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When I first encountered the dry skin brushing method, it was in a book called Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation and I got really intrigued by this ancient Ayurvedic practice. Namely, it’s a practice where a natural bristle brush is used with soft bristles (the softer, the better), and the entire skin from toes to head (yes, it’s the other way around), is brushed thoroughly. I decided to dig a little bit deeper into the science of why people do this, and I was blown away. It was back to biology class all over again (without the traumatizing exam, of course).
You see, the skin is the largest organ in the body, and believe it or not we detoxify and expel a whopping 70% of the accumulated toxins through it each morning. It’s really one of the most important elimination organs in the body. Interestingly enough, this vital organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency and when the blood is full of toxic materials, the skin will reflect this with problems like acne, blemishes, eczema and so on. So why aren’t we taking better care of it?
If you’re still wondering why you should add this to your already busy morning routine, here are the benefits:
Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
Clogged Pores no More
We all know clogged pores are the reason for acne appearance, inhibited nutrient absorption, and inefficient toxin removal. Dry brushing will aid with all this by eliminating clogged pores. Additionally, it helps with any pesky ingrown hairs because it opens up the pores where those are trapped, preventing any new from forming in the future.
Cellulite be Gone
Listen up ladies: Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins? It also helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
Improved vascular blood circulation
This method assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it frees up the body of discharge of metabolic wastes so it is able to run more efficiently.
Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
Improve Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to skincare experts:
“…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.”
Now that you know the benefits, click here to find out how to pick the right dry brush for your skin.
Dry Brushing: How to Do It
Dry skin brushing seems promising right? Well, I can personally vouch for its rewarding effects, but if you want to reap the benefits of it there are two things you should know: How to choose the right brush and how to do the dry skin brushing properly.
First, you’ll need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots. Remember to replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. I also recommend washing the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells.
Dry skin brushing should be done in the morning for best results – each day – no skipping! Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower, this way you will clean away all the remaining dead skin and toxins.
When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, and stomach. Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).
The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.
I have noticed that after 3 or 4 sessions of brushing my skin became less sensitive and the overall practice was less irritating. After a while, my skin wasn’t getting as pinkish as in the beginning. The fact that I used essential oils while brushing and after, helped my skin immensely in tightening it and in softness. I recommend reading this article to learn how to use them in order to tighten your skin and increase its flexibility.
Pro Tip: Try alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin which will wake you up, speed up your metabolism and your circulation. Afterward, follow it up with a natural body oil to nourish the skin. You may even use edible massage oils while brushing or apply after. Learn how to make one here.
Learn how to choose the right dry brush for your skin through this extensive guide.
To Your Smooth Skin,