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Dry Brushing | Benefits & Techniques

Updated on January 14, 2016

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a skincare technique that involves brushing the skin with a dry brush using a certain pattern. This technique has been used for centuries. Evidence of this practice has been found in cultures all over the world. This practice, while not well known, is still just as effective today as it was then and can reap the same benefits. Just recently dry brushing is beginning to gain modern popularity.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Exfoliates skin. An immediate result of dry brushing is smooth, exfoliated skin. The brush works as an excellent manual exfoliator to brush off layers of dead, dry skin revealing the clear healthy skin underneath. This will also allow any skin care products or moisturizer to penetrate deeper and work better. In the first few days you will notice your skin looks and feels softer and smoother. Dry brushing will also help even skin tone, and can get rid of any dry flaky spots you may have like the elbows or knees.

Eliminates toxins. Approximately 1/3 of your body's toxins are eliminated through the skin. Dry brushing helps the body do this more effectively by unclogging the pores and allowing the body to purge toxins more easily.

Reduces cellulite. Many people notice an improvement in cellulite once they start dry brushing. This could be because cellulite is caused by toxins trapped beneath the skin and dry brushing gives them a way to exit instead of accumulating which is what causes cellulite.

Aids blood circulation and the lymphatic system. Dry brushing helps move lymph back into the circulatory system. Lymph vessels, which are just under the skin, are stimulated by dry brushing. This allows the body to detoxify itself naturally, and will also allow your liver to remove toxins more efficiently as well. Since dry brushing is so beneficial to the lymphatic system it wlll also help to strengthen your immune system.

Allows internal organs to function more efficiently. As you probably know your skin is your body's largest organ. By aiding your skin in removing toxins you are taking stress off of other organs such as the kidneys and liver.

Choosing the Right Kind of Brush

The most important thing to look for when selecting a brush for dry brushing is that it has natural bristles. Synthetic bristles can cause tiny tears in your skin and usually contain chemicals. Look for a brush made of plant fibers

The brush needs to have bristles more on the stiff side. If the bristles are too soft and flexible it won't work as well .

A brush with or without a handle will work, a handle is helpful if you have trouble reaching areas of your body like your back.

How to Dry Brush the Body

Dry brushing is best done in the bathtub right before showering as it will be loosening and removing dead skin. It's easiest to do it where all the dead skin can just be rinsed down the drain when you're finished.

For best results you should brush from the top of your feet and move up your body using upward strokes. There are varying ways of doing this and both are effective. You can either use the rule of brushing your entire body towards your heart/chest area or you can brush each section towards it's respective lymph nodes. Adjust pressure depending on skin thickness and sensitivity. Skin will become pink, but if your skin starts to sting or bleed then you're brushing too hard.

Work in overlapping sections moving up your body, you can go over each section as much as is comfortable, 6-7 times per section is a good goal, but this is a personal preference.

Once you're finished you can shower off right away. Pat dry and follow with a good quality moisturizer or body oil.

How to Brush the Neck and Face

You can dry brush your facial skin as well. You will need to use a softer, smaller brush for this as the one you use for your body will be to harsh. Make sure this brush also has natural bristles.

The benefits of dry brushing your face are much the same as the benefits for your body. It will exfoliate leaving your skin soft and supple. It can drain away lymph and sinus congestion around the nose and eyes. It can reduce redness and dry spots as well as combat puffiness around the eyes.

While dry brushing for the body can be done every day, you should keep facial dry brushing to 2-3 times a week. Be sure to be extra gentle and always follow with a high quality facial moisturizer or oil.

Use circular motions on the cheeks being careful not to get too close to the eye area. On your forehead start from the middle and brush out towards your temples in both directions. Use up and down strokes from between your eyebrows down the bridge of your nose, and a circular stroke on the tip.

When brushing your neck use upward strokes from your décolleté area up to the tip of your chin. The skin on your neck is some of the most delicate so make sure to be gentle when you brush this area.

Caring for your Brushes

Brushes should be stored in a clean, dry place. Wash your brush approximately once a week with an antibacterial soap and let it dry in the sun completely to avoid mold and mildew.


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