Loofah or ridge-gourd is a vegetable classed under the Cucurbitaceous (cucumber) family that abounds in the tropical and subtropical regions. It is actually the fruit of the two popular Cucurbitaceous species or varieties-Luffa acutangula and Luffa Aegyptiaca that is generally referred to as loofah or luffa. The gourd plant is extensively cultivated and its fruit when harvested much before it ripens, is used for preparing delectable dishes.
Often the loofah is allowed to ripen fully rendering it extremely fibrous which is then deseeded and completely dried. The loofah fruit, when it is green and unripe, has a spongy flesh and is pulpy inside with white seeds. When the loofah is harvested as a fully matured fruit, it is stripped of its skin and seeds to be used as scrubbing sponge in kitchens and bathrooms.
An amazing scented bath with a loofah, bath salts, fragrant bubbles and a hot water tub is all you need for a perfect bath experience. However, merely sitting in a tub will not give you a complete bathing experience or clean your body effectively. A soft loofah is essential for your skin care and healthy body.
Here are the benefits of scrubbing your body with a loofah.
Although you may call them a loofah sponge, these long, fibrous bath accessories come from a vegetable source and not a sea creature. The luffa plant, a relative of the cucumber, produces large gourds that leave a durable network of fibers after treating and drying the fruit. The resulting mildly abrasive scrubber exfoliates your skin and enhances surface circulation.
The outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis, naturally sheds dead skin cells. Normal friction removes some of these shed cells, but others remain in place, dulling your complexion or turning it ashy. Exfoliation helps this natural process along, using gentle friction to brush excess skin cells from the surface of your skin. Removing dead skin cells not only improves the look of your skin, it also sweeps away places where bacteria and soil could collect.
Any friction on your skin increases localized blood flow. Capillaries, the tiny blood vessels closest to your skin, naturally expand when stimulated. You’ve made use of this response if you’ve tried to warm your hands by rubbing them together to create friction and stimulate blood flow. A loofah has a similar effect, stimulating increased circulation to areas that you scrub with it. Unlike harshly abrasive scrubbers and sponges, a loofah’s firm but elastic fibers are round in cross section and are less likely to scratch skin.
Loofahs have been touted as a solution to cellulite deposits, but rubbing any object on the surface of the skin cannot change the structure of the skin’s lower layers. Cellulite, the dimpled fat deposits that typically appear on the thighs and hips, is no different from subcutaneous fat elsewhere on the body. Like other types of fat, no amount of surface pressure will permanently change its volume or appearance, although a loofah can improve the condition of the skin over the subcutaneous fat.
Loofahs help keep your skin in good shape, but they can also harbor harmful bacteria in their many tiny holes. Like all plant matter, loofahs are also susceptible to decay if kept constantly wet, so let your loofah air dry between uses. Washing it in a mild bleach solution could extend its useful life, but you should replace your loofah frequently.
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