Dry brushing your skin: how to do it and why you should be
We are suckers for the aul' creams and lotions that lure us in with promises of taught, tight and glowing skin. More often than not they do not live up to what it says on the tin.
This beauty hack, on the other hand, has been used for thousands of years, and can not only help make your skin softer, but can also help with cellulite, stretch marks, energy levels and your overall health. How is that for beauty?
Dry body brushing involves brushing your skin (all over) with a plant bristle body brush (try health food stores, Aveda, The Body Shop), then followed by a shower and a bath. It is the perfect way to kick-start your day, and will according to beauty and health experts everywhere leave you feeling energised and glowing.
Now, you may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? We hear you, but let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes, will be well worth the investment.
Just think of this:
What is the largest organ in the body? What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification?
What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency? That's right - your skin.
As if that wasn't enough to make you see the light, here are, according to MindBodyGreen.com, some more key benefits of dry body brushing:
- Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilising the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
- Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
- It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
- Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
- It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
- Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
- By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, healthy breakfast, a run, a brisk walk, who knows; but a good start is always, well, a good start.
The reason dry body brushing makes your skin glow is that it is assisting your body in a number of functions. It removes dry skin so products absorb more easily, opens pores so toxins can get out quicker, stimulates sweat and oil glands restoring moist skin, alleviates vein and lymph congestion to reduce orange-peel appearance or cellulite.
The best part? Apart from the one-off investment of the brush, it cost NOTHING.
Here is how you do it:
- Always use a plant bristle body brush. Plant bristle provides the best exfoliation and stimulation for your skin. They are the highest quality, long lasting and don’t scratch the skin.
- Always brush on dry skin with dry brush bristles. Plant bristles are nice and firm when they are dry, which is why they exfoliate skin and stimulate circulation.
- Regularly cleaning your brush will prolong the brush life, optimise brush performance and most importantly, reduce risk of bacterial infection on the skin. A lot of dead skin is sloughed off when dry brushing, so it is essential to wash your brush once a week with hot soapy water and leave in the sun to dry or a well ventilated area.
- Start at the ankles and brush upwards, towards your heart. Stroke brush in one upward movement. Except when brushing fingers and toes, you can brush back and forth between them.
- Brush upward and towards the major lymph nodes in the body, such as the groin, armpits and base of neck.
- Work from left to right, which is the natural direction when massaging the body.
- Follow dry body brushing with a shower or a bath, and a good quality moisturiser.