Silky smooth skin in Seconds !
A special by our Content Manager

The Japanese have long known the benefits of a good hearty body scrub. The typical Japanese bathing routine, which can take anywhere from half an hour to over an hour, consists of soak, scrub, soak, scrub and soak and scrub once more for good measure. If this sounds like a recipe for raw red skin, you've got the wrong idea. Granted, such a regimen would be drying if you did it every day, but on a weekly basis a thorough body exfoliation will leave your skin healthy and glowing.

What we tend to forget as we slather our bodies with milky cleansers and heavy lotions is that the skin is our most essential and effective elimination organ. When all these products build up and clog the pores, the skin can't do its job. So all the toxins and excess fluids get absorbed into the body, emerging as breakouts or collecting in our most porous cells: FAT cells. A vigorous scrub, however, serves two purposes:

  • The scrubbing itself removes dirt, dead skin cells and environmental build-up, clearing our pores so they can flush all those nasty toxins; and
  • The massage action improves circulation, breaking up fatty deposits that can cause cellulite, while also giving the body a rosy glow.

Still need convincing? Try picturing a Japanese woman with cellulite -- I know I can't. While this is also a benefit of the virtually dairy-free Japanese diet, the wondrous properties of the body scrub should not be underestimated. Popular scrubbing tools of the Japanese include combinations of rice brans, beans and sea kelps as well as various brushes.

The most common body scrub -- and a favorite of luxury spas all over the world -- is sea salt. Simply combine two cups of coarse sea salt with enough water or oil (preferably almond or olive) to form a paste, adding a few drops of essential oil if you choose. Smooth the mixture (do not rub,
the salt crystals will do the work) over the body, allow it to 'set' for a few minutes and rinse. 

If your skin is broken out or prone to irritations, sugar can serve as a milder all-over exfoliant. Combine two cups of regular supermaket  sugar with enough oil to make a paste, then follow the directions above. Important: Neither of these scrubs should be used on the face!

Since scrubbing does strip some of the skin's surface oils, use a body oil when you come out of the shower. Massage the oil into damp skin and blot the excess with a towel. Some favorites are sunflower oil (rich in vitamin A) blended with relaxing lemon balm and rose petals; or A- and E-rich sesame oil, infused with purifying astringent herbs like rosemary and thyme. Use a tablespoon of dried herbs for every half cup of oil. 

Let the infusions sit at room temperature for about a week before you use them.

If you'd prefer not to make your own products, there are many pre-blended oils and packaged salt scrubs available at health-food stores, upscale natural cosmetic counters and your local drug store. 

Whatever route you choose, the important thing is the end product: smooth and polished skin from head to toe.