Is your skin ready for the summer? The winter is an extremely dry time that leaves our skin dull, dry and lifeless. Thankfully Joy McCarthy's teaching us her top three ways to get your skin ready for summer!
1. Fish Oil Supplements
Take a fish oil supplement of at least 1500 mg omega 3's every single day. This will help you moisturize from the inside out. Think of omega 3's as your body's internal moisturizer. They reduce inflammation throughout the entire body so they reduce skin's redness while increasing your skin's natural moisture. They also help reduce signs of aging by smoothing the skin.
Dry skin brushing is the process of brushing our skin when it's dry (not wet) with a natural bristle brush in order to stimulate circulation of the lymphatic system. It helps to remove the top layer of old, dead skin and opens the pores, encouraging detoxification and improving skin tone and colour.
The benefits of dry skin brushing are endless. By starting to dry skin brush now you can get rid of skin dullness, eliminate dead skin cells, reduce cellulite and rejuvenate your skin.
What to use: You want to use a natural-fiber brush with a wood or bamboo handle. The bristles should be comfortably uncomfortable. That is, they should stimulate but not scratch the skin. Test the brush out on your arm at the health food store. Joy’s favourite brand is the Merben dry skin brush which you can get here.
How to brush: Apply just enough pressure that the brush feels stimulating or "tingly." It should not hurt. You may see "chalky" white marks on your skin for a short time after brushing. This is normal.
Where to brush: Start with the bottom of your feet and work up your body, moving the brush in a circular motion toward your heart. Make sure you spend more time where you have lymph nodes, such as the back of your knees, inside the elbows and your armpits. When you reach your breasts, brush toward your armpits and around your nipples to stimulate lymphatic drainage.
How often: Dry skin brushing should be done three to four times a week on dry skin before showering or bathing.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Everyone knows how important moisturizing is, but we couldn’t talk about getting your skin ready for summer without mentioning it. There are a variety of different oils, lotions and butters you can use. Joy likes to avoid chemicals and preservatives so she actually made her own body butter called Smooth Like Butta, which you can get here.
Two of her favourite ingredients are mango butter and cocoa butter. Mango butter is intensively moisturizing. It's extracted from the kernel of the mango so it's not normally sold on its own. It can soften even the driest skin and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. Cocoa butter is used to moisturize and heal the skin, rich in antioxidants to prevent skin damage.
You can also go to your local health food store and buy either shea butter or coconut oil to start moisturizing today. Shea butter is rich in vitamins A and D which help to protect the skin from damage and heal skin irritations. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer with natural antibacterial properties.