Dry skin brushing is one of the simplest and least expensive overall health and beauty treatments you can add to your daily routine.
Who knew that such an invigorating way to stay healthy could also be a shortcut to naturally gorgeous, glowing skin?
Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals. It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun.
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Another crucial role your skin plays is detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently. “When your lymphatic system is congested, you experience toxic accumulation,” explains Sahara Rose Ketabi in Ayurveda. “Seasonal shifts, pesticides in foods, sugar, GMOs (bioengineered food), and other factors increase toxins in your body, so it’s recommended that you detoxify regularly.”
What is Skin Brushing?
Dry brushing your skin is as simple as it sounds—a firm, bristled brush is swept across your dry skin, from toe to head. It’s called “dry” brushing because you aren’t scrubbing up while bathing or showering.
The Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
“Dry brushing skin unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also helps detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage,” says dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD. Also, by unclogging pores, it’s easier for the body to sweat and eliminate toxins in your system.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system to help release toxins
- Increases and regulates circulation
- May help improve kidney function and overall digestion
- May help reduce the appearance of cellulite
- Helps reduce stretch marks and tighten skin after pregnancy
- Relieves stress
The liver filters toxins from the body, produces bile to help digest fats, and removes toxic bilirubin from the blood. By helping your body detox, you make the liver’s important job more efficient.
Why Draining the Lymphatic System is Important
The lymphatic system is twice as large as the circulatory system. While the heart is responsible for pumping and cleaning the circulatory system, your lymph has no built-in pump or cleaning mechanism.
Lymph only moves through exercise, massage, and diet. Our modern lifestyle is the reason it easily gets backlogged. When waste particles from the blood are too large to be eliminated by your liver, kidneys, or skin, they go into your lymphatic vessels. And when they can’t drain away the toxins, stagnation and illness can occur.
Dry Skin Brushing Skin Steps
This diagram from Wilding explains the direction you should follow when you dry brush. As a general rule, sweep towards the lymph nodes at the armpit and groin.
Here’s how to brush your body to optimal health:
- Starting at your feet, perform several long strokes upward using firm yet gentle strokes. Then dry brush all sides of your legs, paying special attention to the backs of your thighs.
- Next brush your arms upward. Brush in long strokes, making sure not to press too hard. If you have rough, raised bumps on the backs of your arms, you can focus on those spots.
- Next move to your chest and stomach. Use a lighter touch, as these areas are more sensitive. Practice several long strokes, always toward your heart.
- Work toward your back. If you have a lot of accumulated dead skin cells on your lower back (as many of us do) this is another area to target.
- Extra tips:
- Brush dry skin once a day (best before showering)
- Avoid harsh exfoliation
- Use a gentle brush like this one from Wilding or skin brushing set with natural bristles
- Shower after brushing
- Moisturize with coconut oil after showering
Your lymph system drains via the chest area. To reduce cellulite and water retention, dedicate at least five minutes to brushing daily.
If you need a visual on how to brush your skin, check out this quick video.
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