Dry skin brushing is one of the most simple and effective ways to pamper your skin and improve your health. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk skin for a moment.
Skin gets lots of attention from the beauty industry. It seems people are always trying to get their skin look baby soft, smooth, and just the right color. Creams, lotions, potions and whatnot are sold at ridiculous prices in every mall with the lack-luster promise of “more beautiful skin.”
Of course, you guys know (because you are super smart) that what you put on the skin is usually not as important as what goes in your body. And that most commercial cosmetics are full of nasty toxins that your body doesn’t want, right? Right.
But did you know that:
- The skin is the largest organ of the body AND one of the most important organs for detoxification?
- In fact, the skin is responsible for eliminating one quarter of the of the body’s waste? We’re talking over a pound of waste products each day for the average adult (thank you, sweat glands!).
- The skin also receives one third of the body’s circulated blood, too. Pretty cool.
The skin is actually the last organ to receive nutrients from the body, but it is the first to show signs of imbalances. (source) This is why, despite being super annoyed by my acne growing up, I finally learned to be grateful for it because I was able to recognize that my body needed help.
But what does this have to do with dry skin brushing?
Dry skin brushing helps your skin do its job even better. And not just because it brushes away dead skin cells (which it does). Your body has several organs, glands, and systems that help detox and clean the body. One of the cool benefits of dry skin brushing is that those organs get a boost, too.
Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
- Dry skin brushing helps exfoliate and brush away dead skin cells. This alone is worth the few minutes it takes. I notice immediately that my skin feels smoother and brighter.
- Because dry skin brushing increases blood flow and improves circulation, one of the benefits of brushing is tighter, firmer skin. No toxic creams necessary.
- Increased circulation can also improve the appearance of cellulite.
- Increase circulation also encourages your body to discharge of metabolic waste. It’s a power boost to your lymphatic system which can enhance your immune system. Everything is connected. The benefit of dry skin brushing is a more efficient working body. Yes.
- Dry skin brushing can improve muscle tone, help distribute fat deposits more evenly, help with pregnancy swelling, and help prevent varicose veins.
- Skin brushing stimulates the hormone and oil glands. Keep in mind that as the largest organ of the body the skin has a lot of work to do. Dry skin brushing can help toxins more easily escape keeping you in tip top shape.
- Dry skin brushing also stimulates the nerve endings in the skin. I find that brushing each morning is really rejuvenating.
- Dry skin brushing can help your skin “breathe” easier by eliminating clogged pores.
Best of all? It’s easy, all natural, and safe.
How to: Dry Skin Brushing
While fairly simple, there is a technique you want to follow. Since dry skin brushing is such a powerful aid for your lymphatic system, you want to help your lymph as much as possible. Also, it’s recommended that you try daily skin brushing for three months to really see the full benefits.
Before you start:
1. Get a good brush (or two)
This is the brush I have, and it works well. Mostly you want to find a brush that has all natural bristles and a long handle to get to the back. Some brushes have detachable handles so that you can more easily brush your feet/legs, but be sure that the handle won’t easily fall off or else it’s kind of useless. I don’t have a problem with the handle so I got one that stays put.
Also, don’t use this brush on your face. You’ll want a facial brush for that… which can also be really great. (I have this one and like it!)
2. Always brush on dry skin (before your shower is best.)
There is a reason why this is called dry skin brushing. Don’t brush on wet skin or with a wet brush as it can be too abrasive and your pores are more open (meaning you could clog your pores with all that stuff you’re trying to brush off). The best time to dry brush is before you shower. Daily is recommended.
Dry Skin Brushing Technique
1. Brush from the bottom up to support the pathway of your lymph.
2. Using long, sweeping strokes start at the bottom of your feet and always brush up toward the heart. Brush the feet, up the legs, and then the hands up toward your shoulders. Brush the torso in an upward direction back toward your heart. Brush your stomach in a counter-clockwise motion. Brush downward on the neck (toward the collar bones).
Do not stroke away from your heart as this can put extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels. Keep your strokes in a single direction.
3. Be sensitive to your body. Use light pressure where the skin is thinner and more pressure on tough places (such as the soles of your feet). Avoid sensitive areas, rashes, bruises, cuts, etc.
4. Dry skin brushing can be done while pregnant or nursing, although a lighter stroke may be necessary. Again, listen to your body. If something doesn’t seem right: stop. I personally found that dry skin brushing benefited my pregnancy and helped my skin and circulation a lot.
5. Rinse off (shower as you normally would) and pat dry.
Taking care of your brush
- Shake or tap your brush over a trash can to get rid of any dead skin.
- Don’t share your brush with other people. Everyone gets their own.
- Keep your brush in a dry place, away from moisture.
- Wash your brush once a week with a mild soap (I love castile) and water. Let it dry in a sunny area.
So… are you up for a challenge? Who’s willing to try dry skin brushing for the next month? Come back and report your experience.