Dry Brushing

As a little girl, my mother used to do this process on me called dry brushing.

I was born with eczema on over 90% of my body and suffered with dry, scaly skin. I also had hyper-pigmentation on my neck which is a condition where patches of skin are darker than the surrounding skin. The darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. I had this across my neck, and in the 70’s there weren’t lasers to help. Once my eczema would dry and scale over, my mother used a dry brush to scrub the dry skin from the eczema off my body and to scrub the pigmentation off my neck. It was an incredibly painful process that left my neck red and raw for a few days, but it worked. I certainly would NOT recommend dry brushing skin with eczema and using the process to remove hyper-pigmentation.

I had forgotten all about dry brushing until I watched Tati discuss it in one of her recent skin care YouTube videos. The first thing Tati talks about in this video is her dry brushing process. lilykoi hawaii also has an exceptional video on dry brushing. I actually prefer Lily’s video. I made the decision to start dry brushing so I headed out to the store to pick one up.  I bought the ecoTools dry body brush.

 

Natural bristles are recommended, but this one is made with cruelty-free synthetic bristles. I would rather have natural bristles; I ordered this trio from Amazon:

dry brush

The ecoTools brush works pretty well, but I don’t feel like it does much on my feet.  After each brushing, my skin from my calves up to my neck tingled. I felt as though my skin was awakened. My colored tattoo looks brighter and the overall appearance of my skin is brighter and healthier.

Once I received my dry brushing trio, I decided to try dry brushing my face. I wasn’t quite sold on dragging a dry brush across my face, but I did it first thing in the morning after dry brushing my body and it felt amazing! After my shower, my face appeared brighter and I noticed fewer blackheads (gross, I know) on my nose. I just take the brush and brush my face in circular motions, including my chin and even my ears.  I’ve been dry brushing my face daily now for two weeks and my skin is brighter, the blackheads on my nose have greatly diminished, the cystic acne I had on my chin for months is almost gone and the overall appearance of my skin is incredible!  I swear if you told me there’d be a day that I’d be dragging a dry brush across my face, I’d think you were freekin’ nuts. I thought my battery-operated facial brush was giving my face a good clean, but it really isn’t. I’ll dry brush and continue to use my battery-operated facial brush for cleansing, but I owe the refreshed, bright, blackhead-free face to my dry brushing.  I do use the gloves to wash my body, and they’re amazing. I am more than pleased with this product.

Here are great tips on dry brushing from Organic Spa Magazine (click here for more):

  1. Beginning with the soles of your feet, use swift upward strokes and brush from the feet up the legs, working toward your heart. Repeat five times.
  2. Brush from the ankles to the knees on all sides of the legs. Repeat five times.
  3. Once you’ve covered your lower body, move to your hands and work up your arms. Brush from the wrist to the elbow on each surface of the arm (front, back, inside, outside) and repeat for the area between the elbow and shoulder. Repeat five times.
  4. Next, using a long-handle brush—or ask your partner to help—brush your back. Beginning with your lower back, stroke from the bottom of the spine up to the bottom of the shoulders blades, or as high as you can reach. Do this for the center, left and right sides of the lower back. Repeat five times.
  5. Last, work on your abdomen (moving in a clockwise direction to follow the movement of the colon), chest and neck. It’s best to avoid your face as facial skin is
    too sensitive.
  6. Brush for about three to five minutes until your skin is slightly tingly.
  7. Shower after you’ve dry brushed your entire body to wash off dead skin. Alternate between the hottest water temperature and the coldest. This stimulates circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.

Dry brushing is said to not only exfoliate, but also improves blood circulation, breaks down cellulite, and helps skin to absorb nutrients by unclogging pores. I highly recommend dry brushing for all the incredible benefits aside from smooth and soft skin. I have had such amazing results in just a few weeks of dry brushing.

Do you dry brush? How has dry brushing helped your skin?

❤ Cherilyn Thank You For Reading

Blogmas! (Day 15) Another Early Christmas Present to Myself

This Blogmas post is going to be a bit different. We’re going to get a little serious here. I titled this Another Early Christmas Present to Myself because I was going to wait until the first of the year. But this is something that can’t wait, and though money is tight during the holidays, this was a gift I needed to give myself. Here’s how it went down:

A sun spot I have had on my leg for about 7-8 years started to change. At first it developed redness around the top edge, and looked a bit larger. Then within a week, the entire spot was red and itchy. Then a few days later it definitely grew in size and was a dark red.  The photos don’t really show just how dark red it was, but it looked like a blood blister.

During all this spot changing, I was googling like crazy to see if I should be worried or if I should wait until the first of the year when my health insurance kicks in. The answer was a no. The spot would not look the same if it was split in half, it had grown significantly in size and was a deep red in color. It went from a light tan freckle color to blood red in less than two weeks.

I headed to the dermatologist on Friday, December 1st at 9:30am.

The doctor could not say anything other than there was definite cause for concern because of its fast progression. She did a punch biopsy, which removed the entire spot from the inside out, stitched me up with three stitches on the inside of my leg and three on the outside and sent me on my way with instructions to return on December 15th to have the stitches removed.

IMG_9318

The biopsy results would take a week, however, the dermatologist called me a few days later with the results:

Precancerous, but the biopsy removed it all.

When I got the call, I was at work, sitting at a poker table. We’re not supposed to be on our phones at the table, but this qualified as a call to take no matter what. After I hung up, I almost started crying because I hadn’t slept in weeks and now I could stop worrying. Under normal circumstances family is the first to find out these things, however, since I was at work and sitting on a poker table,  all my players and coworkers were the first to know. 🙂 I can’t even begin to describe how overjoyed I was, and still am, with the outcome. ❤

My message to you is DO NOT WAIT. If you notice something funny, even a slight change, DO NOT WAIT to have it checked. I had three spots checked and the other two were nothing. Even better if it turns out to be absolutely nothing. Please know that melanoma is a fast and aggressive cancer. Who knows what the outcome would have been had I waited a couple more months? The spot had changed so quickly in a 2 week period that had I waited, I don’t want to think about it because I didn’t wait. And the spot was removed. And those precancerous cells are no longer there.

This would qualify as the best early Christmas present to myself EVER.

❤ Cherilyn Blogmas2 Thanks for Reading

I Work Out

Last week I signed up to Crunch Fitness.  Tomorrow night I do my first Belly Butt and Thighs Bootcamp class.  I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not looking forward to it.  I mean, I’m going to hurt afterwards.  While the reward will be worth it, all I’ll be thinking about while sweating away the Snickers bar I had for lunch is stopping at the gas station on the way home and buying another Snickers bar.

I kid, I kid.  While I do partake in eating unhealthy food from time to time, I do not partake often because I don’t like the way I feel after; sluggish and heavy.

It’s been about 2 years since I’ve worked out in a gym atmosphere.  I’m not easily intimidated by things, but my anxiety likes to tell me that I am.

I don’t much do or keep to New Year resolutions.  I tend to create goals later in the year to avoid the pressure. 🙂

Do you work out?  What goal(s) do you have for yourself, fitness wise? Do you have a favorite class or routine?