Dry Body Brushing 101
Have you ever thought about adding dry body brushing to your beauty or health routine? You brush your teeth and your hair right? Why not your body? Easily incorporated into your pre or post-shower routines it has numerous health benefits, both inside and out. It's something I've been doing for more than twenty years and believe me it works! Keep reading to get the lowdown on dry body brushing.
What is Dry Body Brushing?
Dry brushing the skin really is as simple as it sounds—a firm, bristled brush is swept across the skin, from toe to head on dry skin. The practice dates back to ancient civilisations in Greece and Japan. It's also a common practice in Ayruvedic. Commonly used before massage and body treatments in spas invigorating, stimulating and detoxifying benefits. It's a very simple DIY treatment you can indulge in at home to reap the benefits. All you need is a body brush, which is relatively inexpensive, and a few minutes.
Why Dry Brushing is important?
The skin is our body’s largest organ, integral to the elimination and detoxification process. It is thought to be responsible for excreting nearly a third of the body’s daily impurities. Body brushing is one of the most effective ways to promote your lymphatic system, thus helping your body metabolize toxins more efficiently, discourage fluid retention and can even help with the appearance of cellulite. Dry brushing your skin for just a few minutes each day can also make a big difference to skin health, revealing, softer and more even-toned looking skin. It is a great way of seeing results and getting skin in peak condition quickly.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
1. Lymphatic Support
The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is composed primarily of lymph vessels, nodes and tissues. When the system is working effectively it functions to filter out toxins, detoxify and regenerate, thus helping to maintain a healthy immune system and giving the body the opportunity to heal itself. The lymphatic system tends to be stagnant and needs to be moved often, as many of the body's lymph vessels run just below the skin, regular dry brushing can help to stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and thus detoxify naturally. Unfortunately there is little research to support this claim but experts do agree that this could be correct and you're not doing any damage
The process of dry brushing helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells, thus naturally exfoliating the skin and resulting in a smoother and more even toned complexion. In addition, by brushing the skin for a few minutes each day, it allows your chosen moisturiser or body oil to penetrate more effectively into the skin, thus allowing your skin care products to work much more efficiently.
Exfoliates dead skin: As with all methods of exfoliating, dry brushing gets rid of the day's dirt and oil as well as dead skin cells. The result is increased cell turnover and more radiant, smooth skin.
3. Prevent the Ingrown hairs
Did you know that regular brushing also encourages cell turnover? If you’re partial to waxing, shaving or laser hair removal then dry brushing can be very effective at keeping those pesky ingrown hairs and clogged pores at bay.
4. Boosts energy levels
Dry body brushing can help create a healthy blood flow and speed up the transportation of both oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells and tissue. In turn this helps to increase collagen production within the skin. As blood flow increases and circulation is stimulated by the brushing action on the skin, it lends the body, skin and mind a much-needed energy boost. This is why brushing in the morning is recommended as opposed to the evening.
5. Reduces the appearance of Cellulite
Often toted as a solution to getting rid of cellulite, there wasn't any proof until a recent BBC documentary “The Truth About Looking Good”. A team of female volunteers and researchers at the University of Sunderland found that dry brushing saw an improvement in cellulite of 26 per cent! Which is way more than any super expensive anti cellulite cream! I 100% believe it improves the appearance and recommend it to everyone! Dry body brushing is also said to suppress the formation of varicose veins and improve skin discolouration.
- a note on cellulite. Everyone has cellulite and I mean everyone! Yes even supermodels! Working in 5 star spas meant I saw very famous people in not a lot of clothes (sorry can't tell you who) and guess what! THEY HAVE CELLULITE!
How to dry brush?
There's a method to dry brushing and it doesn't involve randomly scrubbing a brush all over your body. The dry brushing process isn't complicated, so don't be too worried about getting doing it "right." Once you've done it a few times, you'll develop a technique that works for you.
- Best done before your morning shower, grab your brush and begin at the toes using a firm not too strong pressure
- Work upwards on the legs in long, firm strokes, working towards the back of thighs and bum.
- Brush the stomach in an anti-clockwise movement to aid digestion and continue up the arms towards the heart.
- Try to spend 3-4 minutes doing this.
Dry brushing will help to remove the layer of dead skin prior to application of your body oil or moisturiser, allowing the product to be absorbed quicker and more effectively. If you forget to brush before your shower, you can also use the brush after showering by adding some body oil to the brush to maximise the benefits of your chosen body moisturiser.
How Often Should You Dry Brush?
It's up to you (and the strength of your skin) to decide how often to do it. You can do it daily or a few times a week. Your skin will be slightly red afterwards but it shouldn't be sctrached. If you have scratched the skin it means you have been using to strong pressure and or/ your bursh is too stiff. Plus don't forget to wash your brush with baby shampoo at least twice a month to get rid of all of that dead skin buildup.
Who shouldn't try dry brushing?
In general, exfoliation should always be done with caution. Dry brushing can make skin more sensitive, so skin that's already sensitive to begin with may want to avoid the treatment. If your skin skews extra sensitive or you're struggling with eczema, psoriasis, or other serous skin conditions, steer clear of dry brushing as it can exacerbate your issues and cause further irritation. Also, brushing too hard, too often can lead to irritated skin. While you'll notice your skin will redden after dry brushing, skin abrasions aren't the results to expect. Lastly, if you have an open wound on your skin, avoid this area to avoid introducing bacteria and infection.
Dry brushing can be a relaxing yet stimulating indulgence to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. The key to remember through all dry brushing sessions is to treat your skin gently. Rough brushing won't gain you better results. Be realistic about the results you're expecting (dry brushing is lovely after all, but it's not a cure-all) and listen to your skin, and dry brushing can be a simple luxury to add to your self-care routine.
Let me know if you have any questions!