SKIN SERIES | Let's talk circulation

SKIN SERIES | Let's talk circulation

We all want glowing skin. That's a given. But sometimes even your most expensive face oil and holy grail highlighter just aren't doing the trick. What gives? Poor circulation, my friend. It's time to give it a boost. Healthy circulation is vital for achieving that lustrous, gorgeous complexion that you crave. It efficiently moves toxins from your system, oxygenates cells, and keeps hormonal balance in check. The result? An enviable glow. 

Let's make it happen: 

(1) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We all know the havoc dehydration can wreak. Dehydration leads to constipation, sallow skin, tight muscles, and an all-around feeling of awfulness. I know you need your coffee and that glass of wine from time to time, but there's no need to throw in the hydration towel. Keep a water bottle on your nightstand and carry it with you EVERYWHERE throughout the day. If you drink a cup of coffee, chase it with some water. Easy as that. 

Tip - Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon. Lemon juice provides oh so important Vitamin C, aids in digestion, and balances pH. Why warm? Warm water increases blood flow to your digestive system providing the perfect jumpstart to your day!

(2) Dry Brush. At this point, you've heard about dry brushing, but you likely haven't incorporated it into your daily routine. Who has time for one. more. thing. But it only takes a quick five minutes. I swear. Dry brushing boosts circulation and stimulates lymphatic drainage. Your lymph system clears cellular waste from your blood stream, but unlike your circulatory system, it needs a little help from YOU to get moving. That's where dry brushing and hydration and everything else in this post comes in! Bonus - dry brushing is an excellent exfoliator that makes skin feel incredibly soft and supple.

Tip - Seek out a brush with bristles that aren't too soft, but aren't so firm that the practice feels excruciating. It should feel slightly uncomfortable though (think, intense exfoliation), especially in the beginning. Don't worry, your skin will quickly build up a fantastic tolerance. 

(3) Massage. Even if a standing appointment for a professional massage is out of the question, you can still incorporate massage into your daily skincare ritual. This practice not only stimulates lymphatic drainage and boosts circulation, but it also calms the nervous system. Plus, it allows me to chat about my favorite topic - oil cleansing! Oil cleansing provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate facial massage into your routine. So take your time with it! Instead of rubbing the oil around for a few seconds before rinsing it off, spend a few minutes massaging your skin. Spend time massaging your favorite facial oil into your skin as well. This will increase blood flow and has the added benefit of maximizing absorption of the oil. And don't forget to give your body some love too. Grab your favorite body oil and engage in a little self-massage! The ancient practice of abhyanga, aka self-massage, is grounding, relaxing, and you guessed it, boosts circulation. 

Tip - One of my very favorite people in the world, Julie Clark, has created an instructive video demonstrating a facial massage technique that she calls her “Natural Facelift Ritual.” Game changing barely begins to cover it. 

(4) Move. Remember how I mentioned that your lymphatic system relies on you to get moving, well, exercise is an excellent option for making that happen. Walking, yoga, running... do whatever inspires you! 

Tip - Rebounding is an especially effective exercise for stimulating lymphatic drainage. Who doesn't like bouncing on a trampoline?  

(5) Get those legs up! This is perhaps my favorite way to boost circulation - sit on the ground, scoot your butt up against a wall, and lift those legs up. It might feel awkward in the beginning, but it really helps to stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory systems. Plus, it's insanely relaxing. 

Tip - Engage in a little deep breathing while you're at it. Breathe in for a count of five, hold for a count of five, breathe out for a count of five, hold for a count of five, and repeat three times! 

Don't be surprised if glowing skin isn't the only benefit of the above practices - prepare for better digestion, a calmer mind, and a little extra pep in your step!