So, you primp and prime your skin with a mix of oils, butters, and creams. You stay hydrated, and always cover up with sunscreen. But your skin still has a dull, lackluster appearance-why? Dull skin can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, a buildup of dry cells, and/or a lack of vitamins and nutrients. While drinking water and eating a balanced diet will help improve your skin’s appearance, you might be left wondering what else you can do. This is where dry brushing comes into play!
Dry brushing can be a simple addition to your body care routine. By gently sweeping and massaging a body brush over your skin, you can buff away dead skin cells, improve circulation, and invigorate your body. Brushing the body also stimulates the lymphatic system, which can help to move fluids through your body more easily.
There are historic accounts of the dry brushing practice being used by Scandinavians, Russians, ancient Greek athletes after competition, and in ancient Japan before traditional baths. And it must work, since it’s still around today!
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing the skin is excellent for exfoliation, getting rid of those layers of dead cells that can build up. Proper exfoliation allows skin to hydrate more effectively when a moisturizer is applied. We know fans of the practice say that their skin has been the smoothest and softest it’s ever been.
While you’re working off all those dead skin cells, the brushing helps your body’s circulation and cleans out those pores. This brings blood flow to the skin, which boosts radiance and improves the turnover rate of new cells.
Dry brushing can help your body eliminate toxins, especially by boosting the lymphatic system. This is where the way you brush comes into play. Brushing can help encourage normal lymph movement, aiding the body’s natural detoxification method. One of our own worker-bees here is a fan and says that dry brushing has helped to reduce water retention.
Dry brushing leads to a healthy glow
- Supports skin exfoliation
- Improved circulation and lymph movement
- Clears pores
- Increases energy
- Supports digestive system
- Relieves stress
First and foremost, it is important to be plenty hydrated and start with a dry body. Dehydrated skin will be dull, and no matter how much you brush or moisturize, you’ll not notice much of an improvement. It’s best to brush your skin when it is dry to help remove any superficial cells-if you choose to do it while your skin is damp, add a bit of body oil to the brush first.
Next, you have to find the right brush. It is important that the brush is natural, meaning that the bristles are plant (or animal) derived. A synthetic brush can be too harsh on the skin for a light exfoliation. A brush with a long handle is also recommended so you can get those hard to reach places. Smaller handheld brushes also work just as well.
The best time to dry brush is in the morning, before you shower. Begin brushing at the bottom of your feet, using long strokes upwards towards the heart. Keep brushing up your body, with the strokes going towards the heart. Move up from the hands in long strokes, and from the top of your shoulder down towards the heart (so if you’re on your right shoulder, you’ll be moving the brush across your chest). Make sure you’ve gotten your back and torso too!
Steps to dry brushing skin
- Start brush at your foot and work toward the heart (up leg) with long strokes
- Do other foot/leg
- Brush from your hand (up arm) toward your heart with long strokes
- Do other hand/arm
- Move to the top of your shoulder work toward your heart
- Brush back side of body, all with long strokes in the direction of the heart
- Move along digestive track in the direction that food travels, with gentle pressure, using clockwise circular strokes
A Little Bit More
If you still have more questions on dry brushing your body, our blog How to Dry Brush Skin goes more in depth with you on the topic.