How Does Dry Brushing Work? Dry brushing is the manual use of a firm, natural bristle brush. The technique may be used on dry skin at home, or in the spa environment, before massage and body treatments. Recognized for numerous health benefits, the treatment is invigorating, stimulating and detoxifying. What are the Benefits of Dry Brushing? Detoxification, skin exfoliation, increased lymphatic flow and increased energy are just some of the benefits of dry body brushing. Some even claim the technique helps break up fatty deposits and digestive problems, while many acne sufferers report that the overall detox effect improves skin issues. How Exactly Does it Help with Detoxification? Stagnant lymph needs to be moved, and dry body brushing prompts the cells to release toxic deposits into the lymph while simultaneously cleansing the lymph itself. To spell it out, blood plasma containing waste is transported into the lymph vessels, where it is carried to lymph nodes. Here, macrophages and lymphocytes deal with unwanted bacteria and toxins, and the cleansed fluid is then returned to the blood supply. Our bodies contain far more lymph than blood, yet the lymph is dependent upon outside forces for its circulation around the body – lymph has no heart to pump it. Therefore, it is prone to being sluggish. One example of this is cellulite, which is formed by stagnant, toxic waste that gets stored between the tissues, breaking down connective tissue. What's the Right Technique? Dry brushing may cause a slight purging of toxins from the sweat glands, so light pressure is recommended to avoid the stimulation of blood flow (which can sensitize skin). It’s best to brush in long upward strokes, and be sure to follow with the palm of your hand to soothe the skin. Follow these steps:
Start at the toes, working up the foot in light, sweeping one directional movements, following the brush with one hand to the popliteal lymphatic node behind the knee
Move up to the back of the thigh, working in long strokes out towards the buttocks
Repeat on the other leg
Brush lightly on stomach from waist to navel on alternate sides. Then brush across the chest and around the breasts
Brush the front of the arms in long strokes towards the axillary lymphatic node, situated under the arm
Jump in the shower
Apply your favorite essential oil blend, treatment products or body moisturizer.
Dry brushing takes just a few minutes and is best done in the morning, as it wakes and warms you. How Often Should One Dry Brush? Daily before showering. Is There Anything Specific to Look for in a Proper Brush? Look for hard bristles, not soft nylon. Cactus or vegetable-derived bristles are preferred and are commonly used. A firm bristle is ideal or the technique doesn’t work, as you need to be able to stimulate lymph flow. Care for your brush by spraying it with pure Tea Tree Oil before using, and soak it in an antibacterial wash and hot water to keep it hygienically clean. Find a brush with a detachable handle for reaching your back and a strap to keep it comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Once you start incorporating dry brushing into your skincare routine, it’s important to be consistent. After about a month, you will start to notice some of the benefits outlined above, with significant results after 90 days of regular brushing. Just like any good habit, it takes commitment before it becomes part of your routine. Your body will certainly thank you for it with glowing skin, less ingrown hairs, less cellulite, and a deeper level of detoxification.
Lastly, always remember that the key to beautiful skin is internal balance. Our skin can only be as healthy as the food and lifestyle choices we make. This means a diet rich in health-promoting foods, drinking lots of water, regular exercise, and getting adequate, restful sleep. Your skin is truly a reflection of your health, so be good to yourself - inside and out.