Between the cold air outside and dry indoor heating, your skin will most likely experience dehydration. That means you'll need to scrub away dead cells so new cells can grow creating healthier, smoother, silky soft skin. An important question is should you use a body scrub or a dry brush? Today, we'll share the pros of both, plus what to look for when purchasing and using both, and then you can decide what is best for you based on your natural skin care goals.
Pros of body scrubs
The main ingredients of a body scrub are usually sugar or various types of salt, which are blended with oils such as jojoba, almond, macadamia, or coconut and can be naturally fragranced with essential oils, lemons or coffee.
Body scrubs exfoliate which remove dry/dead skin cells leaving the skin looking smooth and radiant while gentle massage strokes help improve circulation.
While this can be done at home, having it done at the spa ensures a more thorough technique and brings pampering to a whole new level.
What to look for in a body scrub
The challenge of choosing a natural body scrub depends on your preferred size of exfoliating granules and determining which carrier oils are right for your skin type. Plus selecting a scent that appeals to your senses, and of course a price point that fits your budget.
Dead sea salt: is typically a larger, coarser option for a deeper more vigorous scrub. This can be great for someone with oily, thicker skin or for anyone targeting rough spots like heels and elbows. Salt has detoxifying properties but can be drying and/or irritating to sensitive skin. If that's the case for you, try finely ground sugar or crushed coconut shells used in Pure Fiji's Coconut Crush Scrub.
Cocos Nucifera Shell Powder: Cocos Nucifera Shell Powder is a powder of the finely ground shells of the Coconut. It exfoliates dead/dry skin cells, smoothing and softening skin.
Sugar: is a natural humectant and provides a gentler scrub to salt. It also provides a deeper exfoliation as when the sugar dissolves it releases naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids continuing to smooth away dead skin cells and get skin glowing.
Honey: provides gentle enzymatic exfoliation for the most delicate of skin and provides antioxidant nourishment and hydration.
Coffee: Not only is it an amazing smelling picker-upper, but coffee has also become quite popular in scrubs for its unique agents. Coffee is one of nature's stimulants and is great for cellulite prone areas. Adding chocolate, vanilla, other scents, or oils will leave you feeling alive and well, creating an enjoyable experience each time you exfoliate.
Ingredients and Storage
When purchasing pre-made body scrubs, read the ingredient list carefully and make sure that the product's base is a fit for your skin type. Most skin types are best served by a non-comedogenic oil for whole body use like Pure Fiji's Coconut Sugar Rub.
Whichever scrub or rub you choose, make sure that you follow proper storage and usage guidelines. Store them properly so you avoid contamination from mold, bacteria, and yeast which can happen if it is exposed to a steamy shower environment.
Store your body scrub in a cool dry place, and use a clean, dry scoop type bowl to take just what you need to the shower (or keep exfoliant and oils separate and mix up a batch prior to use).
Pros of dry brushing
The mechanical action of dry brushing is excellent for exfoliating dry winter skin. Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also helps detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage.
What to look for in a dry brush
There's such a wide variety of body brushes available, it's hard to know which type is best. Natural or synthetic? Wood or plastic? Short or long?
Natural bristles for body brushes may be a better option since synthetic bristles can be sharp and leave abrasions on the surface of the skin. Body brushes are often made of boar hair or sisal- which is a type of grass-so whether you're vegan or not, there's a natural bristle brush for you.
Longer handles are best for personal use. They will give you easier access to hard to reach areas, and allow you to use long, firm (yet gentle) strokes.
How to use a dry brush
Body brushing is best used when on dry skin before a bath or shower.
A good rule of thumb is to brush in long, firm-yet gentle-strokes, from the extremities inward towards the heart. It's OK to go over the belly, buttocks, or outer thighs a second time with gentle circular strokes.
Avoid brushing over areas of the skin that are bruised, broken, or have visible varicose or spider veins, or broken capillaries.
Breast tissue can be gently brushed out toward your arm pit but make sure you avoid brushing your nipples. Emphasis should be on the area where your bra band/underwire sits as this is typically the most congested area of breast tissue.
Cleaning and Storage
Don't wash your dry brush after use. Simply tap the dry brush over your sink to remove shed skin cells.
Store in a closed, dry drawer or cabinet. This is important because exposure to heat and humidity can cause microbial contamination.
Never share your body brush for hygienic reasons.
Follow a dry brushing with a soothing bath or shower, then massage the skin with oils like Pure Fiji's Bath and Body Oil.
Regardless of which method you use, exfoliating is a loving act of self-care. Enjoy.