You might have heard of dry brushing. It’s this trendy and popular thing to do for your skin and blood circulation. Dry brushing has gained fans worldwide and made beauty retailers everywhere stock up on the familiar natural looking brushes used for this beauty routine. Here’s why and how I dry brush, and what the benefits of dry brushing are.
Dry brushing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – brushing over your skin in circular motions using a dry brush. The brushes used for this practice are usually made of cactus sisal bristles, with a wooden handle. A brush made out of cactus might sound like the last thing you want to be running up and down your body. Don’t worry, the brushes – although slightly rough – aren’t like the kind of thistles you’re imagining. And it’s not meant to be painful or break the skin. So don’t press too hard or be too rough in your brushing movements.
I try to dry brush once or twice a week (but I’ll admit I’m still working on making it a routine). I use an organic brush from Eco Tools. Some people like to add a little bit of oil to their brush before use, if you chose to do this then shower before brushing. Otherwise, if using the brush dry without oil, shower after brushing to wash off the dead skin you’ve just exfoliated. Dry brushing is said to be good to do in a sauna or steam room too, though I have yet to try this.
How to dry brush
Always brush towards your heart and work from the bottom up. Start at your feet and brush upwards in circular motions. The same goes for your upper body and arms, start at your hands and work towards your heart – upwards. Once you reach your stomach, work in a counterclockwise motion. Use small circular motions and be careful not to press too hard (make sure your brush isn’t too stiff). Dry brushing isn’t supposed to be a harsh exfoliation.
The whole process of brushing the skin should only take about 3-5 minutes. Once you’ve finished brushing, shower off and then finish with oil or body lotion.
If I dry brush in the evening I like to use organic lavender oil (I’ve got one I like from Weleda) because it has a calming effect that can help you relax before sleep. Otherwise I use organic coconut oil or an organic body lotion – a favorite is Avalon Organics peppermint hand and body lotion, it smells so good!
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is said to stimulate the lymphatic system. What is the lymphatic system, you ask? It’s part of the vascular system, as in the circulatory (or cardiovascular) system in our bodies. The vascular system is an organ system that transports blood throughout our bodies. One of the main functions of the lymphatic system is defending the immune system. Lymph contains lymphocytes which contain waste products and cellular debris.
So, now that we got that little science lesson out of the way, let’s get back to the benefits of dry brushing.
Fans of dry brushing say that when they do it regularly, they see benefits of dry brushing sweeping away dead skin sells, improving the appearance of their skin and supporting their digestion.