Your skin is the largest organ in the body and it is important to take care of it, making sure all necessary toxins are being eliminated. Dry body brushing is a simple way to help stimulate the lymphatic system and in turn release toxins and aid in digestion and kidney function. Body brushing will also promote cell renewal, increase blood flow and achieve tighter, smoother skin. Dry body brushing is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective things you can do for promoting healthy skin.
The practice of dry body brushing is gaining followers, thanks to its popularity in spas and with certain celebrities. Many people swear by its stimulating and detoxifying effects, so how can you add brushing to your self-care regimen? And more importantly, why should you?
Always make three long sweeps towards the heart and avoid any back and forth or scrubbing motions. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest and then back. On your stomach, direct the brush clockwise or counterclockwise.
Dry brushing is as simple in practice as it sounds in theory. Use a natural, non-synthetic, soft-bristled brush. Long-handled brushes work great so you can reach your entire back easily. Always make three long strokes towards the heart, avoiding any back and forth or scrubbing motions. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest and then back. On your stomach, direct the brush clockwise or counterclockwise, and brush in circular motions.
This routine can be completed any time of the day, on dry skin, before you get into the bath or shower.
Like massage, dry body brushing stimulates the movement of fluids within your body. This includes both blood and lymphatic fluid, which transports white blood cells (the soldiers of your immune system) and eliminates cellular waste. The increase in circulation brushing creates helps decrease bloating and encourages your body to filter out toxins.
Dry brushing is also a great way to exfoliate your entire body. Our skin is made up of multiple layers and the topmost layer is made up of the oldest cells, most of which have died. When we’re young, the skin is able to shed this outer layer on its own, but as we age, the cells tend to stick together, making the skin look dull. Brushing helps break up these cells and getting a shower immediately after brushing will help wash them away, leaving your skin looking and feeling rejuvenated.
Remember, your skin is sensitive so do not brush too hard. Your skin should be stimulated but not red and irritated. If you use a brush with bristles that are too rough or brush too hard, you may end up abrading your skin. This creates tiny cuts, breaking down your skin’s natural protective barriers and leaving you prone to infection. If you have eczema, severe dry skin, or another inflammatory skin condition, be sure to check with a medical professional before you integrate dry brushing into your skin care routine.