If I asked most people if having a shower or bath is a necessary basic for health and beauty, they would say, of course. But, as usual, I am learning that there are right ways to do it, that are better for your body and wrong ways to do it.
Over the years I have slowly changed the way I shower. Unfortunately, it does mean giving up some of the luxurious aspects of showering and bathing and I know we all like pampering ourselves at the end of a long day at work.
However, overall I am seeing the results, especially my skin. Softer, more hydrated and no irritation.
*Body brushing. Benefits the body inside and out.
You need a good quality, quite firm, natural bristled brush. Start from the bottom of the feet and use long circular strokes toward the heart and from the fingertips to the chest. Not too hard though. Your skin should not be red afterwards. Do this daily before showering.
It removes dead skin cells. Helps reduce cellulite. Helps with immune system function as well. It helps the lymphatic system carry away toxins, pollutants and waste from the body cells. Where it is all delivered to the liver and kidneys ready for excretion.
It invigorates you.
This is one, I admit, I don’t do all the time. It does take balls of steel.
At times I have done it regularly, the body does get used to it. Your skin ends up feeling like silk and your complexion brightens.
At the end of your warm shower, a blast of cold water for a couple of minutes does the trick. (I suggest caution if you have any medical conditions where this would not be such a good idea. In that case, check with your doctor)
It enhances your immune system, gets you motivated, improves circulation, tones the skin, speeds metabolism and helps with conditions such as varicose veins and the daily aches and pains.
*Don’t always use soap.
I go to the gym several times a week and get full on sweaty, therefore showering every day is a necessity. I usually do this without soap. Just plenty of warm water to get the sweat off. There are some things, however, I need to do every day and my ‘pits and bits’ always get a lathering with some natural bar soap but everything else just water.
At the end of the week, I ‘treat’ myself to a longer shower with a gentle, chemical free body wash. Personally, I don’t think the average person gets that dirty in a day but that’s my opinion.
In the end, even with the gentlest of soaps, they still create a lather. That lathering action does take off the protective layer of natural oils from your skin and can leave it ultra dry and irritated. Without that layer, skin ages faster.
*Throw away the loofah.
Your fluffy, colourful loofah looks delightful but I have a feeling it wouldn’t look the same under a microscope.
Your loofah, once you use it, traps dirt and skin cells inside. Once it is left in a moist bathroom, bacteria, fungus, yeast and mould multiplies in it. Use it again and you are literally wiping this all over you. Any small scratches, cuts or near the mouth or genitals and all this can get into the body.
Better to use a washcloth that you can dry out after each shower and change and wash every couple of days. If you can’t give up your loofah, replace it every month and after use, leave it in a place to dry out thoroughly.
*Run the shower a couple of minutes before getting in.
On the same bacteria theme here. Shower heads, especially plastic ones are another area that germs and bacteria can lurk. Clean regularly and replace the plastic ones often.
*Keep them short.
Keep your shower under 10 minutes long and warm, not too hot. Any longer and you are washing away natural oils in the skin, leading to dry, irritated skin that ages quicker. Baths are wonderful for a tired aching body but don’t have them too often for the same reasons.
*Keep it natural and organic.
We are all fans of natural here. Especially in our toiletries. Natural health shops, online, even supermarkets are doing natural, organic brands now. The less ingredients, the better. Toxic nasties should not be anywhere near your body.
I am a fan of homemade body scrubs and they are super easy to make. Combine coconut oil, olive oil or any good organic cold pressed oil. Peppermint (energising), lavender (calming) and other essential oils depending on your mood.
Choose your scrub. Sea salt (fine to course) Sugar (white fine or course brown) oatmeal (sensitive and irritated skin) Coffee grounds (anti oxidant) Herbs finely chopped such as rosemary are wonderful and therapeutic.
Experiment and create your own personal blends. You can’t go too wrong and there are plenty of good recepies online also.
Use gentle circular movements. Warm water rinse and as with every shower.
Pat, don’t rub, dry.
OK Button Babies. It’s not the same without you. Give us the ‘dirty” on how you shower. Whats your secret?