DRY BUSHING 101
Dry brushing has been around for years but gaining popularity more and more lately with good reason. It’s a step we include with our detoxifying body wraps and is often offered as an ala cart treatment on the menu at spas in hotels. There are many potential benefits and now with all the time you are spending at home, this may be the best time to start working this into your morning routine.
So what is dry brushing and why do it?
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… brushing the skin with a dry bristle brush.
I’ve been personally dry brushing my skin every morning for years, because it’s invigorating, feels great, makes my skin softer and I believe firmer but also because there more than a few other benefits as well.
What are the BENEFITS?
1. Lymphatic Support
The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. Its job is to drain fluid and carry a clear fluid called lymph throughout your body via a network of vessels and is made up of organs, lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin. Dry brushing regularly is thought to help stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body which can help your body detoxify itself. Important to note however. is while dry brushing has potential to contribute to lymphatic flow, it will not have the same benefits as a massage, especially one specializing in manual lymphatic drainage.
Smoother, softer skin from the bristles will be the first benefit you notice. The act of running a soft but firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. My skin and much softer and smoother with dry skin brushing. While I do still over a great body scrub in the shower as a second step once or twice a week, I find this to be less mess, less cost and I love the additional benefits listed.
3. Clean Pores (& Smaller Pores!)
An added benefit of exfoliating the skin is clearing built-up oil, dirt, and residue in your pores. Even the face can be done but you want to a smaller, gentler dry brush for the face. I notice that my face is softer and my pores are much less noticeable but since I have rosacea and ultra-sensitive skin, I limit this to 1-2 times a week.
4. Natural Invigorating Energy Boost
Maybe it's the increased circulation, maybe it's simply the few extra minutes indulging in a self-care daily ritual, but most people feel invigorated and energized after a dry brush session. There’s no denying dry brushing just plane feels good on the skin (if it doesn't, you're probably brushing too hard). For these reasons though, we don’t recommend dry brushing at night. Morning is best.
5. Increases Circulation and Adds Radiance
The brisk brushing stimulates circulation, helping lymphatic flow as mentioned above but leaves your skin looking more radiant. Yes, this is temporary, but who doesn’t want to have more radiant, glowing skin?
6. Helps to Detoxify
"Eliminates toxins" has become a buzz phrase everywhere you look online and otherwise. Juicing, hot yoga, supplements, massage and yes, dry brushing, all can support your body in detoxifying itself more efficiently. The skin may be the largest organ of your body, but it's not the largest detoxifying organ of the body. That distinction belongs to your liver, with your kidneys being runners-up. Unfortunately, you can't dry brush toxins out of the body so there is only so much it can potentially do to help you detoxify. That said, each change we make, however large or small in it’s effect can potentially contribute to detoxification.
7. May Aid Digestion and Elimination
Since the skin isn't directly tied to your digestive system, any brushing of the skin isn't going to directly aid in digestion directly, however, gentle massaging of the stomach in a clockwise direction may help with mild constipation and brushing your stomach in the same manner could, in theory, also help. In general though, there are other more direct ways to benefit your digestion and elimination. More on that in another post.
8. Reduces Cellulite and Balances Fat Stores
Toxins like to store themselves in and around fatty tissue. When you help the body detoxify and eliminat the toxins, fatty tissues can condense and this can help reduce the appearance of also cellulite. This can be done many ways such as through diet, supplements our detoxifying body wraps, massage, dry brushing and more. Increasing circulation by brushing plumps the skin, making cellulite look less obvious. Sadly, like many things, it's just temporary. Dry brushing isn't really reducing cellulite permanently. But if cellulite can looks better to you after a dry brushing woohoo!
9. Simply put, It Feels Good
There is great benefit to our mental, physical and spiritual state when we make a point of daily rituals and self care. Starting the day with healthy rituals can really set the tone for the whole rest of your day(even when you’re stuck at home)
Selecting a Dry Brush
I use a firm, natural bristle brush with a long handle, which allows me to reach my entire back and easily brush the bottoms of my feet and the backs of my legs. This set of brushes is my favorite because it includes a face brush and two body brushes with different firmness.
Once in the shower, I use the exfoliating cloth we carry all soaped up with the 100% natural, exfoliating aloe and lavender cleansing gel and my skin and shave are incredibly soft and close soft! Don’t have a dry brush? The exfoliating cloth we carry can be used dry in the same direction as the brush but it is more abrasive so if you have sensitive skin, keep that one for the shower.
When I started dry brushing with the 3 piece set, my skin was much more sensitive and I preferred the softer one, and now I much prefer the firmer brush. With this set you have the option of either.
How to Dry Brush:
Dry brushing can be done over the whole body and daily, preferably in the morning before showering. Start with a gentle brush and soft pressure. Work up to a firmer brush and more firm pressure over time.
- Start at the feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up your legs in long, smooth strokes. I like to do each stroke 10 times. For lymph flow, brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains.
- Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, 10 times, each section.
- On the stomach and armpits, brush in a circular clockwise motion.
- Repeat the process on your abdomen and back, then switch to your face with the more delicate brush.
Note: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. It’s best to always brush in upward strokes and inward toward the center of the body as you get to your chest area. Clockwise on the abdomen. Think towards the heart.
*Again, my skin is ultra-sensitive to things and does fine with this routine. I am slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure!
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.
As always, any information we share does not replace the advice of a doctor.
*As with all of our education, information and inspiration, we recommend that you research any suggestions you choose to implement. You do so strickly by your choice. When in doubt, consult a physician or appropriate professional. Your health and well-being are in your hands. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.