (haridra), drumstick (shigru), neem (nimba), eucalyptus (taila parni) and myrobalan (haritaki) are commonly used. Some of the ayurvedic treatments that use these kinds of herbs are as follows:

                        Darvi Lepam - this therapeutic body wrap is made of turmeric and other exotic medicinal herbs; it is applied to the skin in the form of a gentle massage, and is the perfect herbal therapy to make the skin look more radiant, smooth and nourished.

                        Hatitaka Lepam - a combination of freshly ground drumstick leaves and pavitra sukhoshan jal, this aromatic body wrap contains potent antioxidants that can deeply penetrate the skin cells leaving it cleansed, moisturized and nourished.

                        Kaya Lepam - a special combination of herbal powders, coconut milk, almond milk and rice extract, this unique body wrap aids in removing dead skin cells, improving the skin's texture and eliminating fine lines.

                        Neem Body Wrap - a combination of pureed neem leaves and eucalyptus oil, this body wrap smoothens the skin and is perfect for relieving pain and damage associated to over-exposure to the sun.

                        Sandalwood Body Wrap - this body wrap is made up of freshly ground sandalwood paste, which is popular for its antibiotic properties; when gently applied, it can effectively clean the skin and remove small brown spots or freckles.

                        Other Ayurvedic Therapies

                        In addition to those described above, there is a very specific Ayurvedic treatment called Panchakarma, which is a holistic treatment that aims to balance all of the doshas in the body through total rejuvenation and waste removal. Panchakarma cleanses the body on a very deep level, and restores physical and mental balance. It is considered one of the most potent homeopathic treatments in Ayurvedic medicine. In fact, many practitioners recommend applying the treatment on a seasonal basis in order to rid the body of the many toxic materials caused by illness, poor diet, stress and environmental factors.

                        A number of treatments are performed or linked together during the course of a Panchakarma treatment. The following treatments target the skin and are just some of the therapies that may be performed during a Panchakarma treatment:

                        Abhyanga - this is a massage treatment that uses a special mixture of herbs and oil and is formulated to thoroughly penetrate the skin, remove impurities and restore its arterial and lymphatic circulation. It relaxes the mind and body, and enhances the body's natural ability to help the nutrients reach the starving cells. It also helps remove stagnant waste materials and promotes the internal healing of the body.

                        Garshana - this is a treatment that uses dry skin brushing, and aims to enhance the body's lymphatic circulation. It cleanses the skin and helps remove stubborn dirt. This treatment is conducted prior to other Panchakarma treatments, so that other oil and herbal treatments will be able to deeply penetrate the skin.

                        Udvartana - this is a treatment that uses a special paste made of sesame oil infused with exotic herbs, and aims to gently exfoliate the skin to rejuvenate the skin's natural radiance. It is also a lymphatic massage treatment that opens up the pores, eliminates blockages in the blood vessels, and stimulates heat in the tissues and fat metabolism.

                        The Importance of Dry Brushing

                        As discussed above, the process of dry brushing is essential to enhancing the body’s lymphatic circulation, cleansing the skin and helping remove stubborn dirt. The health benefits of dry brushing are greatly enhanced through the use of an ionic body brush, which has its origin in ancient Ayurvedic practices. Our ionic body brushes are made with extra-fine ion-charged copper bristles, which naturally create negative ions that protect your body from free radicals and have numerous other health benefits. In addition, the molecular composition of our unique bristles encourages the direct and immediate absorption of negative ions into your skin, which increases the benefits of dry brushing, including the speed of detoxification.

                        Final Thoughts

                        The aging process is a challenging human experience, and the desire to look youthful persists in most of us. Luckily, Ayurveda offers a treasure trove of knowledge in respect of various anti-aging and skin care therapies. By living a healthy and balanced life, we can all successfully reduce the appearance of aging.

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