Winter Beauty Ritual: Dry Body Brushing

As the winter season settles in, many of us will unfortunately experience the discomfort of dry skin. Noticing recently that my legs had more scales than Tick-Tock croc from the Peter Pan movie I wondered why our skin gets so dry in winter? And, what can we do to alleviate the problem?  A practice which I have recently added to my winter beauty ritual is dry body brushing.  Dry body brushing not only promotes skin health but also offers a myriad of benefits for overall well-being. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. In this guide, we’ll explore: A combination of environmental factors and lifestyle changes can contribute to winter dry skin, including: Low Humidity Levels During winter, the air tends to be drier, with lower humidity levels. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and indoor heating systems further contribute to this by drying out the air inside. Consequently, skin is more prone to losing moisture, leading to dryness. Hot Showers While a hot shower may feel soothing in cold weather, it can strip the skin of its natural oils. Hot water can break down the lipid barriers in the skin, making it more susceptible to dryness and irritation. Opting for shorter, lukewarm showers can help retain the skin’s natural moisture. Reduced Sebum Production Cold weather can slow down the production of sebum, the skin’s natural oil. This oil acts as a protective barrier, preventing water loss. With decreased sebum production, the skin becomes more susceptible to dryness and flakiness. Inadequate Hydration Cold temperatures may reduce our sensation of thirst, leading to decreased water intake. Hydration is crucial for maintaining skin health, and insufficient water intake can contribute to dry skin. Ensuring an adequate fluid intake during winter is essential. Lack of Sun Exposure While excessive sun exposure can be harmful, moderate sunlight provides the skin with vitamin D, which plays a role in skin health. Reduced outdoor activities and limited exposure to sunlight during winter may impact the skin’s overall health. Winter Skincare Routine To combat dry skin during winter, it is essential to adopt a skincare routine that addresses these factors. This includes dry body brushing, moisturising, staying hydrated, taking shorter and lukewarm showers, and protecting the skin from harsh winds. Understanding the causes of winter dryness empowers individuals to make informed choices in caring for their skin during the colder months. Benefits of Dry Body Brushing Dry body brushing has a number of benefits and I highly recommend that you consider adding it into part of your winter beauty ritual. The practice of dry body brushing can help with: Dry body brushing effectively removes dead skin cells, promoting skin renewal and leaving you with a smoother, more radiant complexion. The gentle pressure of dry brushing stimulates blood flow, enhancing circulation and oxygenating the tissues. This can contribute to a healthier, more vibrant appearance. Dry brushing supports the lymphatic system by helping to remove toxins and waste, potentially reducing inflammation and boosting immune function. Dry body brushing helps break down fat deposits and improves lymphatic drainage.  As such, while not a miracle cure, some individuals report a reduction in the appearance of cellulite through regular dry brushing. How to Dry Body Brush: A Step-by-Step Guide Select the Right Brush Choose a dry body brush with natural bristles. Ensure it has a handle for easy reach, and the bristles are firm but not too harsh on your skin. Begin with Dry Skin Always start with dry, clean skin. You can dry brush before or after a shower, but the key is that your skin should be dry.  That said, if you follow your dry brushing session with a shower you will wash away the loosened skin cells. Start at Your Feet Begin brushing at your feet and move upward. Use long, sweeping motions towards your heart. The idea is to follow the natural flow of your lymphatic system, aiding in detoxification. Brush in Circles When brushing your joints (knees and elbows), use circular motions. This helps stimulate the lymph nodes in these areas. Gentle Pressure Apply gentle pressure. The goal is to stimulate, not to scrub the skin vigorously. If you’re new to dry brushing, start with lighter pressure and adjust as you become accustomed. Abdominal Direction When brushing your stomach, brush in a clockwise motion. This follows the direction of your digestive system and can aid in promoting healthy digestion. Back Brushing Use an upward motion on your back, towards the heart. If your brush has a long handle, it can be helpful for reaching the middle of your back. Brush Your Arms Brush from your hands towards your shoulders. Again, use circular motions on the joints. Neck and Décolletage Be gentle when brushing the sensitive skin on your neck and chest. Use upward strokes towards the heart. Face Exclusion Avoid dry brushing your face, as the facial skin is more delicate. Opt for a specialized facial brush if you want to include facial brushing in your routine. It is recommended that for optimal results you dry brush 2-3 times a week. Be mindful not to overdo it, as excessive brushing may irritate the skin. You should spend about 2-5 minutes on each section and the entire process should take around 5-10 minutes.  That said, I must admit that I certainly don’t spend that long and I am definitely seeing a marked improvement in my skin. Be sure to follow up your dry brushing session by applying a moisturizer or body oil to keep your skin hydrated. Caring for Your Body Brush Clean your brush regularly to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and bacteria. Use a gentle soap or shampoo, and let it air-dry completely between uses. Consistency is Key Like any

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Summer Morning Routine Ideas

Summer Morning Routine Ideas

Updated: June 10, 2024 Waking up early sets you up for a successful day ahead. It can also allow you to start new habits, most of which you would never have the time for by waking up later.  By waking up earlier than those who choose not to, you are already ahead of the game. Imagine if by mid-day you have already practised self-care, run errands, got the cleaning done and cooked the meals for the day? Amazing right? Summer is a season for the outdoors. There is so much to do, so many places to go to, and so many memories to be made. That is why having a productive summer morning routine is necessary in order to make the most out of your summer.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. Hello Summer!! With the change of season, any daily routines need to be tweaked to accommodate changes to your schedule. If during the summer you have an earlier start at work, waking up earlier than usual will help you avoid stress and anxiety about all the things that need to be done.  If like myself, you are fortunate enough to have summers off from work, then having a good morning routine in place will help you make the most out of your afternoons. Funnily enough, I find time management during the summer more of a challenge. In the winter my afternoons are spent at home, whilst during the summer, I spend them at the beach, which ultimately means I have less time to do house chores. This year as an added bonus, I have to make time for blog work.   Every year when June rolls around and I get to the last day of work, I feel excited at the prospect of having extra time on my hands. The opportunity to spend more time with my grandkids, read as many books as I want,  trips to the beach, late night walks….there is so much to do. However, a few weeks in and I am already walking around like a lost soul. I am after all a creature of habit and a lack of routine does NOT sit well with me.  Therefore, this summer I am determined to maintain some of the discipline I have acquired during the long winter months. Furthermore, for the first time ever I will be working from home on the blog, so that means I need to get myself organised.  Kick Start Your Day With These 8 Steps For A Productive Summer Morning Routine  I strongly believe that a good day starts with self-care. A chance to ground yourself, plan your day, and get a workout done, in other words, time for you. The best time to practice self-care as a busy mum is first thing in the morning. 1 – Early Wake Up If you’ve already read my post, My Self-Care Morning Routine, you will know that I wake up at 6 am most mornings. At least I try, but some days I have to prioritise sleep. Anyway, during the summer I am changing it to 7 am. Mostly because I know I will go to bed later than usual and I don’t have to go to work. Waking up at 7 am still gives me plenty of time before my family wakes up. If you have to work, I suggest you try waking up a bit earlier.  2 – Hydrate As soon as I wake up I reach for the water bottle by my bedside table. Hydration during the summer months is crucial for our well-being. The best thing you can do as you open your eyes is provide your body with much-needed hydration. Not only will it help you to flush out accumulated toxins in your body, and boost your metabolism, but it can also help maintain a good immune system. If you fancy turning your morning water into a detox drink, why not squeeze in a few drops of lemon? Or check out this handy drinking water bottle. It keeps me motivated during the day and is ideal for the gym. Want to boost your immune system? Check out our blog on 12 Ways To Boost Your Immune System. 3 – Meditate Every morning, whether it’s winter or summer or any other season for that matter, meditation is a must. Sticking to a consistent meditation practice is the key to success.  Grab your headphones and find a comfortable sitting position. I normally open Youtube on my phone and follow a guided meditation. Two great channels for meditation are – The Mindful Movement or Great Meditations. It takes me from fifteen to twenty minutes. There are also plenty of apps for your phone that you can download.  Other times I just want to sit in silence for ten minutes and do some breathwork. When I manage to ground myself and stay in the present moment, I always feel so much lighter afterwards. My mind is like a loudspeaker on repeat, voicing all the things it ‘thinks’ I need to worry about and then some. Meditation grants me the ability to quiet my thoughts and harness inner peace, which is what I strive for more than anything.  4 – Thirty Minute Workout or Go For A Walk It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you move your body. I have recently started lifting weights again, after almost a year. Back in the day, I used to work out for over an hour. I don’t have the patience for it anymore, so I give it thirty minutes and then I head for the shower. Thirty minutes is better than nothing.  On the days that my husband is off work, we go on an hour’s walk. Stretch the legs,

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My Morning Self-Care Routine

My Self-Care Morning Routine

We live in a fast-paced world. One filled with jobs, deadlines, carpools, meals to cook, children to feed…..the list is never-ending. So with this in mind, it’s clear that self-care has become not only a necessity but a MUST.  How else are we supposed to recharge our batteries? If we want the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves, then taking a time-out is the only way to go. At the end of the day, you can’t pour from an empty cup!  This is the reason why I decided enough was enough, and I introduced a self-care morning routine into my daily life.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. IT BECAME A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP All of my life I have enjoyed a love-hate relationship with my alarm clock. The snooze button was my ally. I believed that waking up with enough time to make myself look human, get the kids ready and then rush out the door was me being efficient. I mean, I was rarely late, but I was always stressed out, and always tired.  Fast forward to the current version of ME. My bedtime is at 10 pm, and I wake up at 6 am. And guess what? I have never been happier or more productive in my life. My mornings have become my favourite part of the day. By the time the hand on the clock hits 8 am, I have already had two hours of just me time. Two precious hours just for myself. There is no worrying about anyone else’s schedule, there is no cooking or ironing. It’s me and the quiet.  A time to nourish my soul and ground myself. A time to practice gratitude for my blessed life. Simply put, it’s time for me and only me.  AN OPPORTUNITY TO SET MY INTENTION FOR THE DAY As I write this blog post I find myself in a privileged position and not one that every mother is fortunate to be in. I only work two hours a day, and I don’t have to be at work until 11:30 am. However, I still have a teenager at home who needs to be monitored so that he doesn’t end up going to school late every day. Realistically I could sleep in every day, but the beauty of it is that I choose not to.  My mornings are peaceful. It allows me to set my intention for the day ahead. Most of the time, when I start my mornings on the right foot, the day just keeps getting better.  Having said that, this hasn’t always been my reality. At one point I was a single mum of two with a full-time job, so I do know a little bit about feeling overwhelmed with the stressors of life.  GIVE SELF-CARE A TRY Practising self-care adds quality of life and you won’t know how you feel about it until you give it a try. Let me share with you my morning routine. Take into account that what works for me, might not work for you, but at the end of the day, you can customise your routine to adapt to your needs.  1. Wake Up at 6 am During the cold winter months, waking up at 6 am was not a walk in the park. However, I have also learned that doing things out of my comfort zone, helps me build self-confidence. I use Mel Robbins 5 second rule to get out of bed. She teaches this technique in her book The 5 Second Rule. Hitting the snooze button is no longer an option, as hard as it may seem.  2. Drink Water The moment I set my feet on the ground, I grab the bottle of water that sits on my bedside table and I drink. Almost half a litre before I even stand up. Not only will the intake of water help me to wake up, but it is also a great way to help boost the immune system. Drinking water first thing in the morning will help you flush out the stomach and balance the lymphatic system.    3. Meditate By 6:10 am I am sitting on my sofa, headphones on and about to start a guided meditation.  Meditating never came easy to me. My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, one doesn’t end before another one starts. Most of the time, these thoughts are negative. It can be about life, health, my kids, my marriage, you name it, my thoughts have it covered. Then again I am also as stubborn as a mule, which is why I can proudly say I have almost perfected the art of meditation. Don’t get me wrong, some days are hard. And yet, most days I am able to quiet my mind and feel my body go into a state of total relaxation.  I can guarantee you there is no better way to start your morning than with a calm mind and ready to face whatever the day throws my way.  Meditating has helped me build my self-awareness. Now when a bad thought starts nipping away at my mind, I stop it almost immediately before it can take root and cause mayhem. 4. Stretch My Body I meditate for around 20 minutes, which means that by 6:30 am I am ready to stretch my body.  We bought a yoga mat a few years back so when I finish my meditation, I lay it out on the living room floor, put on some relaxing music in the background and stretch. Nothing too strenuous, just light stretches. It feels great to release the tension accumulated in my body after 8 hours of lying down in bed.  I normally concentrate on stretching my calves, hamstrings and hip flexors along with

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