You brush your hair, your teeth, and your pets. But how can “dry brushing” help your overall wellbeing?
Dry brushing is a type of Ayurvedic medicine that utilizes a dry, stiff-bristled brush to massage dry, bare skin. This practice has been present in many cultures for centuries.
Why Dry Brush?
Dry brushing removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. This process is called “exfoliation.” Exfoliation improves and smoothens skin, reduces instances of ingrown hairs, and opens up skin pores.
Dry brushing allows our skin to breathe and absorb more nutrients, paving the way to more effective topical treatments. Dry brushing may also make cellulite and sun damage less noticeable.
Dry brushing encourages better circulation and lymphatic drainage, both of which help to detoxify and heal the body. Because of this, dry brushing can increase energy levels and a sense of wellbeing. As part of my own health regimen, I’ve noticed that dry brushing helps lower stress levels and reduces tension in my body.
Last but not least, dry brushing offers a moment of self-care and peace. Let’s take a few minutes to focus on taking care of the largest organ in our bodies—our skin!
What to Look Out For
Dry brushing is not for everyone. For those with more sensitive skin, dry brushing may cause irritation and may worsen skin problems such as eczema. In these situations, try using a softer scrub, or skip brushes altogether and enjoy exfoliating cream formulas.
Try to use bristle brushes made with natural materials. I personally prefer using brushes with bristles made from plant fibers. Look for brushes with long handles—this would make it easier to reach certain areas of your back! Clean your brush every so often to get rid of the dead skin cells.
It’s up to you to decide how often to dry brush. Dry brushing may leave your skin feeling a little raw at times. Thus, it might be best to dry brush a couple of times each week at first. I personally dry brush once a day, and it feels amazing!
How to Start Dry Brushing
Once you’ve found the perfect brush, it’s time to start dry brushing! Here are some tips on how to get started.
- Make sure your skin and brush are both dry.
- Start from your feet and ankles, and brush your way upwards. Move in circular motions toward your heart. Long strokes toward your upper torso encourage lymph fluids to enter the bloodstream.
- Maintain a firm, steady pressure on the brush as you dry brush. Brush the same areas several times, and overlap brush strokes to make sure that no spot misses the treatment. Relax, and enjoy yourself!
- Avoid dry brushing your face with the bristle brush. The skin of the face is rather delicate, and dry brushing may cause irritation.
- It might help to dry brush right before you shower, as you could wash off the dead skin right after. It’s also a good idea to dry brush in the shower, so you won’t have to clean up too much afterward.
- Apply some healthy moisturizing creams or oils once your shower is over. Your skin absorbs nutrients more effectively once it’s been dry brushed. Try using oils such as rosehip, olive, or coconut oil.
- To see results, dry brush regularly. Consistency is key.
Dry brushing is a cheap, simple, and effective way to keep your skin smooth and healthy. It’s one of my favorite ways to relax and refresh my mind and body.