Our skin is a reflection of the body’s inner harmony. As I’ve already shared in Natural Secrets for Beautiful Clear Skin much of our skin’s appearance has to do with how well hydrated we are, how balanced our diet is, and how well we’re avoiding and eliminating toxins. However, it’s also possible to experience holistic health by treating the outside of the skin too. I love to combine 2 ancient Ayurvedic practices for the skin that create systemic benefits. This morning skin care routine will nourish your whole body, boost your energy, and improve your mood!
Continue reading or scroll down for my two instructional videos.
Why You Should Adopt a Morning Skin Care Routine
Morning time (between 3-7am) is related to the Lung and Large Intestine organs, according to Chinese Medicine, which is also related to the skin. So it’s important to nourish the skin at this time to bring balance to those organs. The opposite is also true, that this is the best time to do a deep breathing practice and stimulate bowel movements to support clear, healthy skin.
Working with the skin can be both invigorating and calming, which is a wonderful way to start the day. Taking the time to connect with yourself with touch – a powerful form of self-love – is also a huge aspect of achieving holistic health.
Combining the Ayurvedic rituals of Dry Skin Brushing (Garshana) and Ayurvedic Oil Massage (Abhyanga) in the morning will jump start your body to work at it’s finest while also connecting to your heart and loving nature.
Benefits and Practice of Dry Skin Brushing (Garshana) and Ayurvedic Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Dry Skin Brushing and Ayurvedic Oil Massage share these benefits:
- Increased circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body, which improves immune system function
- Greater removal of toxins and impurities from the body as lymph drainage is stimulated
- Improved muscle tone
- Beautiful luster on the skin
- Stress relief
- Feeling both invigorated and soothed in body, heart, and mind
Dry Skin Brushing exfoliates the skin and unclogs pores. Then the skin can absorb nutrients and health-b00sting elements from the carrier and essential oils used in the Ayurvedic Oil Massage.
Before getting to this morning skin care protocol, you may want to download my FREE stress-relieving self-acupressure guide that you can use in the evening, sandwiching your day with self-love!
How to Dry Brush Your Skin
- Use a brush with natural bristles. I prefer using a long-handled brush like the one featured below. I like to add a few drops of therapeutic-grade essential oil to the bristles so they immediately enter the skin after the outer layer is exfoliated away. (If you’d like to do your face too, make sure you get a soft brush made exclusively for dry skin brushing of the face – see video for instructions.)
- Stand in the shower or tub so you dead skin cells are captured.
- Brush lightly, starting from your feet and moving up in long strokes. All strokes should be moving from your extremities into your center, toward your heart, to improve circulation.
- Create clockwise strokes across your abdomen, chest, and inside each armpit.
- Avoid any areas where you have cuts, rashes, eczema, and burns. Go lightly over the breasts and abdomen, which tend to be more sensitive.
- Before rinsing off, go to the next practice of Ayurvedic Self Oil Massage.
How to Perform an Ayurvedic Oil Self-Massage
This routine is very soothing for the body, heart, and mind. The ancient ritual of anointing your body with oil can be deeply spiritual as well, helping you connect with your inner Goddess.
The oil also helps protect your skin as it’s moisturized and should be used instead of any conventional lotions that are filled with preservatives and other toxic substances.
- After dry brushing your body, choose an oil to use for the Ayurvedic Massage. Sesame seed oil is a great neutral oil that can benefit all constitutions. If you’d like to use an oil that is specific to you type of skin, choose from below:
- Dry skin (Vata Dosha) – Avocado, Olive, Coconut
- Red, sensitive skin (Pitta Dosha) – Almond, Sunflower
- Oily skin (Kapha Dosha) – Safflower, Corn
- Warm the oil gently under hot water before massaging it over your entire body.
- Start with the scalp (if you don’t mind washing your hair afterwards or just leave it in as a day-conditioner). Then continue to face, making upward strokes from jaw to forehead.
- Massage down the torso and out to each limb. Spend some extra time massaging the belly clockwise, in the same direction as digestive flow. Also make sure your hands and feet are thoroughly massaged, which each contain important acupressure and marma points responsible for vibrant health.
- Take a hot shower or bath to slowly remove the oil. It’s best that you only use soap on strategic areas that tend to smell like the genitals, armpits, and feet. The soap should be free of harsh, toxic ingredients since you’re skin will now be a sponge and pretty much a direct path to the bloodstream.
- Dry off gently by blotting your skin with a towel.
- For a sensual touch that is said to give you the aura of a saint, apply 1-2 drops of sustainably-sourced sandalwood, jasmine, or rose essential oils to your belly button, nipples, and temples.
Update Jan. 10, 2022:
Since writing this article and recording these videos, I’ve learned a lot about the lymphatic system. I’ve come to do my abhyanga massage and garshana dry brushing in a different order which opens up the lymph nodes at the end of the system first to make sure there’s no back up of lymph and energy. The collarbones and upper body are opened first since that’s where the lymph dumps into the blood circulation.
I hope you can make time for this skin care routine every morning! Please let me know how it works for you, in the comments.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to get my stress-relieving self-acupressure guide that will help you relieve tension, boost your energy, and improve your sleep in less than 10 minutes! You can add this protocol at the end of your day.