You might have heard about dry brushing on social media, in a health magazine, or maybe by an ayurvedic or naturopathic practitioner. This technique has been circulating for centuries and for good reason. Let me share with you the 5 simple steps to dry brushing and the many benefits that come from this easy practice.
I remember the first time I heard of dry brushing and felt confused and perplexed about brushing myself all over with a bristled brush. I felt I had nothing to lose so I gave it a try. My first thoughts were “wow! My skin is dry” as I could see little flakes coming to the surface and little marks being left on my skin. I have to admit I wasn’t sold on the very first try but can tell you that it did become a part of my normal routine. I’ve seen a big difference in my skin, my fluid retention, and my overall look and feel of my body. I personally have felt a change in my skin’s appearance, feelings of bloating in my body have decreased, and I have more definition in my extremities. Whether this is just from dry brushing is hard for me to tell but I know that introducing and continuing dry brushing has only brought positive things to my mind and body.
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is an ancient ayurvedic practice, where you rub a brush with coarse, natural fiber bristles over your body in a particular pattern. The idea is that the coarse fibers will help to remove dead skin and improve the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins through lymphatic drainage and pores. Think of the Lymphatic system as your body’s built-in sanitation center, so important for keeping you healthy & vibrant. If this system gets backed up or clogged it can cause you to feel fatigued, experience bloating, inflammation, swelling, and experience infection or worse disease. I know that all sounds pretty scary and extreme but it is what can happen if we don’t put in place practices that help us help our bodies. Let’s take a look at the benefits of dry brushing and then get to techniques, and where to grab a dry brush.
What are some of the amazing benefits?
- Stimulating the lymphatic system – The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. Fluids flow throughout the body and into the lymph nodes to rid the body of toxins. If you are exposed to a lot of toxins or are fighting off an infection your lymphatic system could get backed up or clogged. The dry brushing is thought to come and unclog and stimulate the skin and lymphatic system to move the stagnant energy and fluid. Through the increased circulation the body rids itself of toxins, and unwanted material through sweat glands and the body sweating it out.
- Exfoliating the skin – the coarse bristles on the brush are thought to help brush away dry, flaky, dead skin from your body. This allows for new skin cells to come to the surface and give off glowing, fresh skin.
- Feeling of Relaxation – Having dry brushing be a part of your normal routine can bring a sense of self-care to this practice. Allowing time and space to take care of yourself and your body can send a message to your brain that everything is ok. That you are able to slow down and be cognizant of what you are doing at the moment.
- Improves the skin’s appearance – Dry brushing is thought to have a role in softening the fat cells beneath the surface of the skin, decreasing the appearance of cellulite. This effect could be from invigorating and plumping the skin or it could be releasing the fascia or the detoxing and rebuilding of the cells. The exact reason is unknown but many have experienced the decrease in visible cellulite.
- Increases circulation which plumps the skin and prepares the skin to better absorb moisturizers.
- Start at the end of your extremities. I like to start at my toes and work my way up towards my hips. Then I move to my fingertips and work my way into my arp pits. You can start either place, no right or wrong place to start, so find what works best for you.
- Your brushing should be upwards, with light pressure, and short strokes. Making your way towards the heart or the “dumping sites” the lymph nodes in the body will help remove the toxins, fluids, and inflammation. The lymph nodes I brush towards are under the jaw, the armpits, and in the groin. On extremities you can brush in straight lines and on elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles you can make small circular brush strokes. Again, find what works and feels the best for you and your personal body.
- Brushing the abdomen should follow a counterclockwise brushing. You want to follow the normal flow of digestion in your body.
- Brushing should be light pressure, the goal is not to scrape our skin off. To stimulate circulation, brush off dry, dead skin, help our body move unwanted materials out of the body.
- The best time to dry brush is before you shower. Allowing yourself a couple of minutes of self-care before showering can help you be present and mindful of your body. Taking great care of yourself allows you to fill your cup and feel your best. Make time to do these small gestures of self-love each day.
Guess what! It isn’t just for your body.
You can also dry brush your face which also brings its own list of benefits.
- Smooth, exfoliated skin.
- Visibly minimizes skin build-up like dead skin, blackheads, and milia.
- Increased circulation and decreased inflammation or face puffiness*.
- Improved appearance of skin, healthier, more radiant complexion.
How to dry brush your face?
- You can dry brush your face in the morning to help move puffiness out and invigorate the skin. Or you can dry brush after cleansing your skin with your evening oil routine. Either works and it will just come down to your personal preference.
- Starting with your neck you will lightly brush down towards your collar bones.
- Slowly make your way to your face. You will work from the centerline out towards your hairline on each side of the face. Soft, short brushing, spending extra time in any area that feels puffy, stagnant, or has buildup.
- Take great care of the pressure of the brushing. You aren’t trying to brush your skin off. You are just wanting to wake it up, plump it, and help your body detox.
Selecting your dry brush
I have tried a couple different brushes over the years and have found my favorites. Don’t feel pressured into any certain one. There are so many to choose from and most are inexpensive. So try a couple and see what works best for you and your body.
- A personal favorite, this dry brush is made from sustainable bamboo wood and boar bristles, beautifully crafted!
- The only face brush I have tried, made of natural wood with soft 100% goat hair bristles
- Grab the dry brush duo so that you can start dry brushing your body & face!
- A couple I found on amazon that looked good and had great reviews. For wet or dry brushing, or this one comes with two brushes, gloves & travel bag
How to care for skin post dry brushing?
You have gotten this far and this might be my favorite part of the whole process. Being able to see your skin absorb the moisturizers and really look radiant is just the icing on top. I have found that if I moisturize right after showering my pores are open and readily available to absorb. Give it and try!
- This is the whole line of my personal favorite all-over body oil.
- I use jasmine oil as my new nontoxic perfume on a daily basis! The floral aroma leaves you feeling calm + airy. Jasmine is high in antioxidants that combat environmental stressors and decreases the signs of aging.
- The blue tansy could be my favorite oil to smooth over my neck & collar bones before bed. Blue Tansy is high in azulene which fights inflammation leaving your skin feeling smooth and soothed.
- I highly recommend pairing this all-over body oil with either the Jasmine or Blue Tansy oils. The Pairing makes the smell more subtle and has the oils last longer. I use a combo of these oils every single day!
- Needing more moisture during the colder months or want a powerhouse moisturizer for your knees and elbows? These body butters not only smell delicious but they do the work to heal cracked dry skin. Seriously the almond + vanilla body butter smells like it could be icing on a cake, they are that yummy.
- If you find anything you love on Primally Pure use the code: sproutingvitality to save some dollar, dollar bills friends! Little added bonus**
And that’s a wrap!
I’m so excited to have a place to reference and send you to talk about the art of dry brushing! I can’t wait for you to give it a try and see how your mind, body, and soul feels. I always love to hear from you so please shoot me a comment, DM or email to share your experience.