I first read about and started body brushing in early 2000 and was fascinated by all the benefits one simple habit could bring, here are a few:
- improved lymph flow
- improved circulation
- improved immune function
- exfoliates dead skin cells
- clears clogged pores
- helps naturally detox the body
- energizes and refreshes your body
- reduction in cellulite
How to Body Brush / Skin Brush
All you need is a good brush.
One of the most convenient style body brushes I have found is this long handle brush with natural bristles. The removable handle makes it easier to use on legs and arms.
How to body brush
- Avoid bruises, cuts, and varicose veins
- Start with dry skin; the best time is right before you shower
- Avoid face and other delicate areas like breasts
- Start at feet and work your way upwards
- Use light pressure and long sweeping strokes
- Brush towards your heart because lymph flows towards the heart
- Brush in circles around knees, belly button, and breasts
- Try to brush for 5-15 minutes daily (I listen to podcasts while doing my beauty routine)
- Shake brush over wastebasket to remove any dead skin cells
- Shower (optional) to rinse skin
- Wash brush occasionally with a mild soap
and now let's talk about cellulite. We all hate it, we all dread it! One more thing in life that's just not fair? If there was a way to prevent cellulite while also improving our health, who wouldn't do that? Even those of us who already have a bit of cellulite can benefit from the prevention methods.
Factors that can contribute to cellulite
- increased body fat
- fluid retention
- a decrease in collagen production – said to begin in early 20's but a significant reduction occurs in our forties
- poor circulation
- unhealthy diet
- lack of exercise
- hormone imbalances (including the use of birth control pills)
- toxins present in the body
Address any of the factors that might apply to your situation for your best chance at tackling cellulite. Many of these factors combine to create inflammation in the body which can cause cellulite to appear more noticeable.
In addition to body brushing, another method said to be helpful for reducing cellulite is using a Flexible Massage Brush with diluted Grapefruit oil to massage problem areas. Grapefruit oil is very concentrated, so always dilute with a carrier oil before applying to skin / also avoid using grapefruit oil before sun exposure as it can increase sensitivity to UV rays. If you bathe at night, while skin is still wet apply to skin. Just add the grapefruit oil to a carrier oil and massage into targeted areas.
Using Grapefruit oil can increase the benefits of body brushing by stimulating the lymphatic system.
One of the most recognized benefits of grapefruit essential oil and other citrus oils is their positive effect on the lymphatic system, which plays a role in your body's detoxification mechanism. Using grapefruit oil may help boost the activity of lymph glands, thereby preventing problems like poor circulation and cellulite.8
To try it for yourself, mix one to two drops of grapefruit essential oil with carrier oil and massage into cellulite in a kneading pattern. (source)
Another oil I sometimes use with this tool is Hot Cream, which is a blend of oils targeting unwanted cellulite. If you have tired aching or sore muscles, you'll get two benefits from this oil. Just rub it on your problem areas and massage. This does leave a tingly feeling (like from mint) and feels a little less oily and more, sticky? I often rinse this off after using.
In addition to body brushing and massage, avoiding certain foods can help to reduce cellulite from forming.
Foods to avoid
- Trans fats
- Refined flours and grains
Take note that all four of these ingredients are found in almost all fast foods and avoid fast food meals! Other foods can help prevent or reduce cellulite when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Foods to add
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Olive Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Green tea
- Bone Broth
Lifestyle changes that affect cellulite
- An active lifestyle can reduce cellulite so try to get in 10,000 steps per day
- Hight Intensity Interval Training (try these three beginner HIIT workouts), Barre, and Pilates
- Exercises targeting cellulite such as the ones in this article
- Avoid synthetic chemicals, especially styrofoam
- Avoid soy in your diet
- Drink more bone broth
- Supplement with collagen
- A diet high in protein and healthy fats yet lower in carbs
Just a quick note about styrofoam. If you do buy disposable products such as plates, cups, etc., please avoid using styrofoam as much as possible! One of my biggest pet peeves is receiving my coffee in a styrofoam cup from a coffee shop barista even after I tell her, “I'll be drinking my coffee HERE.” It may seem like I am picky but drinking hot liquids out of styrofoam is a big problem for your health. Also, Styrofoam takes “500 years to forever” to decompose. (source)
Plastic wrapped foods, heated in the microwave, contain some of the highest xenoestrogen levels. So do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Avoid drinking coffee or other hot liquids in Styrofoam cups. And store your food in glass containers whenever possible! (source)
If your gym or chiropractors office has a body vibration plate, try to use it as often as possible. Using a vibration plate can also help rid your body of cellulite. While it is useful to stand on one, most experts recommend marching in place and then moving up to doing lunges and squats on the vibration plate to gain the most benefit. Here's a Pinterest board full of vibration plate exercises.
Read more about reducing cellulite here.