Detoxes start the process of getting healthy from the inside. Eventually that healthiness will work its way out, showing up in glowing skin, shiny hair and bright eyes. But you can speed the glowing skin bit along with some body work, via exfoliation and massage.
One of my favourite natural brands, Weleda, has a suite of detox-assisting products in their range. So earlier this month, I bought the Weleda Birch Body Scrub and Birch Cellulite Oil.
Birch leaf extract is used here for its detoxifying properties. According to Weleda, it contains flavonoids, saponines and tannins, which protect skin cells from damage by free-radicals and help support natural purification. The cellulite oil in particular, combines the birch with essential oils and other plant extracts to help support and stimulate the body’s own regulating and regenerating processes. The promise? An improvement in the texture and smoothness of the skin. Which sounds like a good thing.
I’ve been using the scrub a couple of times a week and the cellulite oil at least once (sometimes twice) a day. The natural plant wax pearls in the scrub are very gentle so fans of the sandblasting approach to exfoliation may be disappointed. I love it and its soft green, piney smell. The cellulite oil has a similar summery greenness about it. You don’t need much and it gives enough slip on the skin for a good 2-3 minutes of gentle massage (little circles in an upwards direction are best). I’ve been targeting my bum, hips and the back of my thighs (cellulite hotspots for many, I reckon).
Now, I’m not a dictator about cellulite. There’s a little bit of it starting to show but I don’t really look at it that often and this is the first time I’ve used a product with ‘cellulite’ in the name. I hate the beauty industry’s obsessive campaign against cellulite, working us up to fever pitch over every little lump or bump and then flogging us products claiming to blitz it away, often at prices that would turn a trust fund manager green at the gills. If a product claims to ‘magic away’ cellulite, put on your ‘I wasn’t born yesterday’ hat and run in the opposite direction. No product alone can do this. It’s just not possible.
But I like these Weleda products very much. Not because they’ve blitzed my fledgling cellulite. They haven’t. But they’ve done exactly what they promised to do – improve the tone and appearance of my skin. And although this could just as easily be down to the massage, I like the Birch range for the sense of ritual added to my morning routine, their natural credentials and the way they make me feel.
If you don’t like a bit of your body, it’s tempting to ignore it. I don’t hate my bumpy bits, but I don’t give them much love either. With my 2-3 minutes of daily massage, that’s now changed and I do feel better as a result. My skin is a little smoother, a little clearer and quite a bit softer. And a bit more loved.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Coco-Glucoside, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Disodium Cocoyl Glumate, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citral*. *from natural essential oils (i.e. naturally present in the essential oils)
Ingredients: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Betula Alba (Birch) Leaf Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geranol*, Citral*. *from natural essential oils.