I got into dry brushing around this time last year because I wanted something that could help reduce the cellulite on my body naturally. But, while researching a good quality dry brush to get, I came across so many other benefits!
So now, not only do I brush my hair and my teeth, I brush my skin, too.
Dry Brushing for the Skin
Dry brushing has increased in popularity over the past few years due to the many benefits it delivers. You may now even find “dry brushing” as an option at spas in hotels.
So why should you consider doing it?
Dry brushing is exactly that… brushing the skin in a particular way with a dry brush. It’s usually done before showering.
When you dry brush, you usually brush towards the heart, beginning at the feet and hands and working your way to the chest.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
I’ve been dry brushing my skin for the past year, and have loved the soft feel of my skin afterwards, plus I know I am helping my body in a number of ways:
1. Reduces Cellulite.
Cellulite is the appearance of “cottage cheese-like” skin usually seen on the butt, legs, stomach, and back of the arms. It’s often caused by fluid retention, lack of circulation, increased body fat, reduced levels of collagen, hormonal imbalances, genetics, medical conditions, poor diet, and toxicity. Dry brushing may help to stimulate the cells and break down toxins from beneath the skin, which may act as a natural remedy for cellulite. There isn’t much research to back the cellulite claims, but dry brushing does make skin feel softer and feels really good to do, so there isn’t really a downside to trying it! You may receive so many other benefits along the way too!
2. Stimulates the Lymphatic System.
The lymphatic system is made up of lymph nodes, organs, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph (a fluid containing white blood cells) throughout the body. The lymphatic system is a major part of the immune system, and plays a crucial role in eliminating toxins from the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin, so the act of dry brushing the skin regularly can help stimulate normal lymph flow within the body and assist the body in detoxifying itself naturally.
When you’re in your teens and 20s, the body will automatically renew itself by replacing cells frequently, which keeps you looking young and healthy. However, as you age, it’s helpful to exfoliate once or twice a week to help renew the skin and remove those dead skin cells that may have built up so that you have a fresher appearance and healthier looking skin.
This benefit is often noticed the first time a person tries dry brushing. The simple act of running a firm, bristled brush over the skin helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells, which naturally exfoliates the skin. Since I began dry brushing, I noticed my skin was less dry and much softer in the first few weeks after dry skin brushing. And the best part is my skin has stayed soft thanks to this great exfoliating method.
Just one thing to keep in mind, when dry brushing it’s important that you do it gently so that you do not tear the skin. You don’t want to break down the protective layer on the skin or irritate sensitive skin, as this could cause infection. Exfoliating too much can also cause the skin to become dehydrated, which is not what you want.
4. Unclogs Pores
An added bonus of exfoliating the skin is it helps to remove dirt, oil, and residue from the pores. You’ll need to use a smaller, more gentle brush on the face as the skin is much more delicate (don’t use the firmer body brush here). Your pores become much less noticeable on your face, and your skin feels so much softer.
5. Offers Stress Relief.
Dry brushing is similar to massage in decreasing stress, which is great for reducing anxiety and improving health. What’s crazy is that 75-90% of all visits to the doctor are related to conditions caused by stress! When you are stressed, it causes changes in the hormones that can increase inflammation and cause many other problems. If you suffer with stress over long periods of time, especially chronic stress, it can be really impactful on the body, and may cause health problems like heart disease, diabetes, weight gain or obesity, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders and even cancer.
Dry brushing may provide natural stress relief, much like that of hand massage. When you are less stressed, your body is able to heal much faster from any disease-causing inflammation it may have.
Choosing a Dry Brush
When looking for a dry brush, I wanted one that was vegan, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. Bodecare dry brushes were the ones I was most happy with as they haven’t been sprayed with harsh chemicals but instead, have been Heat Treated so that as you’re ridding yourself of toxins, you’re not putting more into your body as you dry brush. It’s made with Certified FSC Timber, promoting the responsible management of the world’s forests. The bristles are made from genuine Tampico plant bristle which is from the Agave plant and is cleaned with boiling water before being inserted into the brush. The timber is then finished with natural oil to protect the wood.
I use a firm, natural bristle brush with a long handle, allowing me to reach my entire back easily. Avoid using synthetic brushes as these are more likely to irritate the skin.
How to Dry Brush
Dry brushing is something you can do daily over the whole body, preferably before showering. Start with a gentle brush and soft pressure and work up to using a firmer brush and slightly stronger pressure over time.
How to Dry Brush the Skin
- Begin at the feet and start by brushing the bottom of the feet and work up your legs in long, smooth strokes. I usually brush each section of skin 10 times. I always brush towards the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains. As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the centre of the body.
- Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm, towards the heart. Again, I brush each section of skin 10 times.
- On the armpits and stomach, brush in clockwise circular motions.
- Then, repeat the process on the abdomen and back, and then switch to your face, making sure you use a more delicate brush.
Note: My skin goes slightly pink after brushing. This is natural as it’s just the increase in circulation. However, don’t brush too hard. If your skin is red and irritated, or if it hurts at all, use less pressure.
I brush before showering and then use jojoba oil after my shower.
Replace your dry brush every 6-12 months as the bristles eventually wear out and work less effectively. I also recommend washing the brush every couple of weeks or so to remove any build-up of dead skin cells in the brush.
A Note for Those with Sensitive Skin
When starting out, test a small area of skin to make sure your skin doesn’t react to the process. If you have a history of sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions, you may want to avoid skin brushing altogether. Vigorous skin brushing could irritate sensitive skin over time.
Just as long as you don’t ignore warning signs such as itchiness, redness, discomfort, or even pain, dry brushing may benefit most people. Avoid areas of sensitive skin, don’t use bristles that are too firm, and stop if troublesome symptoms occur.
As a more gentle detox option for sensitive skin, try a detox bath instead of skin brushing. This can help remove toxins from the body without irritating the skin.
I personally like dry brushing because it gives me smoother skin, but it’s important that you do your own research, test out things, and measure the effects for yourself.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and before using any new products we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
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Have you tried dry brushing before? What benefits have you noticed?
Wells, Katie. (December 8, 2018). Dry Brushing for Skin: 5 Benefits & How to Do It the Right Way. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/26717/dry-brushing-skin/
Oliver, Kyra. (June 22, 2017). Start Dry Brushing to Reduce Cellulite + Toxins. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/dry-brushing/