Every day you should carry out body-brushing as part of the anti-cellulite program.
Body-Brushing and Body Scrubs
Everyday an estimated 450g (1lb) of toxins leave the body in sweat carried out through the skin – but only if the pores, through which sweat travels, are clear. Everyday our skin cells regenerate; old ones die, and new ones are created, pushing the old cells away. However, as we age the process slows down. Skin cells die, but new ones to replace them don’t appear as rapidly. This means that the cells aren’t pushed off the surface, so it’s harder for them to shed, and they build up. Cosmetically this creates a dull appearance, but in terms of detox it can cause a blockage that reduces the amount of toxins excreted from the cells. Removing dead skin cells is therefore an important part of the detox process. There are two ways to do this:
Use body scrubs. In health spas, it’s common for a little damp sea salt to be used on dry skin (and not on wet skin as most people think). This is then rinsed off in a shower.
Body-brush. Choose a natural-bristled brush with medium-hand bristles. Synthetic bristles or those that are too hard can scratch the skin. While the skin is dry, use long, firm (but not hard) strokes to brush the whole body one area at a time. Always start with the soles of your feet, because stimulating these actually starts the lymph flowing. Brush smoothly 4-5 times, always in the direction of the heart, moving around the whole body part. Do this around your calves, then your thighs and hips. Now do your arms, chest, torso and back. Finally, brush your stomach. Once you’ve finished, shower or at least rinse the skin off. As well as obviously cleaning the skin, the repeated motion of brushing or scrubbing the body causes the speed of the circulation to increase (helping flush toxins out of the system faster), and this is also believed to promote lymph flow.
Once you’ve finished body-brushing, and after any bath or shower you take, you should apply an external cellulite treatment. No matter what the hype tells you, these will not melt away your cellulite. Instead, you’re aiming to plump up the dermis using moisturizing ingredients (which helps disguise the cellulite), to firm and tone the skin and to boost circulation. Look for creams that contain one or more of the following ingredients:
Retinol This is possibly the most important, since it has been clinically proven to improve skin tone.
Horse chestnut This has been used in research trials to strengthen weakened veins and boost circulation.
Gotu kola This helps build healthy collagen when taken as a supplement and may also work externally.
Caffeine This works as a diuretic, but may also trigger enzymes that switch on cells that cause fat to be released from cells.
Aminophylline This may also help promote fat-burning; it’s certainly been shown to shrink thighs.
If you would prefer to use aromatherapy oils to treat your cellulite, choose oils that strengthen the skin and decrease fluid. A good blend would be: one drop of fennel (do not use this if you are epileptic), one drop of cypress, one drop of grapefruit and two drops of juniper, added to 10ml of carrier oil. Use this for a massage or put it in a warm bath. (Do not use this blend of oils if you’re pregnant.)
Apply your chosen treatment to the affected areas in an upward motion. Don’t knead and press the skin in an attempt to squeeze down the cellulite. This can damage the skin further and also doesn’t aid the lymph flow or the circulation. When rubbing anything into your legs, always use long, gentle strokes. Also carry out a weekly lymph massage.
Use sunscreen. Having a tan disguises cellulite, but sunlight is also the number one degrader of collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis. Just four minutes of sun exposure in high summer can be shown to break them down. If you must have a tan, use a fake one.
This massage should be carried out once a week. It aims to help the body eliminate fluid more effectively, stopping it from being reabsorbed into the tissues. It uses a very basic form of manual lymph drainage to do this, which means that instead of deep probing strokes you should use long, very gentle moves.
For best results, carry out the massage with a blend of essential oils that are designed to flight fat and fluid retention. For example, take two drops of grapefruit oil, two drops of mandarin oil and one drop of black pepper oil and add them to 10ml of carrier oil (test this first, since black pepper can irritate sensitive skins). You can also boost fluid loss by trying steams or saunas. Aim for one a week.
Start on your legs, at the ankles, moving upwards and towards the knees. Work both the front and back of the body. Then move up the thighs, focusing upwards and towards the groin.
Work around the arms, moving upwards from wrist to elbow. Now move past the elbow, massaging the upper arms towards the armpit.
Now massage your torso. The area above your chest, the upper abdomen, should be massaged outwards and either up or down towards the armpits, depending on the area being treated. If someone is massaging your back, strokes on the upper back and shoulder blades should be toward the armpit; neck strokes toward the ears.
Work the lower abdomen. Anywhere under the area of your navel should be massaged toward the groin. If someone is massaging your back, strokes should go upwards.
Living The DETOX Life
If you follow this program for six weeks, you should notice a distinct difference in the amount and severity of your cellulite. You can then continue the program further to see more benefits, or, if you’re happy, follow the advice given here – sadly, getting rid of your cellulite doesn’t mean it won’t come back if you don’t keep things up.
Continue to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and take 1g of vitamin C and 400iu of vitamin E daily.
Get at least 30 minutes of activity daily. This could be formal exercise, or it could just be running up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift.
Monitor your weight. Don’t be obsessive, but if you gain more than 1-1.5kg (2-3lb) cut back on high-calorie foods to stop things in their tracks. The easiest way to lose weight without realizing you’re on a diet is to eat what you normally eat but serve yourself 25 percent less of everything (except fruit and vegetables). This immediately cuts calories by a quarter, and is the least painful way to lose weight.