Dry Brushing has been getting a lot of buzz in mainstream media. You may have seen headlines on your favorite health and wellness sites or heard about it from a friend. But what is it exactly? In this month’s roundup, we will review what this wellness trend is, how to do it at home, and why you should be dry skin brushing in the first place.
Wellness Roundup: Why You Should Be Dry Skin Brushing
What Is Dry Skin Brushing?
Dry brushing is just like it sounds, using a slightly firm bristled brush to literally brush your dry skin. Brushing dry skin is a means to assist your body’s elimination process. As we have reviewed in the past, skin is our largest organ, and everything you put on your skin is absorbed.
On the flip side, toxins are also secreted through our skin. Often times our bodies are loaded with toxins, not only from what we eat and what we put on our skin, but also from environmental exposure, illness, and other external factors. Dry brushing and other elimination stimulants can help our bodies run optimally.
Dry Brushing Benefits
There are numerous benefits to dry brushing, but the most notable include:
- Detox support through lymphatic drainage
- Improved circulation
- Skin exfoliation
- Cellulite reduction
These benefits are great for our health, and also for our personal confidence. Plus, any simple, inexpensive DIY beauty hack we can manage at home is always worthwhile. Now let’s dive into each topic in more detail.
Our lymph system is responsible for clearing nearly all toxins from our bodies. And yet, it is extremely common for this delicate system to back up. And a blocked lymph system is correlated directly to inflammation and illness. The system needs stimulation, which is most commonly through massage or specific yoga practices.
Dry brushing is similar to massage in that it encourages lymph drainage, and in turn, helps your body eliminate waste. Lymph drainage is linked to a wide range of improvements such as reduced swelling, tissue healing, improved immune system, and reduction in consistent infections.
Again similar to massage, dry brushing improves circulation. Going through the motion of brushing, especially when you brush in long smooth strokes towards the heart, or in a circular motion, draws blood to the surface of your skin. Not only this, but the blood then flows more freely throughout your entire system. Proper circulation and blood flow will ensure all your systems work harmoniously. Fresh blood and nutrients fill your organs and brain, toxins get flushed, and infections are fought off.
Poor circulation, on the other hand, can affect nearly every bodily function. Some symptoms can include brain fog, loss of feeling/numbness in your arms and legs, cold hands and feet, impaired digestion, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Consider the skin on your face. Do your pores get easily stuffed with junk? Even if it isn’t visible to the naked eye, most of our pores need help unclogging. Just like you would exfoliate your face, the rest of your skin needs a little TLC as well.
The process of dry brushing is just that, helping your skin shed unwanted gunk by gently exfoliating. Think of dry brushing as a manual Clarisonic for your entire body. Even after the first couple of sessions, you will experience noticeably softer, smoother skin. Eventually, you may even see other visible improvements such as reduced pore size, elimination of dry patches, and even skin tone.
This one is a bit of a mixed bag, with opinions supporting both sides. At the very least, it cannot hurt if this side effect were to help. Focusing a few extra brushes on your problem areas could potentially decrease cellulite over time. The thought process is the increased blood flow will speed up the healing of this tissue.
How to Dry Brush
To get the best benefits of dry brushing, there is a specific process to follow. The key components include:
Select A Brush
It should have semi-firm bristles and be comfortable in your hand. There are three main options, and direct product links are included here for reference.
- A long handled brush in order to reach difficult places such as your back
- The palm sized brush that attached directly to your hand
- Or a standard brush with a small handle
- If you are unsure which type you may like, or want a variety of sizes and shapes, a brush set may be the best fit for you.
Now comes the fun part. Below we outline the highlights of dry brushing in a few quick steps, then we review each step in more detail. We also provide examples of how to complete each, though keep in mind you can always personalize the process to make things easier for you.
- Begin at your feet, then move to your middle section, back, chest, and end with your arms.
- Brush each section 3-4 times before moving on.
- Always brush towards your heart in long smooth strokes.
- Use enough pressure that the brush strokes make your skin a little pink, but not too firm that it hurts.
- Brush in a circular motion on your stomach and chest. Brush up over your shoulders, from back to front, again towards your heart.
- Pay extra attention to problem areas such as the stomach, thighs, and booty, or any areas that are particularly dry, such as knees and elbows.
Brushing Step-by Step
Brushing is very similar to how a woman shaves her legs. One section at a time. To do so, begin at your feet, and focus on one area of your skin at a time. Use semi-firm long smooth strokes to brush each section of your leg, with each section being the size of your brush. Apply enough pressure that your skin turns a little pink, but the brushing should never hurt. Brush each section 3-4 times, then move on to the next area.
For instance, brush from your foot up to your knee in one smooth stroke, repeating the same section 3-4 times. Then move around your leg until you have brushed the entire bottom portion, before moving on to the top section of your leg. Repeat on the other side.
After your legs, move on to your torso. Use circular motions on your stomach, and even portions of your back that are hard to reach. Apply a few extra strokes to your personal problem areas, which may help reduce cellulite. Also use circular motions on your chest, again moving towards your heart. For your shoulders and upper back, brush up and over, from your back to your front.
Finally, end with your arms using the same process you did on your legs. Brush from the tips of your fingers all the way to your shoulder in smooth long strokes, moving around your arms after 3-4 strokes in each section.
End With A Warm Shower
After you have finished brushing, jump right in the shower. Many times, in fact, I will brush right in my shower, which prevents any dry skin from getting on your bathroom floor. Ew, right?
Showering immediately is good not only for washing off dead skin, but also to help boost the circulation you just stimulated. Can’t fit it in before a shower? Try brushing before bed and wiping down with a warm washcloth after.
Make It a Routine
Fortunately, the entire process only takes a few minutes. In total, plan to allow an extra 3-5 minutes before you get ready. I know, I know, the thought of adding anything else to your daily regimen seems impossible. Bear with me though, I promise it will be worth it. Soon enough you won’t even notice those few minutes are gone. Regardless of how you fit it into your day, it will quickly become part of your daily ritual.
Just like makeup or other skincare brushes, your dry skin brush should be cleaned regularly. I clean mine with the same soap I use for everything, Dr. Bronner’s, and wash it every 3 uses.
Your brush will also need to be replaced every few months, or once the bristles begin to soften.
What do you think about dry brushing? Will you try it? Let us know in the comments below.
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