Dry skin brushing has been done for centuries in Ancient Greece and especially in the holistic medicine of Ayurveda from India.
This simple practice of dry brushing is proven to boost beauty and wellness throughout the body. It has a long-standing list of beauty benefits including improved circulation, exfoliation of dead skin cells, detoxification through lymphatic drainage, and improved appearance of smooth skin. An inactive lifestyle leads to health issues because of stagnation of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system works the same way for the skin. When the flow of lymphatic fluid is blocked and isn’t moving, it slows down all of the natural cleansings of cells. This can lead to signs of ageing, dull sagging skin, sensitivities and inflammation (puffiness). Quite the opposite of what we’re looking for. Dry skin brushing is like feeding your skin, but from within, just like why you should eat healthy vitamin-rich foods.
A body brush has stiffer bristles and is great for the body, but not the face. You’d want a brush specifically designed for the face, see my dry facial brush and how to use it too. My dry body brush and dry facial brush are both made from sustainable bamboo wood and natural bristles.
Dry body brushing is such a simple and easy routine, and also very rewarding. It only takes a couple of minutes usually in the morning as a great kick-start to your day. Dry body brushing helps increase circulation and boosts energy which leaves your skin feeling fresh, and your whole body invigorated. You can also dry brush in the evening to help yourself relax and unwind before bed.
Why should we dry brush? Here are 4 very good reasons:
- To increase circulation, our circulatory system is what delivers vital nutrients and oxygen to every part of our body and pushes waste and toxins out. When our circulation is slow or stagnant, it can cause serious issues for our cells, organ function, energy levels and overall health. Even though the skin is our largest organ, it’s also the last to receive nutrients from the body, so dry brushing provides a much-needed boost of blood flow to keep skin nourished, clear and radiant. Increased blood flow helps our skin to glow!
- To exfoliate your skin, to get rid of the dead skin cells. Gentle strokes with natural bristles will reveal smoother, softer skin. Dry brushing can release dry, scaly skin, which helps to improve skin tone and helps your skin to better absorb moisture. Without exfoliating, you may just be applying moisturizer on top of dull, dead skin cells, which doesn’t allow for nutrients to deeply hydrate and heal. Be sure to dry brush before your shower or bath and massage in some moisturizing skincare products afterwards.
- To help the lymphatic system move and to open the blockade that our toxins are causing. Our lymphatic system becomes overloaded, and when we help the lymphatic system to move, we are getting rid of any excess trash (toxins) our body has accumulated. Why do we want to take out the “trash?” Well for our body’s health, to boost our immune system and because it’s anti-ageing for our skin too, and we all want that, right? The lymphatic system helps to detoxify the whole body, but when this system is blocked, it causes toxic buildup in tissues, which can lead to skin conditions and a low immune system. These light, simple strokes stimulate lymph flow to flush out toxins and waste which strengthens the immune system, prevents illness and increases energy levels.
- To help with digestion. A light self-massage on your stomach area helps to promote better digestion. Brush clockwise which is the same direction as your digestion.
How to Dry Brush:
- Use a dry body brush before showering or bathing. Brush your dry skin using long strokes; always brush towards the lymph nodes and heart. Some people may prefer to use small circular movements, which is OK too, but try both ways so you can see what feels best for you. Start at your chest, and be sure to brush over the lymph nodes located mainly around the neck, armpits, tummy, groin, inner elbows, wrists, behind the knees and ankles.
- We need to start at the clavicle. It’s our main drain, and if it’s backed up like a traffic jam, then the lymph can’t flow. Giving it a gentle nudge by dry brushing will help it to get moving, unclogs the jam and allows drainage from our head to happen.
- We always want to get the flow going towards the heart, so once we open the traffic jam, we brush our armpits and then our arms towards our hearts. We start at the top of the arm and slowly work down the arm to clear the area, then brush back up to help drain the lymphatic system. Bringing everything to the lymph nodes or heart area.
- Brush in a clockwise direction over your belly (this helps to improve digestion!) and then brush up towards your heart.
- Then brush upwards in your groin area to get those lymph nodes open and moving, then start at your feet and brush upwards on the legs.
- After brushing, wash off any remaining dead skin in a shower or bath, then apply a moisturising lotion, lotion bar, body butter or body oil and then finish with a nice drink of water.
- HERE IS A GREAT INFORMATIVE VIDEO SHOWING HOW TO DRY BODY BRUSH
- HERE IS A REALLY GOOD VIDEO SHOWING HOW TO DRY FACE & NECK BRUSH
Our lymphatic system is just below our skin, so always use light pressure – we’re not trying to scrub off our skin – to gently, and effectively get our lymphatic fluid moving. When you first start out it might feel scratchy, but soon your skin will be looking for that gentle brushing. Remember it’s called dry brushing because it’s not meant to be done in the shower when you are wet, but when your skin is dry and no lotions on it.
By doing things to help build a healthy lifestyle like dry skin brushing, getting appropriate sunlight, a good night’s sleep, drinking enough water and exercising, you’ll make a huge difference in your skin and overall well-being! ☺
To your health and beauty,