Beautifying Hydration Techniques Part 2

Beautifying Hydration Techniques Part 2

Self-Care Practices of Beautifying Hydration

Self-Care-PracticesNow let’s get into the fun part… There are so many other ways we can use water for self-care and beautification, after the foundational beautifying  hydration techniques of bathing, showering and washing! Once that’s done, we can move onto some nourishing practices.

Let’s start with hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy uses temperature variations of water to direct healing to the body. You’re already familiar with many forms of hydrotherapy: Baths, saunas, hot towels, ice baths, etc. are all ubiquitous. Immersion hydrotherapy is common in burn units. Other forms of hydrotherapy that are common, but may not be well recognized as beautifying hydration techniques such as wet wraps, warming socks, Kneipping therapy, colonics and douches, and sitz baths. There are also rare and ancient forms of hydrotherapy that require special instruments, but many of them have fallen out of practice in the past hundred years or so since allopathy has replaced formerly common water healing methods like balneology, homeopathy and hydrotherapy. In fact, hydrotherapy may actually be the oldest form of healing known to mankind, since our primordial ancestors stumbled upon the first recognized the refreshing effects of jumping in a cold river or hot spring. It has been used throughout the millenia for everything from wound healing to mental health to to weightloss to pain and inflammation to nervous system disorders to the common cold, and everything in between.

The trick with hydrotherapy is knowing how to administer water in a specific way for your particular goal. If your goal is radiant skin, it has several solutions for you.

Recent research has shown that hydrotherapy helps maintain skin integrity and skin hydration while reducing water loss in the skin. And a hydrotherapy clinic in France recently conducted an 8-year, 6,000 participant observational study using hydrotherapy for eczema. After just 18 days, hydrotherapy reduced eczema by 42%. But you don’t have to have eczema to benefit! It can also reduce redness, even skintone, treat under-eye bags, soothe sunburns, and reduce puffiness.

For quick and easy beautifying hydration, this hydrotherapy facial technique that you can use at home, scroll down to find the simple steps for a spa-quality hydrotherapy facial.  Again, its best to use clean revitalized structured water for this, because, remember, the skin of your face is several times more permeable to toxins than broader skin surfaces on your body.

At-Home Hydrotherapy Facial Tutorial for Beautifying Hydration

What you will need:
2 large bowls filled with revitalized structured water (if you are new to using structured water, our Portable works great and is easy to use)

Step 1 ~ Steam
Treating your skin to a steam facial is probably the best thing you can do for your pores. As board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lucy Chen explains, steaming “hydrates the skin by increasing oil production.”

Bring water to a simmer, then remove it from the heat. Do not fully boil water, as this will destructure it. Either transfer the water to a heat-resistant bowl, or use oven mitts to handle the pot.

You may choose to add a sprig of nourishing herbs to the water, such as lavender, basil or parsley. If your skin is dry or sensitive, try a soothing herb like chamomile. Licorice root and mint are also great detoxifiers that work on all skin types.

Test the temperature of the steam on the inside of your wrist. When at a comfortably warm temperature, lean over the bowl, keeping your face about a foot from the water, and drape a towel over your head like a tent. Breathe deeply, and let the steam open and cleanse your pores for 5-10 minutes. This can be a lovely, calming meditation practice.
Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Step 2 ~ Cold
Now that your pores are open and clean, we will tighten them using cold water therapy. According to dermatologist Michele Green, ice-water facials can remove toxins and reduce inflammation through constriction, which can boost circulation and bring forth a radiant complexion. It’s also immediately beneficial for puffiness, eyebags, and lymphatic drainage.

This is not only fantastic for your skin, but also for your overall mental health. The vagus nerve in your face connects to nerves in the rest of your body. Cooling your face translates to the rest of your body as well, tonifying your nervous system.

Take your second bowl full of revitalized structured water and put it in your freezer.

When the water is somewhat frozen on top, take it out, add water on top of the ice, and stir it up to chill the water. The ideal temperature is around 40-45* F (as you want your skin temp close to 50-55*).

Hold your breath and submerge your face into the pan for as long as your breath or your cold tolerance last. You can start slow with just a few seconds at a time, and build up to longer periods of time. Or use a snorkel to stay submerged and enjoy the invigoration even longer.

Once you’ve finished with your beautifying hydrotherapy facial, let the water return to room temperature and use it to water your house or garden plants.

Contraindications: do not do this particular facial protocol if you suffer from rosacea. In that case, submerge your face in room temperature structured water.

Lymphatic Facials

The next hydrating beauty hack is one you’ve probably already heard of. It’s become pretty trendy in the past few years because it’s just so effective!

But most people don’t realize it works by addressing one of the biggest waterways in our body – the lymphatic fluid! You actually have 3x more lymphatic fluid than blood in your body.
And often times lymph can stagnate in the face, causing us to appear bloated and puffy. Over time, if the lymph doesn’t circulate as it should, it can cause a buildup of toxins under the skin, leading to inflammation, breakouts, etc.

So I recommend using gua sha and facial cupping for lymphatic flow! This is an easy and super enjoyable practice to add to your daily routine. And if you want the full-body benefits of lymphatic drainage, you can use a drybrush to stimulate the flow before your shower.

Again, you can find a deeper explanation of exactly how to use these techniques below.

Hydration is not just a matter of how much water can penetrate into the cells, but also how well our cells can detoxify used water out of the cells, and how efficiently the body can wash away that detoxified extracellular fluid. To that end, the following methods help to hydrate and detoxify your facial fluids, creating a leaner and more glowing appearance.

With both techniques, remember to relax, take deep breaths, and move slowly with intention. Be gentle with your skin. The lymphatic channels are just beneath the skin surface, so you need far less pressure than you may think in order to get it flowing. A general rule of thumb is to use pressure about equal to the weight of a dime – it’s very light! Avoid problem areas, breakouts, open wounds, raised scars, or irritations. And, of course, drink plenty of revitalized structured water before, during, and after lymphatic drainage facials. Here is a great video showing the technique…

Lymphatic Flow Facial Beautifying Hydration

Gua Sha

You will need:
A Gua Sha stone
A light hydrating skin serum

Step 1 ~ Apply a light layer of serum to clean skin, neck and shoulders

Step 2 ~ Starting at the back of the neck, gently glide the curved side of the gua sha stone downward. Angle the stone at about 45*. This moves the lymphatic fluid down towards the nodes at the collarbones.

Step 3 ~ Using the curved side again, massage slow strokes from the chin to ear. The lymphatic channels move up and away from the center of the face, over and behind the ears, and down the neck. So this is the general direction of gua sha massage.

Step 4 ~ Glide the flat side of the stone out across the cheek, still holding it at the 45* angle to maximize surface area. Then, turn it back to the curved end to move over the cheekbones, creating more definition in this area of the face.

Step 5 ~ Turn to the narrowest end of the stone, and with the lightest possible pressure (about the weight of a dime), very gently glide the stone underneath the eyes, toward the temples.

Step 6 ~ Stroke the flat end of the stone from brow up to hairline.

Step 7 ~ Hydrate… you’ve just moved a lot of fluid, so be sure to drink a glass of structured water and enjoy your new glow!

Facial Cupping

You Will Need:
A facial cupping kit
A light hydrating skin serum

Step 1 ~ Apply a light layer of serum to clean skin, neck and shoulders

Step 2 ~ Apply the small cup to your chin and around your mouth. Leave it in place for a few seconds to draw circulation to the surface, then glide the cup upwards and outwards. Repeat in both directions.

Step 3 ~ Use this same motion moving up the face, from chin to forehead, with long outward/upward strokes. Swap the small cup for a larger cup when you reach the broader skin surface areas, like the cheeks and forehead.

Step 4 ~ Continue with the rest of your skincare routine. Facial cupping is said to increase product absorption, so now’s the time to apply your moisturizers and other products.

Click here for the video!

Part 3 will complete the blog series Beautifying Hydration Techniques and discuss the benefits of internal hydration!