Dry brushing has been part of my routine for a long time, but I can remember when the concept seemed novel and a little weird. Now I wouldn’t dream of skipping this easy but effective step. Dry brushing is simple: you “brush” your dry, bare skin with a dry, soft-bristled brush. Most dry brushing advocates claim that this practice will gently exfoliate, stimulate your lymphatic system and circulation, and reduce cellulite. These are all reasons I dry brush, and in addition, it’s relaxing and a serious stress reducer.
The most obvious physical benefit to dry brushing is the baby soft skin that results from the gentle exfoliation. I love body oils and creams, but dry brushing makes the most difference in the texture of my skin of anything I’ve tried. I’m addicted to how soft my skin becomes when I dry brush regularly, and that alone motivates me to make time for it. In our younger years, the skin regenerates itself and sheds dead skin cells without any trouble. As we grow older, beginning usually in our 30s, our skin cells become “stickier” and don’t turn over as easily, which can cause your complexion to become dull due to the accumulating dead skin cells. Dry brushing will slough off dead dry skin and decongest pores, allowing your skin to breath. Oh and did I mention how ridiculously soft you’ll feel?
One third of the body’s toxins are eliminated through the skin. Dry brushing helps stimulate the lymphatic system, helping it to release toxins that can build up if the lymphatic system is not working properly, which leads to inflammation and disease. The lymphatic system eliminates cellular waste products by collecting waste from your tissues and moving it to your blood for proper elimination. It’s pretty efficient, but it doesn’t hurt to give the lymphatic system a boost in its quest to detoxify by dry brushing. In addition, dry brushing stimulates circulation to your skin, which helps bring oxygen to your skin cells, eliminate metabolic waste and gives a nice glow.
If you’re interested in dry brushing, look for one made from natural materials with soft to medium bristles. You don’t want to scratch or irritate your skin in the process. It should feel good, not painful or uncomfortable. Additionally, keep in mind that it’s best to brush toward your heart in order to get fluids moving in the right direction. I like to start at my ankles and work my way up to my torso, using long gentle strokes. Then I brush my chest, arms and shoulders. I like to brush just before stepping into the shower. Five minutes is all it should take, and it’s five minutes well spent.