As the largest organ in your body, skin deserves a pampering that rejuvenates its appearance and energizes you. Dry brushing is drawn from one of the world’s oldest holistic medicine practices, Ayurvedic, developed over 3,000 years ago in India. The focus of dry brushing is to promote health rather than prevent disease. Many of the claims are not scientifically substantiated, but for most people, there’s little risk. Make the most of your self-wellness routine and give dry brushing a try.
Dry brushing dislodges dead cells from your skin, giving it a smoother appearance. It also helps your body detoxify by improving blood circulation, bolstering flow from your lymph system, which plays an important part in providing your body with a strong immune system. Other benefits of dry brushing include the unclogging of pores that help your skin breathe better and the stimulation of the nervous system that helps the body feel rejuvenated.
To prevent damage to your skin, choose a natural boar bristle brush or a plant-based brush that is medium firm. You can choose a long-handled brush that will help you brush hard-to-reach areas, such as your back, or one without a handle. Do not use your body brush on your face; instead, purchase a softer bristle for all delicate skin. Rinse your brush after every use and let it dry in a sunny spot. Thoroughly wash your brush once a week with mild soap and water. To reduce the risk of infection, don’t share your brush.
Skin is sensitive, so be slow and gentle at the beginning. Although it’s called dry brushing, an ideal way to get started is to take your brush to the shower with you. Brushing with a wet brush on a wet body is gentler on your skin. As you learn the dry brushing techniques, you can increase the pressure on your skin to find your comfort level.
Always brush towards your heart. Begin at your feet and move upwards. Use wide, circular, clockwise movements as you move up one leg to your buttock, then do the other leg. On your abdomen, begin at the right bottom quadrant and brush up towards the ribcage with short, small strokes. At the ribcage, move the brush to the left horizontally and continue down, always in a clockwise position. When you reach your arms, brush up towards your armpits.
Take a shower after dry brushing to wash away the dead cells. When you are new to dry brushing, opt for cooler water temperatures to start. Once out of the shower, pat your skin dry. Rather than using your normal moisturizers, rub your body with a natural oil such as rosehip or coconut oil.
It's always best to start dry brushing gradually, especially if your skin is super-sensitive. If your skin has open cuts or the area is inflamed due to allergies or toxin exposure, don't dry brush until the area heals. If you have a skin condition, such as psoriasis, keratosis pilaris (KP) or eczema, check with your dermatologist before adding dry brushing to your routine.
Cellulite--the rippled or cottage-cheese appearance under the skin--is common among women, although its cause is not yet understood. Dry brushing is thought to reduce the appearance of cellulite by stimulating circulation, which allows the skin to look smoother and tighter. Dry brushing is like a massage that can make the skin more elastic, which may temporarily reduce cellulite’s appearance.
In and of itself, the impact of dry brushing on weight loss is not supported by research. However, in addition to a solid diet and exercise regiment, dry brushing may help reduce fat deposits and tighten up saggy skin. While on your weight loss journey, dry brushing helps you relax and feel better about your skin appearance, which can spur your motivation to continue.
Dry brushing is only one step towards treating your body and spirit to abundant good health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Good hydration keeps your energy levels high, helps prevent kidney stones, eases constipation, and relieves headaches. Be sure to include plenty of vitamin-rich, colorful vegetables in your diet. Treat your skin to a dry sauna to boost detoxification and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals found in certain foods.