Few things are as satisfying to the apothecary-oriented homebody as concocting a scrumptious body scrub from coffee grinds and pantry assortments. While it feels wonderful to slough off dry skin with sugar, salts, oats and other emollient oils, it pays to bear in mind that the skin actually has a delicate barrier. This sensitive acid mantle can be easily disturbed by the excessive use of products or harsh exfoliants. But exfoliation is a good thing. And here’s where the marvel of scrubbing mitts and the ancient art of dry brushing can really bring your skin into its own, natural healing element.

What is dry brushing?

Just about 1/3 of all body toxins are eliminated through your skin – your body’s largest excretion organ. Dry brushing becomes an effective technique for eliminating toxins because of its stimulating effect on the lymphatic system.

You see, the lymphatic system is in charge of collecting, transporting fatty acids and cells through the blood and getting rid of any waste build up in our cells. When the lymphatic system gets blocked up, the toxins can’t be released and they build up, which can lead to inflammation.

Dry brushing supports this by removing the dead skin cells that can cause the blockage and further stimulating the circulation further.

Like many good, holistic habits, dry brushing also finds its roots in Ayurveda. A 5000-year-old Hindy practice to be more precise, known as Garshana. Garshana or skin brushing invites the practitioner to use either a medium bristle brush, silk glove or rough sponge and brush or dry massage the skin in upward and circular strokes towards the heart to stimulate the aforementioned lymph drainage systems.

It’s a gentle, delicate practise, considerate of sensitive skin barriers while effectively exfoliating and detoxing the body.

Magic mitts worth trying

1. Bellabaci Turkish Scrubbing Mitt

This simple but oh so effective hammam exfoliating mitten helps you slough off all the rough, dry skin while stimulating your blood flow to the skin surface. The cloth is made from silk, bamboo and poplar tree cellulose, and goat hair, would you believe it, all woven together to give you incredibly smooth and soft skin.

How To Use Your Turkish Scrubbing Mitten

  • Take a warm shower, lather up and rinse off
  • Slip your hand into your mitten
  • Using circular motions to loosen the dead skin cells, give yourself an all-over rub down. Don’t forget elbows and knees. You can do this bit with the water turned off to save precious drops.
  • Start at your ankles, moving up.
  • Use circular motions on your abdomen too.
  • Then exfoliate your arms moving from your hands to your shoulders
  • Do this for a few minutes only until a nice, red tone emerges.
  • Use a good moisturiser afterwards.

Check out the Bellabaci Turkish Scrubbing Mitt

2. Antjies Jute Exfoliating Mitt

A jute massage mitt knitted by hand – what could be more vintage and quaint? You almost want to bath in milk it’s so wonderful.

Why we love this?

  •  Jute is a strong and durable
  • Jute fibre is recyclable & biodegradable
  • Jute is a renewable resource

Get your hands on an Antjies Jute Exfoliating Mitt

3. Argan Green Kessa Exfoliating Glove Scrub

A Kessa glove is traditionally used after a black soap treatment, to exfoliate the skin and buff away dead cells and remove impurities. It’s famed for its glowing skin results and some even find it reduces cellulite.

How to use a Kessa Glove:

  • Rinse your Kessa glove thoroughly with hot water, before & after use.
  • Use the Kessa glove to exfoliate your body (not your face) after using the Moroccan Black Soap.
  • Rub your skin with the glove in a vertical (not circular) motion to remove the dead cells. Then rinse your skin thoroughly.
  • For best results, apply a nourishing Moroccan argan oil after rinsing & drying your skin.
  • Use the Kessa glove once or twice a week to keep your skin smooth and healthy.

Try the Argan Green Kessa Exfoliating Glove Scrub

4. Bellabaci Deep Cleansing Mitten

Made from synthetic (polyester) microfibres, this mitt cleanses the skin gently without the use of any products. This means nothing else is introduced that can affect the skin’s delicate mantle and ph barrier.

It’s great because:

  • non-absorbent material means it offers anti-antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • great for sensitive skin
  • economical and easy to clean

Check out the Bellabaci Deep Cleansing Mitten

Smittens

Found yourself smitten with a Smitten yet (apologies for the worst pun ever)? The Smitten’s claim to fame is a micro-exfoliation of sorts. Because of the very fine nature of the superfine density fibre of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide (0.06 denser, is about 2 microns in diameter), the fibres can penetrate the finest, microscopic particles of oil, dirt and even bacteria. These skin contaminants are absorbed into the internal structure of the cloth away from your skin and without the need for any product.

Why the Smitten is so popular

  • Especially good for those people who are allergic, have dry, ageing or sensitive skin
  • Great for people who suffer from acne, exfoliates as it cleans without disturbing sensitive ph balance
  • Perfect makeup removal without need for a cleanser but can work with one too.
  • Environmentally safe – using warm water only to cleanse
  • Reusable – a mitt can be used for 2/3 months (approximately 200 washes or more)
  • Totally machine & hand washable
  • Removes almost 90% of skin surface bacteria

Get your hands on (or in) a Smitten

So while the odd homemade scrub is indeed a luxurious nicety – your skin is a super trooper at keeping itself clean, but it’s a sensitive one at that. So if you’ve found your skin to be a little picky with a product, give dry brushing and one of these friendly mitts a try.

Already a fan of dry brushing? Do tell. We’d love to hear how it’s working for you and which tools you prefer for the job.