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Indigo+Canary in Health magazine

A few months ago, Health magazine reached out asking for some quick, easy beauty tips. Always happy to spread some natural beauty love, we shared several of our favorites.

Well, two of our tips made the November issue! Pick up your copy and flip to pages 33 and 34 to spot us.

(And if you’ve found us through the magazine, welcome! You can find out more about the dry brushing technique here and here.) —Aleigh


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Dry Brushing: More Tips & Techniques

Shower Head

One thing I always suggest: take a shower after you dry brush!

It’s been more than a year since I first shared the basics of dry brushing—and yet, I’ve noticed that people keep finding Indigo+Canary with queries about dry brushing* that I haven’t covered. So I thought I’d do a follow-up with some additional, more specific information and tips on equipment and techniques. Have a question to add? Leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the post! —Aleigh

Why does dry brushing leave me bruised? There are a few potential answers here: 1) Your skin is too sensitive for the brush you’re using (or your skin is just sensitive, period). 2) You’re using a brush that’s too rough for your skin. 3) Your technique is a bit too firm and you should use a lighter touch.

Some people bruise no matter how soft the pressure or brush, but your skin will usually build up a bit of a tolerance. So if you like the benefits and can tolerate the bruising (at least temporarily), you may want to keep up the gentle brushing for a few weeks to see if the bruising decreases. Otherwise, try swapping your brush for something a bit more gentle!

Can you dry brush during pregnancy? To get an answer to this question, which is particularly important to me these days, I consulted with Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics. I was concerned that since dry brushing stimulates the lymph system in the same way massage does, it might be a good idea to ditch the dry brushing, at least during early pregnancy. (The traditional rule on massages and pregnancy: no massages before the second trimester, although you should always check with your doctor just in case.) As a doctor and a maker of natural beauty products, she’s always a great resource. Here’s her response:

“Dry brushing is perfectly fine during pregnancy. Only if there is a history of blood clots would I suggest avoiding it, and even then, it’s a super conservative recommendation. It’s nowhere near as deep as massage.”

Can you dry brush with a loofah? Absolutely, yes. Depending on the scratchiness of the loofah and the sensitivity of your skin, you may want a softer tool than a loofah (and I find that it’s usually easier to find softer-bristled brushes if you need one), but you can definitely use a loofah. You can also use a dry washcloth. I prefer a long-handled brush so that I can reach the middle of my back and other tricky areas with ease. But these other tools can absolutely get the job done.

How long until I see results? Well. I’m about to disappoint here, but the answer is, it depends. For starters, every body is different—it’s impossible to give a specific timeframe that will be true for everyone. I can definitely say that you’ll feel results—particularly that glowy, invigorated feeling—right away. But the other potential benefits of dry brushing, such as tightened skin, fewer stretch marks, etc. really depend on your body.


*This blog post is not intended to be used as medical advice, and the author is not a physician.

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Indigo+Canary’s 12 Most Popular Posts Of 2012

This image doesn't have anything to do with this post...but I think it's hilarious. Don't you?

The end of 2012 is approaching, and once again, I’m looking forward to a new year that’s fresh with promise. I’m not one who believes the world is going to end this Friday, obviously! But I wanted to take a moment to look back at your favorite posts* of the year. Here they are, in all of their glory. Enjoy!

Dry Brushing to Detox Your Skin. I am still doing this most days, and I still adore how invigorating—and exfoliating—this daily treatment is.

Get Shiny, Glossy Hair—Naturally. I wrote this story for Breathe magazine; Julie Ebner offered some great, natural tips!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Michelle Witherby. She’s the founder of O&N Collective, and has great advice. She shares her comprehensive approach to natural beauty (and health), and a few of her must-have products.

Your Questions Answered: Laser Hair Removal. I had laser hair removal every six weeks for nearly a year…and answered your questions based on what I learned (and from asking my technician).

Natural Beauty Q&A with Sally Biondo. She’s a fantastic, all-natural makeup artist, and shared her beauty philosophy, her must-have products, and the one bad beauty habit she encourages everyone to break!

Natural Beauty Q&A with Karen Behnke. The founder of Juice Beauty told us about her path to natural beauty and offered some juicy inspiration.

Reader Question: Battling Hormonal Acne. Unfortunately, hormonal acne is something I continue to battle—and I offered up some techniques that can work on just about any type of skin that’s battling a hormonal acne invasion.

Sustainable (and natural) beauty. This story I wrote for Breathe features six natural beauty companies that take a commitment to Mother Nature very seriously.

Let’s talk about: Eyebrow threading. Threading is my preferred method of brow shaping and one of my favorite beauty treatments for a few reasons: it’s affordable, it’s quick, it’s (almost) painless, and it’s natural.

8 Leaps to Take in Your Beauty Routine. For Leap Day, I put together a special list of beauty “leaps” to try in its honor.

Roundup: Green Tea for Beautiful Skin. As an ingredient packed with antioxidants, green tea has taken the natural beauty scene by storm. And since the polyphenol in green tea, ECGC, has been proven to help rejuvenate and heal skin, fight inflammation, and heal acne, I put together a long list of products that include it.

How do you clean your yoga mat? I sought your advice for this post—and I’m so glad I did! There are some really great suggestions in the comments.

Did you have a favorite Indigo+Canary post this year? Any requests for 2013? —Aleigh


*This list doesn’t include any product reviews—I’ll tackle those in another post.

(Image via Leah Tihia™)

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I Tried It: Dry Brushing to Detox Your Skin

Dry Brushing to Detox Your SkinIf you’re looking to add a new detox technique to your daily beauty routine, one of the best options is dry brushing, which helps detox from the outside, in. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and also your body’s ultimate defense between you and the environment. It’s also often referred to as the body’s “third kidney” because of the important role it plays in helping your body eliminate toxins. And just look at this list of benefits:

  • Helps shed dead skin cells to improve skin texture
  • Increases circulation and stimulates your lymph system
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin
  • Tones muscles and tightens skin

Plus, as if all of those benefits aren’t enough, it honestly just feels good. The first thing I noticed when I started dry brushing is that I feel much more invigorated post-shower. Read on to find out how to get started!

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