Do you brush? Brush what you ask? Well, you brush your hair, you brush your teeth, some of us even brush our house pets but do you ever brush your skin???? Our beautiful skin is sometimes overlooked or a second thought in our health regime but as our largest organ, it deserves as much TLC as every other organ in our body 🙂
Dry skin brushing is a term that I am sure many of you have heard before and with Spring around the corner (fingers crossed it actually comes for those of us hit with Arctic Tundra-like weather), I am quite certain you will be hearing much more about dry brushing and its “cellulite combating properties” . It is however, SO MUCH MORE than just a cellulite fighter and quite frankly, cellulite has so much to do with genetics and what you are putting IN your body but that is a topic for another post. Let’s go a little deeper into this gem called dry skin brushing…
About 5 years ago, one of my Yogi/holistic practioner friends was working out with me in the gym and I could not get over how much she glowed! This was in the dead of winter and at that time I was very overweight , so had no glow or zest radiating from my skin at all, rather it was an ashy gray hue 🙁 My friend on the other hand, was in her mid 40’s, super fit and had beautiful skin. She had a natural glow without looking like she slathered herself in cooking oil, so I wanted to know what her secret was – was it a new cream, a magic pill?
After our workout, I asked her what she did to have such beautiful skin. She told me that she did a combination of things that included a healthy diet, lots of pure water, toxic free skincare and dry brushing! I had heard about most of the things on her list but this dry brushing thing, what was it??? She went into a bit more detail about this simple process and I was super intrigued, so I set out on trying it for myself. I went and picked up a natural bristle dry brush on my way home and started my experiment with dry skin brushing that night… that was over 5 years ago and I am still dry skin brushing daily like a champ 😉
Like we would exfoliate the skin on our face, dry skin brushing can be viewed in a similar way. Believed to be used in Turkey, Russian and Scandinavia for centuries, the practice of dry skin brushing became very popular throughout all of Europe and is still used in spas, treatments for chronic illness’ and Ayurvedic cleansing practices to name a few. Did you know that our skin is responsible for eliminating an estimated one-third of our bodies daily impurities and receives one third of all the blood circulated in the body? Super cool, right?!?! Our amazing skin is just as important when it comes to eliminating waste as every other major organ in that process. Our skin is a very complex system of glands, nerves and cells that essentially act as messengers to our brain, as well as external messengers for us being the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency.
When we detox our bodies, it is comprised of many moving parts which includes our gut, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, mucous membranes, bodily fluids and our skin! When we dry brush, it helps with detoxification by stimulating all of the above mentioned with a sweet little massage 😉 If our skin is flooded with toxins and/or dead skin cells, it makes it that much more challenging for our systems to eliminate waste from our body efficiently. Further, the accumulated dead skin and waste on the skin surface contributes to dull skin and premature aging. Dry brushing helps brush away these dead cells and activate our organs/systems including our ever important lymphatic system, which plays a vital role in waste removal and help to move toxins through and out of our bodies. Some of the other amazing benefits of dry brushing include:
- Stimulation of the sweat and oil glands which provides more moisture for the skin
- Increases blood circulation which helps with overall health
- Contribute to healthier muscle tone
- Invigorate cells and refreshes skin texture
- Helps to better distribute fat deposits under our skin surface, also known as cellulite
- Helps reduce stress: when we dry brush it can be a very calming, almost meditative experience and a light full body massage.
So, are you ready to try this awesome dry brushing thing? Well, it is pretty straight forward and easy but here is a little how-to guide to get you on your way
- Avoid brushing your face, broken skin, bruised areas, varicose/spider veins and take extra care (use lighter pressure) when brushing over cellulite areas. There are special dry brushes for the face you can pick up if you want to include that in the mix
- For optimal results, dry skin brush, have a shower afterwards, then apply your pure oils like Jojoba, Avocado, Sweet Almond oil or stimulating lymph specific blends in that order
- Our lymphatic system flows towards the heart so it’s important to brush in the same direction
- Use a high-quality dry brush with bristles made from natural materials, avoiding synthetic or nylon brushes. The bristles should be somewhat firm but not super coarse like hair brushes
- If it’s your first time dry brushing, start with relatively light pressure then progress to semi firm pressure as your skin gets used to it. Never use excessively aggressive pressure when dry skin brushing , we are not trying to scrub our skin off!
- Start off at the soles of your feet and begin brushing with upward strokes towards the heart, working your way up to your legs, inner thighs and the rest of your lower body, front and back
- Continue with your arms, hands, back and shoulders. For your back, you will obviously want to use a longer handled brush OR make it a date and have your partner do your back or the entire backside of your body, booty and all 😉
- Last, brush your chest (gently) and neck then use circular clockwise or counter-clockwise strokes to brush your tummy. It is best to avoid the face and private bits, due to their obvious sensitive nature
Ideally, dry skin brushing should be done on a daily basis for optimal results and sometimes twice a day if needed – you know you body best, so use your discretion. As mentioned, dry brushing has become part of my daily routine that I have a ritual for and I won’t lie, I am pretty hooked to its energizing effects!
A few months ago, I was introduced to Living Libations Lymph + Tonic that is their handcrafted blend of lymph specific essential oils, that help enhance circulation and stimulation of our overall detoxification systems – I absolutely LOVE this in combination with dry skin brushing!!!!
All I do is add a few drops of this super lush oil in my palm, run the bristles across the oil and BAM, dry skin brushing 2.0!!!! I alternate using this oil,l as I do not jump in the shower afterwards for obvious reasons. On days when I brush twice a day, I use this oil in the morning on my dry brush then dry brush pre-bath in the evening without the oil but then mix a touch of it with my moisturizer post bath. You will figure out the best combo that works for you!
When we dry brush, our skin rids itself of dead skin cells, allowing it to take a deep “breath” and absorb oxygen, nutrients and anything what we put on it. It is for this reason why it so important that you apply pure oils/moisturizers and/ blends like the lymph + tonic for your skin to drink it up and usher all the powerful nutrients and benefits to your whole body.
So you are ready to rock and roll! Try dry brushing out and let me know how it goes 🙂 🙂 🙂 Remember, that this is one step in overall great skin and health. Consuming enough clean water, consuming a whole food die (mostly organic)t, exercising regularly, stress reduction and using toxic free skincare are all other things that help with overall wellness and the condition of your skin!
Ta ta for now 😉