Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic massage that, as the name suggests, exfoliates the skin by rubbing a dry brush with natural and course fibres over your body in certain patterns. It is mainly used to remove dead skin cells and improve your skin’s detoxification abilities through the pores, but it could benefit your body in more ways than this:
1. It may enhance the cleansing of the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system rids our bodies of unwanted toxins and relies on external stimulation to move the lymph through your system. While regular exercise does most of the work, dry brushing can be a great addition, as it will stimulate lymphatic drainage and circulation.
2. It can help smoothen the skin
Our skin dies on a regular basis and is then replaced by new skin cells, which can leave your skin feeling and looking smooth. The coarse bristles can brush away dry and dead skin cells more easily, speeding up the rejuvenation process of our skin. On top of that it enhances the blood flow to and from the skin, which can give your skin healthier glow over time.
3. It may enhance nutrient absorption by the skin
Dead skin cells, environmental pollution and sweat can clog our pores and prevent our skin from effectively absorbing vital nutrients. Dry skin brushing can help open up the pores to eliminate waste and absorb nutrients, moisture and sunlight more effectively.
4. It helps stimulate the nervous system
Dry brushing helps stimulate the nervous system, leaving your body and mind to feel invigorated and energetic in the minutes after your brushing session.
5. It promotes relaxation
Dry brushing is also a great wellness ritual that allows you to make time for yourself to get in touch with your body and skin. The repetitive movement allows your mind to relax.
While the concept is very simple, namely rubbing a brush over your dry skin, there are several guidelines to follow for the best results:
1. Use the right brush for your skin
Finding the right brush is key for a good session. You’ll want to look for a brush with a stiff bristle that is not too harsh on the skin. You can use one without or with a handle, which can be useful to hit the difficult-to-reach places.
2. Brush on dry skin before a shower
Make sure to always brush on a dry skin (preferably all naked) and take a hot shower afterwards to wash off all the dead skin cells open up the pores. It is easy to implement into your morning routine and it will immediately make you feel energized before hopping in the shower.
3. Use medium pressure
You should rub the brush with medium pressure. You’ll want to use enough pressure to move the lymph fluid without irritating the skin. You should also go over the same areas multiple times in long strokes.
4. Start at the feet and move up
The point of dry brushing is to move the lymph fluid to your upper body. You start at your feet and move in long strokes towards your knees first, then to your thigh, lower belly and the bottom of your back. Always rub the brush towards your heart. With the upper body I prefer holding my arms up towards the ceiling and brushing downwards (towards the upper torso). You could also rub your stomach in a circular pattern or in long strokes (whichever feels best).
5. Hydrate after your shower
As dry brushing removes the dead skin cells it is important to wash them off in the shower, so they don’t clog your pores. After your shower it is good to hydrate your skin well, as it will now absorb hydration better and you’ll want to nourish the new skin cells.
Let’s get brushing!