The skin is the largest organ of the entire human body, and plays a key role in eliminating toxins and absorbing nutrients on a daily basis. It is vital that we take care of ourselves, beyond working out and eating well, and consider all pillars of building true health. There are many natural beauty practices, you can incorporate into your self-care routine to leave your skin glowing and health high. Many of these practices originate from Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine, drawing heavily on the natural healing powers of our bodies and the Earth.
1. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is an invigorating ritual that involves stimulating the skin, by brushing with a wooden bristle tool in long strokes towards the heart. This practice has been used in several cultures from Ayurveda to Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and traditional Chinese medicine… all for good reason, of course!
Dry brushing regularly exfoliates and eliminates dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling soft and helping in the renewal process. It also assists in lymphatic drainage, as dry brushing stimulates the vessels that aid in the body’s natural ability to detox. Other benefits of this practice include:
- Aid in waste elimination
- Reduce cellulite
- Assist digestion
- Stimulate circulation
- Strengthen immune system
- Firm the skin
2. Oil Pulling & Tongue Scraping
Oral hygiene is often forgotten about when it comes to wellness practices and trends, although it also plays a vital role to our overall wellbeing.
Oil pulling is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and originated in as an Ayurvedic practice used for purifying the body by pulling toxins out through the gums and mouth using oil as an absorption medium. Oil pulling involves swishing around a tablespoon of oil (coconut, sesame etc.) in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, before discarding it.
Several studies have shown that oil pulling can help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Bad breath originates from a build up of bacteria in your mouth, thus oil pulling can help decrease bad breath. Oil pulling activates salivary enzymes which absorb toxins such as chemical, bacterial and environmental toxins from the blood and removed from the body through the tongue.
This goes hand in hand with tongue scraping, a practice that has been on the rise of popularity during recent years in the wellness community. Tongue scraping should be performed on a daily basis, according the Ayurveda. It helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body, improve digestion and cleanse the body by removing toxins and bacteria from your oral cavity.
Scraping your tongue can remove harmful bacteria, decreasing potential cavities and inflammation in the gums. This white coating on the tongue can also result from improper eating, poor digestion, or a reflection of an imbalance somewhere in the gastrointestinal system.
3. Gua Sha & Facial Cupping
When it comes to gua sha and facial cupping, our friends at Sabbia Co are you go-tos! We highly recommend checking out their blog and content for more information on the benefits of these effective practices: https://sabbiaco.com/blogs/sabbiasquad-specialist/what-are-the-benefits-of-facial-massage-gua-sha-and-facial-cupping
Facial cupping is an originally Chinese medicine technique and has been used for centuries, whilst only gaining popularity in the West during recent years. According to our friends at Sabbia Co, “The use of facial cups can help reduce fine lines stimulate collagen, encourage lymphatic drainage, decrease inflammation, and release congestion and toxicity resulting in a radiant complexion”.
- Sculpt and contour the face
- Stimulate the dermis to support collagen and elasticity
- Minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Increase lymphatic flow
- Enhance skin cell renewal
The Gua Sha is a similar tool, that has also been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It aims to improve circulation, alleviate chronic pain and inflammation, and stimulate lymphatic drainage. Gua Sha is performed by scraping the skin firmly in long strokes with a solid massage tool — usually on the back, neck, arms, legs and face.
4. Coffee Body Scrub
Body scrubs are one of the most incredible ways to exfoliate dead skin cells, improve blood circulation and absorb all the benefits of the natural extracts used. Creating your own coffee scrub is sure to leave your skin feeling silky smooth, whilst also being cost-effective, eco-friendly and completely natural.
Here is a simple recipe to get you started… we highly recommend recycling your own ground beans from your morning cup of caffeine!
- 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
- 1/2 cup ground coffee beans
- 1/4 cup raw or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 5 drops of your favourite essential oil
Simply mix these ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
5. Aloe Vera
Plants offer a range of healing properties to all parts of our bodies, and many can be used topically as well. Aloe Vera is one of the most accessible plants that provide immense benefit to the health of our skin. It is rich in nutrients, aids in improving digestion and even boost immunity. Aloe Vera gel is abundant in vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene. Thus, boasting anti-ageing and antimicrobial properties.
Aloe Vera is great at treating sunburn, as it is both cooling and anti-inflammatory. Applying the gel found within the stems of the leaves, help with the protective layer of the skin and also to retain moisture. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals that boost the healing process of sunburn.