Dry Body Brushing – what is it and how to do it…

Quite simply dry body brushing is the process of brushing dry skin (so before you shower) with a natural bristled brush. This exfoliates the skin, reducing the presence of unnecessary dead skin cells on your body; however, dry brushing too often or too hard can cause skin irritation and infection. Be sure you know the facts about dry brushing, as well as the best methods before beginning the process.

As we grow older, our skin becomes less efficient at shedding layers of dead skin cells. Dry body brushing is a fantastic way of exfoliating these away. Alongside smoother skin, regular body brushing encourages cell turnover so that your limbs will look and feel supple, and whether you wax or shave, a quick brush is fantastic at keeping pesky, ingrown hairs and clogged pores at bay.

While dry body brushing won’t completely rid your legs of cellulite, it helps to mobilise and contribute to the even distribution of fat deposits under the skin – and if you stick at it, it’s proven to give your limbs a much smoother, and firmer, look and feel.

Dry body brushing can also stimulate the lymphatic system, and by doing this, we are directly assisting in removing pathogens. This strengthens our immune system and lessens our susceptibility to illness. Dry body brushing encourages important blood flow, and this has a plumping effect on the skin which really helps reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Important Things To Note…

▸▸ Many beauty and wellness sites advise dry brushing twice a day, but this can be harmful. When skin is brushed too often or too harshly, bristles cause micro cuts. These can easily become infected. Also, dry brushing more than once a week breaks down protective barriers in the skin. This leads to dryness and irritation.

▸▸ Dry brushing does affect skin conditions. People with eczema or chronic dry skin should avoid dry brushing. However, if you have a condition called keratosis pilaris in which the skin is inflamed with rough, red bumps, dry brushing could potentially remove the dead skin cells that cause such bumps.

▸▸ Dry brushing begins with the bottom of your body and moves upward. By starting on the bottom of your body and moving upward, it is thought that you increase drainage to the lymph nodes and increase circulation to the heart. This may help remove unwanted toxins from the body and improve blood flow.

▸▸ Move to your arms and then to your torso. Continue to work with your brush. After you’ve worked your way up your legs, move on to your arms. Remember the process: You’re moving towards your heart with each stroke. Start with your hands and move towards the shoulders. Once again, use long and smooth brush strokes. Give rough areas, like the elbows, extra attention. Make sure dead skin falls away.

▸▸ Move on to the back. This can be difficult, as some areas of the back are hard to access. Make sure your brush handle reaches far enough to touch your mid-back and other hard-to-reach areas. Move from the buttocks up to the shoulder blades. Finally, move on to the torso and sides. Brush up your rib cage, moving towards the heart. On your sides, move from your hip to your armpit.

▸▸ Dry brush your face, using somewhat smaller and gentler strokes. Move from the forehead to neck. Nipples or breasts should also be dry brushed with a softer brush to avoid irritating more sensitive skin.

▸▸ Shower after dry brushing. Even if you do not dry brush in the mornings, it might be a good idea to shower after dry brushing. Any lingering dead skin can be washed off in a shower.