The integumentary system, or the skin, is the largest organ in our bodies. So why not give it all the love and attention it deserves? The skin is a power-sponge absorbing whatever is smeared on it. Yet we often forget this when we apply deoderents, make-up and lotions containing heavy metals such as aluminum and arsenic.
While being an important toxin eliminator in the body, the skin can be clogged with wastes and dead skin leading to blemishes and general toxicity. By dry skin brushing before showering or going to bed every night, you promote the lymph (immune system) to release toxins and wastes more effectively. The skin forms a new layer every day. Brushing it removes old, dead layers leading to softer, smoother, healthier skin and more efficient detoxification. The light stimulation of the nervous system also tightens the skin and tones underlying muscles.
Be sure to start gently using firm long upward strokes from the fingers and toes toward the heart and groin and counter-clockwise strokes around the abdomen. Loofa sponges, a dry towel, natural fiber brushes, or light pressure with your fingertips all work great.
Other skin health tips:
1. Ensure that whatever you apply to your skin is free of parabens, mineral oil, petroleum-based ingredients, dioxane, fragrances, dyes, and alcohols. If you don't want to eat it, then you don't want to put it on your skin. Use natural soaps, deoderants and lotions like JASON or Tom's products or make your own!
2. Drink plenty of water every day. Half your weight in ounces. (160 lb individual needs 80 oz of water each day). Since skin is a giant sponge, we need to continue to rinse it of toxins from the inside out.
3. Eat plenty of good fats like avocados, nuts and ground seeds (flax is great!). Omegas (EPA and DHA) are highly beneficial for inflammation and skin conditions. Talk to Dr. Birr about taking a quality fish oil supplement every day.
4. End your showers in a cool spray. The decrease in temperature helps to close pores and prevent clogging/blemishes.
5. Optimize digestion. The cause of many skin disorders begin in the gut. Have constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain? Call Origins today to discuss how you can improve digestion, immunity, and skin health.
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Dr. Alicia McCubbins is a naturopathic physician who strives to educate, motivate and inspire. Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions so that we may collectively grow through knowledge.