Dry Skin Brushing Benefits
Many people carefully tend to the skin on their face, regularly exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing. But when’s the last time you tended to the skin on the rest of your body?
Your skin is your largest organ, after all, and there is one simple step you can add to your morning routine that can greatly improve your health – dry skin brushing.
I’m not only referring to your skin’s aesthetic appearance, either (although many would agree this is important too). The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole-body benefits to your health.
Dry Skin Brushing: 7 Key Benefits
Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.
It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Your skin even contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain, making your skin a crucial part of your interactions with the world around you.
Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification, but if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it won't be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently. This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes. Beyond this, dry skin brushing offers multiple benefits including:
Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to “breathe.”You skin looks smoother, less aged and less "crepey".
With less dead skin built up, your skin can absorb the moisturizers you apply, like lotions oils and creams and you'll notice less dryness and plumper, smoother skin.
When you dry brush your skin, it increases blood and lymph circulation, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become plumper and swollen after brushing).
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
Many people become “addicted” to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session.
Dry Brushing: How to Do It
First, you’ll need a high-quality dry brush with natural bristles. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.
Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, brushing before your shower.
When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up to your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).
The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and twenty minutes.
Try It… You’ll Probably Get Hooked
The investment in dry skin brushing is small, but the pay-off is large. If you’ve never tried it, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Dry Brushing Routine
- Use a dry body brush to get rid of flakes, stimulate your lymphatic system, and more as described above (do this for a few minutes on your dry skin, before getting wet)
- Avoid using soap or use the least amount possible, especially in winter or in dry climates, as this may promote and aggravate dry skin
- Instead, apply a natural body scrub to exfoliate your skin (also apply this to your skin before getting wet, and choose one that also contains oil to moisturize)
- After your shower, apply a natural moisturizer to help seal in moisture.
Get a Head Start on Dry Brushing in our Spa!
Dry brushing yourself feels fantastic and is even better when you can relax and let someone else do the work. Experience the Endless Summer Smoothing Body Treatment or enhance your massage with dry brushing for just $20.
Angelina Swanson is the founder and chief formulator at aos [ angelina organic skincare ]. A self-described plant chemistry nerd, she's spent more than thirty years researching and developing skincare formulas that keep our skin healthy and radiant.
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