We all brush our hair, but did you know you should be brushing your skin too? Dry brushing, using “a firm, bristled brush is swept across the skin, from toe to head,” is an effective health trend. The “dry” adjective is used because it’s done without the presence of any water or oil, though it is highly recommended to moisturize afterward.
This health trend is just now growing in the West, but it has a rich history stemming from ancient cultures in Ayurveda, Egypt, Rome, and can even be found in traditional Chinese medicine. Dry brushing is growing in popularity today due to its wide range of health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Exfoliation: the tough bristles from the brush on your skin remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells. This gentle removal of cells results in a more rapid cellular turnover leaving your skin soft.
- Increases circulation: The external prompt of the dry brush stimulates your brain to increase blood flow to your skin, and the rest of your body. Not only is this good for your internal anatomy, but it also helps your skin to glow.
- Lymphatic boost: Though slightly contested, many preach that dry brushing promotes a healthy lymphatic system (which sits right below the skin) and aids in lymphatic drainage.
- Energizing: Whether it be from the increased blood flow or just your body appreciating the extra few minutes of self care, the vast majority of users report an increased sense of health, vitality, and energy.
Dry brushing evidently has some astounding benefits, yet, the question remains, how exactly is it done? There are some differences from simply brushing your hair. First of all, because this process intentionally brushes all of the dead skin off of your body, it is important to be on some sort of tile floor, optimally in your shower for easy cleanup. This process accelerates the rate at which approximately 1 million skin cells fall off your body each day. One of the most important things to remember is to brush in one direction (generally upwards). This action, in theory, promotes blood flow back to your heart and encourages stationary lymph to move through lymph nodes and back into the circulatory system. Brushing in small circular motions is also quite effective. Then, just work your way up from toe to head. Because of the way dry brushing stimulates the body, another small yet important tip is to make sure to brush at a time when it will be okay for you to be awake. I mean, who needs coffee when you can dry brush? Using a dry brush is natural, freeing you from the chemicals often present in skincare products that can actually cause more skin irritation. It is such a simple yet effective self-care technique to increase your overall health, beauty, and well-being.