Top Benefits of Dry Brushing: Step by step how to do it effectively
I have heard so many people talk about dry brushing for so long, and I thought it was something that only crazy people did… but hear me out. We have loofahs and pumice stones and scrubs. We also use plenty of body exfoliating products that we use in an effort to rid ourselves of dead skin. The way I thought of dry brushing was, that it was just another way for people to get you to buy something to exfoliate your body.
However, after talking to the people who actually dry brush on a regular basis, I realized that there are a ton of benefits. It’s not just about exfoliating dead skin, although that’s the number one reason why I started doing it. And when I first felt a dry brush, I realized that the bristles were soft but still enough to replace a pumice stone.
Dry Brushing for Clearer Skin
Your skin naturally turns over and gets rid of dead skin, but you can also still get a buildup of dead skin, especially as you get older and this is when you would want to remove this buildup of skin cells so that your skin is more supple and brilliant.
Dry brushing helps unclog your pores to prevent the buildup of dead skin. This typically happens around your elbows, knees and on your heels, which is why you can get hard calluses around these areas. By unclogging your pores, you let your skin breathe and when put products onto your skin, such as oils or lotions, your skin becomes absorbent and is able to take in more nutrients from the product you’re applying.
Dry Brushing for Cellulite
One thing I was particularly interested in was the fact that dry brushing is said to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. While you can’t really just get rid of cellulite by dry brushing (by stimulating and breaking down the cell walls vigorously), you can create a puffiness by moving the cells around and stimulating the blood flow to the area to fill in the pockets of cellulite. I’ve noticed that when I do intensive dry brushing around my legs, that they tend to appear smoother.
This is a great temporary cellulite concealer. For example, if you’re going to go out and you’re feeling self-conscious about cellulite, you can smooth out the appearance by dry brushing. Dry brushing can also incredibly stress relieving because it is, essentially, like getting a mini-massage. This can give you an additional mental boost.
Dry Brushing for Lymphatic System and Stress
When you dry brush, you’re actually stimulating blood flow by moving the brush over all your muscles in a rhythmic way to make the blood flow easier throughout your body This can provide a lot of stress relief for people who are very tense. I sit in a chair all day and I’m maybe not as mobile through the day as I would like to be, so this is really great. Better circulation helps fight inflammation and through this method, you can actually stimulate the lymphatic system as well.
Stimulating your lymphatic system is the biggest benefit of dry brushing that people experience. Your lymph nodes are all over your body and they contain fluid. When your immune system is down, your lymph nodes can have slower circulation, however, when you stimulate them, you can actually help get fresh, lymphatic fluid to your nodes and increase the circulation of your lymphatic system, which helps push toxins from your body.
Both increased circulation and better lymphatic flow are beneficial side effects for your body, helping it feel awakened.
The health of your lymphatic system is also essential for breast health and dry brushing can help with this. For more information on the role a healthy lymphatic system plays in breast cancer prevention you can check out our in-depth interview with Tina Clemmons who runs De Nuvo Scan. She works with women on non-invasive breast cancer screening and preventative health measures they can take. She was also so kind as to provide a free PDF below on proper dry brushing techniques.
How to Choose a Good Dry Brush
When you go to pick out a good dry brush you want to be sure that you choose a brush with a long, sturdy handle so that you don’t have to be craning, or turned around like a contortionist to reach various parts of your body. This will ensure that the act of dry brushing is easy and relaxing for you.
Next, you want to look for natural bristles. Luckily there are cheaper versions on the market! A natural bristle is always better than a synthetic bristle because you never know what the synthetic bristles are made of, such as plastic or if they are BPA free.
How to Dry Brush in the Shower
Step 1: Get into your shower
Once you have your brush, you’re just going to get into the bathtub or the shower. If you want to catch all the dead skin in your first couple sessions, you can also do it outside of the tub on a towel. Once you’re in the tub or shower, do not turn the water on. This is all done dry. You’re going to get completely undressed and grab your dry brush and you’re going to start at the bottom of your feet. Use a long sweeping motion to run the brush upwards towards your heart.
Step 2: Brush in circular motions
As you brush, be sure you run the brush up your legs, your calf, around your knee, up, your thighs, and every area that you can. You’re going to go over several times. Take your time and be careful. Don’t push too hard. You want to stimulate the circulation, but you don’t want to be abrasive to your skin. You’re going to do this all the way up through your stomach. When you get to your stomach, you’re going to want to use a clockwise motion and you’re going to do the same thing on your chest and your back. As a word of caution, your chest and other areas that are sensitive, so don’t again be too rough. You’re going to want to go even lighter on these portions of your body.
Step 3: Brush towards your heart
And that’s how you’re going to brush your entire body. Do not stroke away from your heart as cautioned by dry brush enthusiasts. This is because dry brushing away from your heart can rupture vessels and create varicose veins. I personally don’t want more varicose veins than I already have, so I just try to keep this long sweeping motions going up my body and towards my heart.
Once you’re done dry brushing, you can just shower as normal and apply your natural oils to your body or whatever you use for body care afterward. Your fresh skin will be ready to absorb oils and nutrients. And of course, you will also now have a very energized and drained lymphatic system.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Dry Brush
Dry brushing can be extremely beneficial, but it is not for everyone.
If you have diabetes or any other circulatory issues, you should always consult your doctor before dry brushing because this does stimulate your circulatory system. You always want to consult with your doctor or naturopath if you already have any medical issues.