We tend not to pay much attention to the way we slosh body lotion onto our skin, even though the body care experts (hello!) and therapists who really know their stuff always advise applying creams and oils in an upwards direction. And always body brushing up towards your heart. But have you ever wondered why?
Well, if your morning routine involves a quick rub of moisturiser into limbs and arms congratulations, you are at least doing this and it’s better than no moisturiser at all.
But to make that application work even harder, and to experience the benefits even more deeply, you need to do it the right way. Application equals rewards in beauty, just as frequency does. And putting your body products on the right way plays a key role in determining your skin’s capacity to absorb ingredients and your body’s ability to utilise those ingredients. For Legology, skin care application – be it face or body – should always be viewed as a form of lymphatic drainage massage, a self-care process that involves circulating lymph and blood flow around your body to encourage better drainage of toxins and spread of nutrients throughout the skin.
The benefits of this will show in the appearance of your skin and your silhouette.
While a healthy blood circulation brings fresh, nutrient-rich blood to the surface of the skin, giving it glow and tone, a well-functioning lymph works better to clear the body of the excess fluids that cause puffiness and cellulite. Lymph is the network of vessels that clears impurities – bacteria, viruses and other waste – along to be filtered through lymph nodes and metabolised from your system. It’s an effective system but it only moves when you move – unlike your circulation it doesn’t have a heart to pump it around the body. So the more you can do to activate your lymph – either by being more active, daily body brushing or applying body products, the better.
Now here’s the rub. When you brush, or apply body products, applying them in an upwards direction towards the hundreds of toxin-filtering lymph nodes around your body, supports the lymph in its task. It helps your lymph to clear the waste better, to maintain bright skin and reduce the congestion around cells that causes cellulite.
Apply products with a purpose to get the fluid moving beneath your skin – whether it’s cream, scrub or a brush, and work it upwards (lightly with a brush) because the fluid the lymphatic system carries around only travels in one direction, which is up.
When you have the time, be more considered about the application as a means of doing your own lymphatic drainage massage, covering arms, legs and tummy.
These 5 steps can take anything from 5 to 10 minutes:
- To begin, apply product to the palms of your hands and place them on your ribs and taking a slow, deep breath in and out, five times.
- Then massage your neck by stretching and releasing skin in gentle strokes. Repeat the gentle movement under your arms and behind knees.
- Next, apply slow, gentle pressure to your chest using upward strokes and then release.
- Now move your upward strokes to your arms and the outer sides of your body, pulling from the hip bones all the way up to the shoulders. When massaging the stomach, put your hands on top of each other and rub around your belly button in a big clockwise circle using light pressure.
- For your legs, knees, feet, and toes, apply the same motion using smaller strokes.
Weekly lymphatic drainage massages are a good way to reduce fluid retention if you have a tendency for this. But even when you don’t have time for a full lymphatic massage, remember to go upwards when applying product to your body.