Stevie Dance has, by some happy accident, become ITG's resident all-natural beauty proponent—and what's best is that her approach is realistic, not exclusive to organic coconut oil and imported air from some rural mountainous region. In her Top Shelf she mixed RMS with Maybelline, then wrote in with recommendations for paraben-free botanical skin rejuvenators, convinced everyone to smear yogurt in their hair on a hot, sunny day, and dealt with (and defeated) her first breakouts at 29. Now she's back with a new column and even more slightly crunchy beauty advice.
Lately I have heard more and more people talking about wanting to take it back to basics, back to the source. How to achieve change in oneself through the power of the mind, with nature; change with practical resources, with exercise, with diet, with products that have less and do more; taking on new rituals from all sorts of worlds be they far removed, exotic even or just someone else’s reality (which is sometimes exotic enough). Ideas that can propel a shift with the way one feels inside and out. Things most often learnt by word of mouth. It’s The Hippie Grind.
Volume 1: Body Brushing
Everyone’s been talking lately about how it is nearly time to let it all out—the legs, the arms, the midriff. What an intense concept that can be, post winter, even post adolescence, really. Everyone is considering how the hell they can attack that crap that often feels irreversible, like poor circulation at the skin (aka cellulite) or the most acutely unattractive nickname of all: skin dimpling.
This woman I know called Annie has been using dry brushing ever since she heard Miranda Kerr does it when detoxifying. She lives in the Village, still believes in the power of the acai berry and making meals with happy power and such, and considers herself an advocate of the au naturel. She passed this on to me, and now, me to you. It’s effective for a number of reasons, like buffing away dead skin and aiding in the elimination of toxins from the most mega of all organs. Here is a breakdown of dry brushing for you, with some added elements worth experimentation, if curiosity should so compel you:
-Use a natural brush. No synthetics here. Actually, I prefer a copper wool massage brush, as copper is associated with good skin circulation.
-Do it twice a day. This is a morning and night exercise to open up your pores before you jump in the shower, done with a dry brush and dry skin.
-Brush towards the heart. Use long strokes over the entire body from the feet up, and hit all the spots. Legs front and back, the stomach, butt, and arms.
-Keep the pressure firm. Invigorate your skin, but don’t shred it.
-Pay attention to the sweet spots. Be sure to get the the inner thigh and under the arms for lymph drainage.
-Try rubbing on some coconut oil prior to the brushing. It's a slightly different version of the dry brushing technique that takes advantage of the healing properties of this good fat.
-Cold showers. An added bonus for circulation and digestion that is a basis of Kundalini yoga teachings.
-Give it a shot for at least a month. This should be long enough to see if the technique is effective for you.
Follow Stevie on Instagram @stevie_dance