Would you like to know a really inexpensive way to make your face look years younger? Of course you would! Who would not?
Well, get yourself a two-dollar soft-bristle toothbrush and you’ll be on your way. Brushing your FACE (yes, your face) regularly with a toothbrush will help keep your skin young. You do not believe me? Tempted to stop reading? I know it sounds crazy, but stay with me. Have you heard of the company? Sonicare? They make electric toothbrushes. Guess what? Now they also make a brush for the FACE. It’s the same design, only slightly larger. It costs $ 200. People who have it seem to like it. If you have an extra $ 200, buy it. But if you only have an extra $ 2, I promise you that a regular soft-bristle toothbrush, used properly, will give you great results. I’ve been doing it for 15 years and even though I’m in my 40s, they still ask me for ID at Trader Joe’s when I buy red wine. (By the way, if you’re obsessed with anti-aging, red wine is the only alcohol you should drink.)
This is what you do:
1. Moisten your face and neck with warm water. You may want to open your pores by applying a warm washcloth for a few minutes.
2. Apply the skin cleanser of your choice to your face and neck. If you have dry skin, you may want to use a moisturizing cleanser. If it is oily, you can use something that treats oily skin. Use what is already working for your skin. Apply to entire face and neck, unless it is an acne formula, then use something less drying for the skin around the eyes. (You may want to make the eyes separately.)
3. Apply the cleaner to the toothbrush. This helps the brush glide over the skin more smoothly.
4. Begin brushing gently in small circles. Where you start is up to you, but I like to start with the sides of the mouth where the laugh lines form.
Brush clockwise and counterclockwise all over the cheeks, chin. On the forehead, you can brush in circles and also from top to bottom. Pay attention to the area between the eyebrows, where the fine lines appear. Brush in circles, clockwise and counterclockwise. If you have higher lines on your forehead above, by raising your eyebrows, brush in circles over those lines and up and down as well.
5. Make the eyes last. And be very, very gentle in this area. If you’ve used a drying cleanser, wash it off the brush before washing your eyes and use something more moisturizing. You can even brush with moisturizer in the eye area. Place the brush on the outer part of the eye closest to the hairline, where you may have crow’s feet, and brush GENTLY towards the bridge of the nose. When you start out, use just a few brush strokes. No more than four to start. As you do it more often, you use more pressure and more hits, but start out slowly.
6. Even with light pressure, your skin will likely look red, depending on your skin tone. Do not worry. The redness will disappear in a few minutes. If it has not subsided after an hour, either you have brushed too vigorously or this procedure is not appropriate for your skin. Start with very little pressure and build up over time if you are getting good results. If your face becomes inflamed or irritated, your skin may simply be too sensitive for this.
7. Always, always, always, without exception, follow this up with some kind of moisturizer. Use one that you have already been using and that you know works well for your skin. If you brush your teeth during the day, use a moisturizer with sunscreen, preferably one that has an SPF of 30 or higher. If you brush at night, follow up with an excellent night cream.
The night is when the skin repairs itself, so if you brush, then with a night cream designed to replenish and repair, and sleep, you will get an added benefit. This is because brushing and exfoliating prepare the skin for the products to penetrate more effectively.
Do this regularly, a few times a week and you will soon notice that your skin looks clearer, younger, less wrinkled, and more vibrant.
Why is this? Some reasons:
1. Brushing brings blood to the surface of the skin. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. So, you are helping to “feed” your skin when you brush it. By doing this regularly, you nourish your skin regularly. If your nutrition is good, that further improves the quality of the blood that is delivered to your skin tissues. So, eat a good diet and the results will improve even more.
2. The scrub helps remove dead skin cells. When we are young, our skin cells are regularly renewed without help. However, as we age, that process slows down and old cells stick to the surface longer, resulting in a dull complexion. Regular exfoliation helps the skin in this cell turnover, allowing older skin to look more like its younger self.
3. Exfoliation also draws impurities out of your pores, helping to keep them cleaner and smaller. As we age, our pores start to look bigger. Cleansing the pores helps the skin look smoother and smoother.
4. Brushing stimulates the muscles below the surface of the skin, similar to how you would stimulate them with a facial massage. As it travels across the skin, brushing in circles and up and down in certain areas, the small muscles beneath the skin’s surface are stimulated. There is a flow of blood to the muscle. This stimulation helps keep these muscles conditioned in a way that they would not otherwise be. If the muscles below the surface of the skin remain conditioned, your face maintains better over time and there is less sagging.
When I started brushing my skin, I limited it to a few times a week. This is what I recommend to start with. Everyone’s skin is different, so you will find what works best for you. When you start out, be sure to use a SOFT BRISTLE toothbrush. Build up slowly. If your skin responds well to the procedure (you can tell by how it looks and feels), it is okay to do it every day or every other day. When I started, years ago, I brushed only a few times a week. Now I can brush every day and my skin loves it.