It's called Dry Brushing. You don't know it right now, but it's your new favorite thing and you can't believe no one told you about it before.
Step one: Get a brush. We got ours at our local co-op, but you can also find them at your local health food/hippie grocery store, Whole Foods, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or online. I love the one in the picture, but you might be a wuss and need a softer brush. Don't be ashamed. Just get a softer brush.
Step two: Read the instructions found here: click
Step three: Read this Cliff Notes version, too: click
Step four: Get to it! I start with my feet. I actually stand on the bath mat to do them, because I'd hate to step in a tiny puddle in the tub and get my feet wet before I brush them. So feet, hop in the tub, and then legs, buns, back, arms, belly, neck/collarbones. Always move the brush toward you heart in long, gentle strokes--you're trying to get things moving, not draw blood.
Step five: Take a shower. End it with at least one hot/cold cycle: as hot as you can stand it for 20 seconds and then as cold as you can stand it for 20 seconds. Or just do it a little cooler than you normally would. Whatever works. This is your amazing thing, not mine. I happen to enjoy ending my showers breathless from the cold water. I also like jumping in the Pacific Ocean in January. It's exhilarating. Or maybe I'm addicted to minor hypothermia. I don't know. Point is: shock yourself a little with the cold. This is especially nice in the summer.
Step six: Do this for two days in a row and then tell me how stinkin' soft your skin is now! Softer than it's ever been before in your life, right? I know! Stretch marks? Yeah, they look awesome. I mean, they're still there (they'll always be there), but they don't look all sad and angry. It's amazing.
After our last scrubby pouf thingies had collected enough dry skin that they morphed into living creatures and actually climbed out of the shower to go find a better life, we decided not to replace them. They don't last that long, they're made of totally non-renewable materials, can't be recycled or composted, require additional shower products to use them properly and those products have packaging and chemicals of their own to deal with...and for what?
Soft skin, that's what.
In the days between breaking the scrubby pouf habit and discovering the dry brushing, I relied on a washcloth. A washcloth! Why did we abandon the washcloth? While I was happy with the washcloth and so very proud of us for eliminating yet another source of garbage in our lives, I was intrigued by the health claims of dry brushing when I read about it on Crunchy Chicken. Can't hurt, right?
It's only been a week, so I can't say with any certainty if I'm healthier, but I do feel better. That could be because I can't stop feeling my arms and my body thinks it's getting lots of hugs or something. I don't know.
So, back to the point: you must try this. You MUST try this.
Oh, and Molly Sims, too. Trust Molly Sims: click!