I heard about dry brushing about 2 years ago while doing a 3 week detox program. It appealed to me because the 5 minute process offered a lot of the same benefits as eating green cashew soup and beets each day…without actually eating that stuff. Since then, I’ve learned celebrities like Molly Sims, Julianne Moore and Miranda Kerr have all swore by their dry brush habit.
There is so much out there acting like dry brushing is a cure-all though. Honestly, from my experience and research – it seems like just one more small thing we can do to possibly improve our health a little.
The process can even have negative effects to people in their teens and 20s because at that age the skin naturally is exfoliating itself and rebuilding new cells quickly. When 30s and on roll around though, we may need some help getting off that extra layer of skin. Attractive, right?
Dry brushing can also be too harsh for people with dry or sensitive skin. A better alternative would be a gentle washcloth in the shower with natural soap followed by an organic oil or lotion after.
Below you’ll find out what the process is, the potential benefits of it and a few affiliate links to Amazon if you’d like to try it.
What does dry brushing mean?
Dry brushing removed dead skin cells by gently massaging the skin through brushing the body with a natural, firm brush. Users brush towards the heart. It’s said to impact the body’s lymphatic system to help improve not only skin but remove toxins. It’s also been linked to other health benefits.
Why does it work?
First off, the scientific evidence isn’t clear whether all of the benefits linked to dry brushing are for real. However, I do think it does have a small positive effect on our health just like other small healthy habits.
People believe it works because of the skin’s natural ability to excrete toxins. The idea is that dry brushing helps to clear pores and remove toxins that are trapped in the top layer of skin.
Digging deeper in the benefits, some believe that the process also helps us tap into our lymphatic system. This system is controls how blood is transported in the body and eliminating waste that our cells produce. If the system is congested or clogged, it can lead to a build-up of toxins which can effect our immune system. Since the lymphatic system runs through the whole body, it’s been linked to the dry brush phenomenon.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
- Increases circulation
- Exfoliates dead skin cells
- Stimulates the lymph nodes
- Improves digestion
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite
- Improves body’s ability to remove waste
- Softens skin
- Clears pores
- Boosts energy
- Promotes good kidney function
- Reduces ingrown hairs
- Could improve keratosis pilaris (KP) (small rough bumps on arms and thighs)
Please note that not all of these benefits have been scientifically proven though. This may be because there isn’t enough interest or budget to research as well, but it could be also that some benefits are just the placebo effect. Either way, whether it works or people truly believe it works, it is improving people’s perception of their health which is pretty cool!
How Often Should You Dry Brush
Once or twice a day. Typically it’s best to do it in the morning before a shower.
Finding a Good Dry Brush
The main 2 things of finding a good brush is to look for one with natural (not synthetic) bristles. It should be firm but soft. The other thing is you may choose one with a handle so that you are able to reach all over your body including your back.
Here are 3 suggested ones I like all under $20:
Your How-to Guide
The whole process should only take about 5 minutes.
- It’s best to stand in your shower or tub. Depending on your skin, you may have some flakes floating around. (gag!)
- Be gentle! The idea is to pamper the skin through a gentle massage. You shouldn’t be pressing down hard or have scratches or red skin during the process. You may be a little pink, but anything more is too much pressure.
- Skip any open cuts, abrasions and any patches of eczema or psoriasis.
- Starting at your feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up to your legs in long, smooth strokes. You should overlapping as you go and brushing up towards your heart. The reason we brush towards the heart is because that’s close to where the lymph system drains.
- Continue brushing the skin on the arms – starting with your palms and working towards your heart.
- Finish the process on your tummy, back, check and face with a softer brush. On your stomach it’s best to use a counterclockwise pattern.
- Shower if desired. Then apply a natural lotion or oil.
- Clean your brush 1x a week with soap and water. Then hang it to dry in a sunny place to prevent mold.
3 Tips & Tricks to Dry Brushing
- Try it at least for a month to see if you’re going to like it and see results.
- Kundalini yoga teachings practice a cold shower after dry brushing to boosts circulation more.
- For added moisture, consider rubbing on a Rose or coconut oil before brushing. It changes the technique a little, and you don’t have to shower after either.
Time Magazine did an article about the skin technique stating that if done too much or with too much pressure you may “do more harm than good”. It was the only article that negated all of the benefits though while several other sources sang praises to the skin habit.
Needless to say, our bodies are powerful. Our gallbladder and liver also work so hard in processing what we eat and eliminating toxins. So while dry brushing may be beneficial – especially to the skin’s outward appearance – we should be thankful for all of the cool inner-workings going on in our bodies to help us be strong!
Have you ever dry brushed before? Will you now?
Get your brushes now: