skin brush

Something about January puts me in the mood for restoring good habits. One of these is the simple practice of dry skin brushing.

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This is a traditional ayurvedic health practice which supports exfoliation and circulation, clears the skin and detoxifies the lymphatic system. I use a natural bristle brush with a long wooden handle. Before bathing, brush the skin gently, in the direction of the heart, making circles at joints and long strokes elsewhere. I like to follow this with an epsom salt bath. A very gentle cleanse.

bath salts

Sweet girls of ours are very ill with the flu. I rarely see them sleep so much, it is awfully quiet around here. I was very pleased to receive a delivery of epsom salts today, this is just what they need. My understanding is that epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) draw out toxins from the body. I always feel infinitely better for a long soak in this kind of bath salt, with some kind of essential oil to relieve whatever is ailing me. I will use lavender tonight to bathe the children and help them breath clearly and settle easily to sleep. When I was awfully sick with a chest infection I used epsom with tea tree (in small amounts, mix it in well to dilute or you might burn yourself!), lavender and peppermint to clear my breathing. The salts don’t dry out your skin but leave it soft and smooth. On a cold, dark rainy evening, I think it is just the thing.

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I keep the bath salts in a jar by the old tub, with a scoop left inside. Towels warm on the radiator beside, and my old fashioned razor, olive oil soap, a natural sponge, a loofah, and a beeswax candle are within reach. I like to bring in a little stool for my writing book and fountain pen to sit upon, and then this is my idea of heaven.

traditional razors

There are some inventions that I well and truly appreciate. I’d prefer not to use a straight razor, especially around my ankles. Still, there’s an old and delightful solution between the straight blade and the safety throwaway. Here’s my traditional safety razor.
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It takes a simple double edged blade of which I bought ten in a little box for just over £1. While this part is thrown away (safely!) I think it is appreciably better than the alternatives, electric or plastic disposable.
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Its elegance is seductive, and its longevity is liberating. I’ve fallen in love with objects that are used for life, may even to be passed along through the years. I think this traditional razor embodies that. Like the fountain pen, it is one of those little investments I think is worth saving for, the kind that saves a lot over time.
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There are traditional shaving shops all over the world.
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