Our skin as you may know is the largest organ we have, our epidermis, and it takes in the elements around us just as much as our other senses. Often the skin gets stagnant and needs help sloughing off or renewing the outer most layer of skin cells. An important piece of ayurvedic health care is to apply oil to the body (oil self-massage or abhyanga), preferably warm oil and before showering although anytime can be a good time. But it is beneficial to stimulate the skin and lymphatic system first. Those who get bumps or feel their skin is clogged could especially benefit from this and anyone with an epidermis, so that's probably you and everyone you know.
To stimulate the skin and lymphatic system and to help allow the skin to properly absorb oil and moisture, use a dry bath brush and brush the skin. So you'll use the brush dry, and before showering. You can also purchase garshana gloves (raw silk garshana gloves are available at lifespa.com or amazon or ebay).
The strokes are done toward the heart:
from wrists, up arms toward the heart
from ankles, up legs toward the heart
up the back
brush inwards from the underarms toward the heart
then brush from the center of the chest out to one side and then the other
to finish off you can gently brush the belly in a clock wise motion as if the clock was facing outward
Doing this not only prepares the skin to more efficiently absorb the oil, but also invigorates the lymphatic system, an important piece of our over health.
Our lymphatic system is our drainage system and not only helps move toxins out of the body but functions to alert the body and carries lymph, fluid filled infection fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. The lymphatic system has lymph nodes, vessels and helpful organs like the spleen, tonsils, adenoids, and thymus but also there's the lymphatic connection to ama, waste matter, and to the nadis, the 72,000 channels throughout our body. Keeping movement of the fluids flowing with circulatory skin brushing helps to clear and balance these systems and allows for less clogging of skin and better processing of oils applied topically.
Give dry skin brushing a try, daily before you apply oil, then hop in the shower, or just try routinely upon waking in the morning.