Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dry Brush away your cellulite?

What is Dry Brushing? Dry Brushing is a method of cleansing, detoxifying and exfoliating the skin using a wooden long-handled brush that has natural bristles. Dry brushing is done before a shower and can take 10-15 minutes to complete. Starting at the feet, you massage your body with the bristles towards your heart. It takes a few minutes to do each leg, followed by a few minutes on the torso, the back, and the arms.

Dry Brushing fanatics swear by it's wonderful cosmetic results, including a reduction/elimination of cellulite and tightening of the skin, while others tout it's amazing ability to eliminate toxins, cleanse lymphatic fluid, improve circulation and help digestion.

Many people forget that the skin is a vital organ in the eliminiation process and that it breathes toxins out of your body, just like your lungs, your bladder and your colon. Using chemically-laden body moisturizers only impede your body's ability to eliminate toxins as you are actually ADDING chemicals to your skin. Moisturizers that are mineral oil based actually prevent your skin from breathing out the toxins, thereby trapping them. Gee, I wonder if that is what actually causes skin cancer?!? Mineral Oil can be hidden by it's many names in an ingredient list. Look for the obvious Mineral Oil, or the less obvious names such as Paraffinum Liquidum, Paraffin, Liquid Petroleum, or Petrolatum.

Dry brushing helps to eliminate dead skin cells and the toxins that are trapped on them. The method of brushing from your feet to your heart encourages circulation and eases the strain on your heart and vascular system. It also acts to massage your internal organs and muscles and encourage your oil-producing glands to moisturize your skin.

To get the most out of your dry-brushing, follow with a warm (not hot or cold) shower using an all natural soap, such as Dr. Bronner's organic and fair trade soap (available at pretty much every health food store in north america). Then turn the temperature of the water up pretty darn warm for a few minutes, then turn it down to cool for a minute before turning all the way down to freezing for a minute. Turning the water hot and cold like this 2 or 3 times will tighten your skin, warm your core, and refresh your body and mind.

Keep in mind, that if you shave your legs, you should do it AFTER the hot/cold shower and after your goosebumps subside.

Between the dry brushing and hot/cold showers, you just may get the closest shave you've ever had!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Castor Oil - the unsung hero

Castor Oil, also called Palm of Christ is found in many commercial beauty products, from shampoos, cleansers, to moisturizers.

Castor Oil has the amazing ability to cleanse AND detox AND moisturize.

For many people it is tricky to give up their chemical-laden commercial beauty products. I know it was very hard for me when I first tried an all-natural organic shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo felt like it was stripping my hair, it literally felt like wet straw, and the conditioner felt oily and didn't give me that "slip" and detangling that I'm used to getting from conditioner. But one doesn't have to entirely give up and move to an all-natural shampoo and conditioner. There's a Canadian Company called Live Clean that makes shampoos and conditioners that are paraben and SLS-free, that contain 90% or more ingredients of natural origin, etc etc.

Anyway, whenever my hair feels lackluster I'll add a half-teaspoon or so of Castor Oil to shampoo in the palm of my hand before lathering my hair. It makes the shampoo thick, white and creamy. The end result is shiny soft hair!

Try this sometime! Let me know what you think of your hair!

Adding a little bit of Castor Oil into your all-natural liquid soap will also turn it into a thick white creamy soap that'll moisturize your body as it detoxifies! And though it's creamy, it won't leave behind residue that'll clog your razor (one of my pet peeves)... so it's also an excellent shaving soap!

I also like to mix a little bit of castor oil into my body cream/body oil to moisturize and detox. It is important to take a good thorough shower every day with a natural SLS free soap to remove toxins that accumulate on your skin's surface. ALWAYS avoid moisturizers that utilize Mineral Oil/Paraffin/Petrolatum/Paraffinum Liquidum as an ingredient. It's a "fake" moisturizer that your body can't absorb, that clogs pores, that prevents your skin from breathing, and causes toxins to get stuck in your skin instead of being sweated out.