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Dry brushing is a good practice to take up when you are trying to detox your body. Similar to how a massage can move the liquid in your body around, and help expel stagnant energy, qi, and liquids; dry brushing skin can have the same effect with the added bonus of exfoliation.
Dry Brushing – An Essential Beauty and Health Practice
One of the best self-care practices you can do for your skin is dry brushing. Dry-brushing increases blood circulation, lymph flow, reduces fluid retention, and the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing has been used since ancient times as a practice to attain a youthful appearance with smooth skin and good circulation. This practice stretches back thousands of years to when we used natural animal hair for the purpose. It can be traced to Ancient Egypt where it was understood to be key for smooth, healthy skin and hair that glowed with radiance – something we all want!
Dry brushing helps you achieve this radiantly glowing appearance by increasing circulation and stimulating your lymphatic system which cleanses toxins from the cellular structure of your body through what is known as the lymph nodes.
There are various ways of approaching this beauty ritual, and we’ve outlined how to incorporate this practice into your routine below.
Beauty Routine Schedule
Generally, we would advise that this be done, when you are scheduled for your intensive body care time. Preferably in the morning, before a shower, or in the evening before you bathe. You don’t have to wash your skin afterward, but it is recommended
Picking Dry Brushes
You will need a minimum of two brushes (face and body), or three if you want to keep the brushing of your feet separate. Using a natural-bristle brush made from renewable resources such as bamboo or hardwood keeps this health practice eco-friendly.
You will want a brush with very soft natural bristles and a smooth wooden handle. Sometimes available at local health food stores, and always online (via the amazon marketplace). We’ve made some recommendations at the end of this article
Dry Brushing Process
- Start with the brushing of your entire body, this can be done with firm pressure and your largest bristled brush (for the hard-to-reach places). You can work from your feet in long firm strokes, beginning at the tip of the toes to your heel, up to your ankles, and repeat 10 times. Once both feet are done, you should move to the legs. The idea is that your strokes stimulate your blood to move up towards your heart. So you want to massage your skin, and the membranes beneath the surface.
- Getting to the upper body, the torso, you want to brush in the direction towards your heart. Our blood circulates to the heart where hemoglobin, a protein in a blood cell picks up oxygen and then distributes the oxygen to the rest of the cells in the body. So, in effect you would be helping circulation of the blood and reducing the energy that your hearts takes to pump the blood around.
- Lastly, you will want to brush your face, neck and cheek areas with a much softer brush. Brushing your face in a gentle upwards direction will help exfoliate and combat gravity drawn skin. Also, dry brushing will promote lymphatic drainage, which helps to reduce swelling and puffiness. Don’t brush around the area of the eye as this sensitive skin is too thin and can be easily injured or irritated.
- Drink water to help your body with the waste removal process that your body will undergo from all the stimulation. Dry brushing will promote lymphatic flow and drainage to the lymph nodes, in effect detoxifying the body.
Moisturizing Dry Brushing
Another method of dry brushing is with the use of oils, specifically fractionated coconut oil. Using raw coconut oil would have the most benefits but would be clumpy and grainy.
This type of dry brushing is best suited on recently bathed skin. Because the pores are open and the skin cleansed, the best time to moisturize is after you bathe. You can apply your moisturizing oil with a dry brush using the same brushing technique described above.
Additionally, benefits include treating problem spots such as cellulite and stretch mark visibility. Add a little grapefruit essential oil for extreme effectiveness against cellulite.
Cleaning your Dry Brush
You should rinse your dry brush after every use, and place it to dry in a well ventilated area. Aim to thoroughly wash your dry brush with mild soap (like baby soap) at least once (1) a week, to lift the dead skin cells off the brush.
UV sterilizers are also effective for keeping bacteria at bay. Try this once a month. If you don’t have one, check out these options. Everything can and should be sterilized as frequently as possible.
Relieve Dry Spells
If you are experiencing dry skin, whether related to cold weather or just a shedding spell, dry brushing can help eliminate dry skin quickly and effectively. Every stroke helps your body’s blood and lymphatic system move toxins and necessary nutrients around the body.
A major benefit of dry brushing is that it increases blood flow and drainage of lymph fluid that contains waste from cells deep within your body through channels called lymph vessels which run alongside veins in our bodies. This lymph movement is essential to beautiful skin.
Sometimes people who have not experienced much-guided stimulation and circulation in their bodies will tend to feel a little nauseous after this exercise. The reason for this is that the lymphatic system gets a rush of new waste products from the body, and your body may be indicating the need to rid itself of any and all waste products.
Dry brushing will exfoliate the top layer of dead, dry skin, along with any built-up oil or dirt that has become trapped beneath it. Dry brushing serves a similar function to exfoliation and can be used as the first step in your skincare routine. Exfoliating the top layer of the skin’s dead cells, and dry skin along with any built-up oil or dirt that has become trapped beneath it will help your skin surface rejuvenate itself. Just do not get carried away and start aggressive skin brushing as this could cause irritated skin
Stimulate Qi (Chi)
It will also stimulate your meridians (energy pathways), enhancing energy flow in your body; it improves lymphatic drainage and stimulates collagen production;
it can instantly relieve muscle tension headaches on a more superficial level than acupuncture or acupressure; it is an excellent way to warm up before exercise by increasing the flow.
This practice has many benefits, it’s invigorating and refreshing on the skin, but don’t overdo it or you may experience a sensation of heat with redness and irritation – this is normal at first until your skin adjusts then you should find it more tolerable.
You will want to do this once every three days if you have healthy skin, and twice if you are prone to acne or other skin issues.
If you would like to watch a video on this beauty practice, visit our channel on youtube.