With the arrival of fall weather, many people cringe at the thought of their dry skin getting worse. There are few tools that you may not be familiar with, but that are very effective at keeping skin healthy, glowing, and conditioned – dry brushing and argan oil. Both are actually ancient practices, dating back to Middle Eastern and Japanese cultures. But in our Western culture, it’s not something that has been usually taught or recognized in our day-to-day lives. When attending beauty school, I learned about both of these topics as means as both treatments and a healthy routine to adopt daily. Plus, they are easy and affordable to use!
Let’s talk about dry brushing first: this is a method of lightly brushing the skin with a specially designed brush to gently exfoliate body skin, and promote a healthy lymphatic system. There are a bunch of YouTube videos and websites that talk about techniques on how to brush, as well as recommendations on the type of brush. For me, I love Sephora’s Dry Body Brush ($14), since it has a easy to grip design with two circular sections. Dry brushing should occur in the morning, and only take you about 3-5 minutes total. I do caution people with hyper sensitive skin that 3 minutes is usually enough – you don’t want to over-stimulate the skin, or risk irritation. For basic technique, start near the tops of your feet, using the larger of the brush’s sections to start circular, quick motions up your legs and body. I then use the smaller section on my arms, chest and shoulders in the same circular motions. After brushing, shower as normal. The benefits from routine brushing include helping to stimulate circulation, improve lymphatic flow, detox the body, and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
And now let’s chat about argan oil: this oil has been used for centuries in Morocco, in both food and cosmetics. You will see it named or packaged differently within the beauty industry as Moroccan oil or argan oil, but it is essentially the same thing. Argan oil has a high content of Vitamin E, fatty acids, and is more resistant to oxidation than other plant oils, such as olive oil. But the benefit is that it’s easily absorbed into skin, and helps promote healthy moisture balance and skin cells. Some people do dry brush after applying oil to the skin – but I’ve found that this just makes the dry brush a bit gross after a few uses. So, I prefer the other common method of dry brushing first, showering, and then applying oils or lotion after showering. I don’t usually use argan oil just on its own – I especially like to boost my body lotion with a few drops of oil (combining both in the palm of my hand) to help my skin hold moisture. Argan oil mimics the skin’s own sebum, but it does not cause clogging even within combination or oily skin types. I love Trader Joe’s Argan Oil, which is a steal at $6.99. There’s no added fragrance that would irritate skin – it’s just pure, organic argan oil!
Another benefit to having a bottle of argan oil on hand is that it helps tame frizzy hair (just a drop or two), heal dry cuticles, and boosts the effectiveness of any moisturizer. I don’t recommend using it on the face during the day, for two reasons. One, if you have somewhat oilier skin, this can cause your makeup to slide a bit or not last the full day. And two, oil breaks down SPF protection – which you should be wearing during each day! Unless you have extremely dry skin, I suggest using argan oil on your face at night if you typically wear a full face of makeup.
Give these a try, especially if you typically suffer from dry, itchy skin. It’s also great practice to keep up with year round – you’ll notice smoother, radiant skin without having to spend that much!
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