Dry Body Brushing: Benefits and Methods
What is dry body brushing?
Dry body brushing is a practice that involves using a natural bristle brush on the skin to exfoliate and improve circulation. The brush is typically used in long, sweeping motions towards the heart, starting at the feet and working upwards. It may sound simple, but dry body brushing offers a host of benefits for your skin and overall well-being.
One of the key advantages of dry body brushing is its ability to exfoliate dead skin cells and improve skin texture. By gently sloughing off these dead cells, dry body brushing can help unclog pores, prevent ingrown hairs, and give your skin a smooth and radiant appearance. Additionally, this technique promotes blood flow to the surface of the skin, encouraging lymphatic drainage.
Moreover, incorporating dry body brushing into your daily routine can help stimulate your nervous system and invigorate your senses. As you sweep the brush across your body, it not only helps wake up sluggish muscles but also provides a gentle massage-like sensation that can be incredibly soothing after a long day. This simple self-care practice offers both physical and mental benefits - making it an excellent addition to anyone's daily regimen.
You can also use a dry face brush to massage and exfoliate the skin on your face. See the Iris Hantverk dry face brush here
Benefits of Body Brushing
Unlike other exfoliation methods, such as chemical peels or scrubs, dry brushing does not require any additional products and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. The dry brush will remove the outer layer of dead skin so you can achieve smoother and softer skin, as well as improve the overall texture and tone of the skin.
Given that you will be sloughing away these dead cells, it’s a good idea to do it in the shower before turning on the water so that you can wash it all away once you do turn on the shower.
It's important to note that while dry brushing can be beneficial for most people, it may not be suitable for those with sensitive or inflamed skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. As with any exfoliation method, moderation is key – over-exfoliating can lead to irritation and damage the protective barrier of the skin. So remember to listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly for optimal results! I must say though as someone who suffers from psoriasis, I gain great benefit from dry brushing those areas and then moisturising with a nourishing moisturiser. If you are in the middle of a flare and your skin is irritated, it may be best to avoid though.
Another advantage of incorporating dry brushing into your skincare routine is its ability to enhance product absorption. After exfoliating with a dry brush, your freshly revealed skin becomes more receptive to serums, lotions, and oils. This means that any hydrating or nourishing products you apply after exfoliation will penetrate deeper into the skin's layers for better results. So if you've been struggling with dry or dull skin despite using high-quality skincare products, perhaps adding some gentle yet effective dry brushing could be just what you need to take your skincare routine to the next level.
Blood Flow and Circulation
Dry body brushing is not just a luxurious spa treatment; it has numerous health benefits, one of which is improved circulation. By gently massaging the skin with a dry brush, you stimulate the blood vessels near the surface, promoting increased blood flow throughout your body. This improved circulation can have a profound impact on your overall well-being.
When blood circulates efficiently, nutrients and oxygen are delivered more effectively to all parts of the body. This means that your muscles and tissues receive nourishment at an optimal level, leading to increased energy levels and enhanced performance. Improved circulation has been said to assist in reducing inflammation and boosting immunity.
According to Dr Perry Nickelston also known as “the Lymph Doc”, moving the fluid of the lymphatic system is essential to good health. In particular, getting the lymph moving can help with chronic pain and inflammation.
The lymphatic system is one which does not have it’s own pump like the blood system where the pump is the heart. This is where movement, vibration and pressure are important to aid the lymph to move within the body. Whilst, lymphatic drainage can be achieved a number of ways, dry body brushing is most certainly a pleasurable and mindful way of activating this movement.
Dr Perry recommends the following order to open up the main lymphatic drainage points - he calls this the Big 6TM:
- Above and below the collarbone
- Both sides of the next at C1/C2
- Where the shoulder and chest meet
- The abdomen
- The creases of the groin
- Behind the knees
Once these main points have been “opened” you will then be able to reap the benefits of dry brushing your body.
I highly suggest following the dry body brushing method espoused by Dr Caitlin Czezowski known as a drainage and detox specialist. You can follow her routine for dry body brushing here.
Essentially, after opening what Dr Caitlin refers to as the termini – the main lymphatic drainage points – dry brush your body by brushing towards the heart working your way from the top of the body down.
Incorporating dry brushing into your self-care routine can bring a multitude of benefits for your overall well-being. Not only does it help to exfoliate the skin, but it also stimulates the lymphatic system and boosts circulation.
Dry brushing is not only an invigorating addition to your skincare routine but can also be a form of meditation and mindfulness. As you glide the brush over your skin, pay attention to each stroke and how it feels against your body. Allow yourself to be fully present in this moment, letting go of any worries or stressors from the day. This act of mindfulness can help calm both the mind and body, fostering a deep sense of relaxation that radiates throughout your day.
Furthermore, incorporating dry brushing into your self-care routine is not just about external benefits; it can also have profound effects on our mental state. The gentle pressure applied during dry brushing stimulates the nervous system, promoting a release of endorphins that enhances mood and reduces anxiety or stress levels. By regularly incorporating this practice into our self-care routine, we are nurturing ourselves from within and cultivating a stronger mind-body connection.
Fortunately, our bodies are quite clever at detoxifying themselves. I am fully aware that the liver does a wonderful job at eliminating toxins in the body. In traditional ayurvedic medicine, it has long been espoused that dry body brushing is a form of detoxification. Whilst I am not a medical practitioner and try to avoid the use of the word detoxification, I strongly believe there are benefits - mainly lymphatic and exfoliating/invigorating - to the body in incorporating a dry brushing routine but it should be noted that there is no actual research that I could find that supported detoxification through the skin.
Incorporating dry brushing into your daily routine doesn't have to be time-consuming or complicated. Simply set aside a few minutes each day before showering or bathing to give your skin some much-needed TLC. And while many opt for dry brushing in the morning as an energising way to start the day, there's no wrong or right time – do what feels best for you. So why not give this practice a try?