If you are unfamiliar with the term dry brushing, then you’re probably wondering, what is dry brushing for and how do you do it. Well, dry brushing has actually been around for a very long time, centuries in fact and many civilisations have been using it over the years for its variety of health and skin benefits.
You will often find it listed as a treatment in many spas and at a pretty hefty cost too but its popularity has grown so much in recent years that many people are choosing to do it themselves in the comfort of their own bathrooms and when you consider that the cost of a good quality dry brush can be a little as under $20 then why wouldn’t they.
What is Dry Body Brushing Good for
Dry body brushing is actually good for a number of different things and although it is great for the outer appearance of the skin, its benefits go much deeper than that. It can provide a whole array of health benefits for the entire body and stimulating the lymphatic system is just one of its prime benefits.
Without getting too technical here, (I’m no doctor after all) the long and short of it is that the lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins and waste from the body. The process is often referred to as lymphatic drainage but when the system gets sluggish and stops working properly, all those toxins build up which can then lead to inflammation and illness.
Dry brushing is said to kick-start the system and stimulate it into releasing those toxins which is one of the reasons why it is used so much in detox treatments. So for all those looking for a great detox, a good dry brush could be an excellent way to get started.
Dry brushing is probably one of the simplest and most effective ways to exfoliate the skin on the body. A good quality brush will loosen and remove dead skin cells and unblock and clean pores resulting in smoother, clearer and softer glowing skin.
This is also one of the most natural ways to exfoliate and when you consider the cost of a brush and the fact that most brushes will last at least three months if not longer depending on how often you’re using it, it’s also one of the cheapest too.
Although the research is still pretty limited on this one, dry brushing is said to help improve and smooth out the appearance of cellulite (yippee!). It is said that the action of dry brushing can help soften, even out and break down the fat deposits under the skin which in turn helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Even if this is only anecdotal, dry brushing has plenty of other benefits that make it worthwhile and if it does happen to smooth out the horrid orange peel appearance of cellulite in the process then that’s a win-win in my book.
Improves Circulation and Increases Energy
The practice of dry brushing is said to help increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body and increase energy after use. Many people say that they experience a sense of invigoration and energy after dry brushing which could be connected to the improvement of circulation. Either way, this is one reason why many people choose to do their dry brushing first thing in the morning.
Tightening and Toning
It is also claimed that as a result of the improved blood flow and circulation throughout the body, this is said to help promote supple and youthful skin and leave the skin with a tighter looking appearance and it’s claimed ability to be able to smooth out fat deposits under the skin also leaves the skin with a more toned appearance.
On a side note, I’ve had some unwanted damage in the form of crepey looking skin on my tummy after my third baby (someone slap me on an ironing board and iron me out please) so I’m doing a little experiment to see how much I can improve the problem with a few different techniques and the dry brushing is one of them so I’ll dedicate a whole post to my success or failure when I get to the end of it and I’ll let you know how the dry brushing performed.
What Type of Brush
A good quality firm but not overly firm brush is the first thing you’ll need to invest in but only buy ones with natural bristles and not the synthetic kind and preferably one with a long handle for those hard to reach areas.
For best results, dry brush once to twice a day but avoid brushing too late in the evening as the extra energy boost is the last thing you need when it’s close to bedtime. Most people opt to do it first thing in the morning just before a shower and if they do go for a second helping, they tend to do so in the late afternoon, early evening.
On a dry body, using long sweeping strokes, start at the feet and brush your way up to the heart area which is not only good for circulation but this is also where the lymphatic system drains. This should be repeated when you move to the arm area too so start at the hands and brush your way in towards the chest.
Apply firm pressure but not so much as to cause pain. Your skin should look a little pink afterward but it shouldn’t be red and irritated. The sensation may feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning but it shouldn’t take too long to get used to it. On average, dry brushing should take between three to five minutes to complete. To keep your brush clean, wash it once a week with liquid soap and leave to dry naturally in the sunlight but ensure it’s completely dry before the next use.
If you haven’t already tried dry brushing, then you really should consider giving it a go, you may just be surprised at how good your skin feels afterward. It’s worth noting that dry brushing can also be done on the face, however, you will need to use a separate dry brush that is specially made for the face area that has softer bristles as a body brush will be too harsh for the delicate skin on the face.
If you’d like to share any stories about your own experiences with dry brushing, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.