What is Dry Brushing?
We’ve all heard that brushing is beneficial to the hair, but what about brushing your skin? Dry brushing, also known as body brushing or skin brushing, is a technique that offers many health benefits. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and many toxins and impurities are released through the skin. Dry brushing benefits the skin by exfoliating and removing dead, dry skin cells, helping to keep the pores open, eliminating toxins and giving the skin a fresher and younger appearance.
Dry brushing stimulates circulation of both the blood and the lymph. The lymphatic system plays an important role in the body by assisting the immune system to remove disease-causing pathogens and clearing out waste and toxins. By promoting the flow of lymph through the body, the immune system is strengthened. Dry brushing also increases blood flow and invigorates the nervous system, helping to relieve stress.
Because it improves circulation and removes toxins, as well as helping to distribute fat more evenly, dry brushing may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is believed to be caused by a buildup of toxins in the fatty tissue beneath the skin.
How to Dry Brush Your Skin
Here are some guidelines for dry brushing your skin. It is best to use a natural bristle brush such as boar bristle; brushes made from synthetic bristles can scratch your skin. A brush with a short handle is easiest to use for dry brushing. A loofah can also be used.
Because quite a lot of dead skin cells are usually sloughed off during the dry brushing process, many people like to do it while standing in the shower before they turn on the water.
Starting with your feet, brush first the bottom and then the top using a circular motion. Then, moving in the direction of your heart, brush up the back of one leg, and then up the front of the same leg. Repeat with the other leg.
Next, brush one arm starting at the fingertips and moving toward the shoulder; repeat with the other arm, continuing to use a circular motion.
After the legs and arms, brush your lower back around to your stomach on each side, and up your chest.
Avoid brushing your face or areas where the skin is especially sensitive, tender or thin.
When you are finished dry brushing, shower as usual, preferably using a mild, natural soap. Following a warm shower by a cold rinse can further help to increase circulation.
To receive maximum benefit, dry brushing should be done at least twice a week. Note that dry brushing is invigorating, so is best done in the morning to energize you for the day, rather than right before going to sleep.
Do not dry brush any places where the skin is irritated or broken out, such as patches of eczema or psoriasis. Dry brushing should be avoided if you have heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.