Guest Post: Hayley Wood, The Therapeutic Skin Coach
As an esthetician for the last 14 years, I know how hard it can be to break or introduce a habit. Each year, I see my clients commit to a new healthy skin practice and immediately give up just days into their resolution because the introduction of a new habit doesn’t just stick. There has to be a mindfulness established so we can come back to our reasons of “why” we must do something when we find ourselves wanting to quit our goals. Especially if it feels like the new skin goal is not necessary or it’s frivolous.
In 2020, I decided to make myself the accountable one by leading different challenges that are inclusive to anyone looking to shift their relationship with their skin. January started off with a simple challenge of drinking water to start the day. This has helped many of my followers and clients recognize how dehydrated they are and how the skin thirsts for a some h2o right away in the morning. The mindset wasn’t to over-complicate the process, but to simply drink a glass of water before coffee or anything else.
Breaking this habit for myself helped me understand that establishing a new habit includes the following:
For the month of March, I decided to introduce daily dry brushing as my 21-day challenge after being inspired by the folks over at Conscious Coconut. When I think of Conscious Coconut founder, Danielle, there are a few things that immediately come to mind:
Danielle’s enthusiasm for the practice rings in my mind often times when I pick up my dry brush as my motivation to carve the time out to actually do this practice. For as simple as it is, I hate to admit that it is a practice that I’ve never fully committed to a self-care ritual before. It’s one of those things that I simply forget and think “I’ll do it tomorrow” instead. But in truth, dry brushing is a habit I’ve decided I’ve spent enough time avoiding and am finally ready to commit to in 2020.
There also needs to be at least one good enough reason why you choose a new habit. For me, dry brushing is the ultimate act of skin care. Why? Because it encourages you to take an inventory of your whole self instead of just the appearance of your skin from the neck up.
Our bodies are covered in skin as a protective barrier to the outside world. We often feel our most confident when our skin is reflecting how healthy we are. Dry brushing isn’t just a form of natural and gentle exfoliation, but a way to activate blood circulation. How? Your guide during this practice is to motion the brush in the direction of the heart from wherever you are on the body. The gentle motion stimulates the lymphatic fluids located immediately under the dermis to flow through the series of pathways of the body. When the body is in flow of these fluids, you are likely to operate with more energy as waste is removed more effectively as well as nutrients and oxygen is pumped through the system through the lymphatic fluids. The body itself starts to feel as if you just allowed it to breathe deeply.
When the lymph is blocked, the skin starts to compensate by eliminating waste through it’s filtration functions. Exercise, body work, and overall mindfulness of the parasympathetic nervous system can really help the lymph flow well again, the practice of dry brushing can have a lasting impact on this important system as well. Plus, it’s generally an affordable and quick way to get the body flowing again. The result is a burst of energy and smoother skin!
So as part of my #2020skingoals resolution, I am starting a 21 day challenge of dry brushing with the Conscious Coconut Dry Brush Bundle on March 9th. You can follow along on my instagram stories where I’ll be sharing my experience and getting to truly care for my skin as a whole. My goal is to invite as many people to this challenge so we can all enjoy the benefits of this practice together. Let’s shed our winter skin and get glowing for spring!
Article written by: Hayley Wood, The Therapeutic Skin Coach