Dry Brushing: What It Is, Why It Works, and How to Do It
by Nadia Jones
Dry brushing is a technique said to go as far back as the ancient Egyptians. It entails brushing your skin firmly with natural bristle hair brush while the skin is dry.
The reason the process has suddenly gotten so much hype is because it is said to improve the look and feel of skin; leaving it soft, smooth and firm.
It is also said to reduce cellulite and improve circulation and lymph flow. Whether or not all the claims are true, some people swear by it, and it’s so simple there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Dry Brushing is Good for Skin Health
First of all, dry brushing definitely exfoliates the skin. This is hugely important for the health of your skin and body. Brushing off excess dry skin helps unclog pores so your skin can better absorb nutrients.
Also, in the same way that massage improves circulation, regular dry brushing works to stimulate blood flow.
Increased blood flow aids in elimination of toxins and cell regeneration.
Cellulite may be a different story, as this is typically hereditary, but the healthier your skin is and the more you can get blood flowing, the better chance you have of breaking up fatty deposits.
How It’s Done:
Here is a step by step process for dry brushing your entire body. There are specific motions that are suggested for brushing the skin. So it’s best to learn the motions beforehand with a practice round (keeping the brush above the skin, without touching) and then go about a real dry brushing routine after you have the motions down.
1. Start at the Feet
You will start from your extremities and work your way toward your heart. Start at the feet and firmly brush the bottoms of the feet in a circular motion.
Now move to the top of the foot and brush your way from the toes to your heels. Do this for each foot before moving up your legs.
2. Dry Brush Your Legs
After you have your feet done, continue the same brushing motion, working your way up each leg. You should be using short, firm, upward strokes.
Start at the back of the leg, then the front. Brush your buttocks in circular motions, from the bottom, to the sides, then in toward the center.
3. Arms are Next
Next, you will do your arms. Start your arms at the finger tips. Brush up from the fingertips in circular motions on your palms first. Then move to the back of your hand and brush up the rest of the arm. Do the same motions for the other arm.
4. Dry Brush Your Back Next
Now, it is time for your back. Brush the back from the inside out, toward the stomach.
You may need to use a brush with a medium-length handle so you can easily reach your back without straining.
5. Move Towards the Stomach
When you finish the entire back, move toward the stomach. Brush your stomach in upward, circular clockwise motions.
6. Dry Brush Chest Now
After you’ve brushed your stomach in circular motions, move in upward strokes up to your chest (avoid tender areas like the breasts and nipples). Brush your chest in upward strokes until you reach the collar bone.
By this point you should have covered the majority of your body. It’s a good idea to generally avoid delicate areas, like the inner thigh, nipples and neck.
You can use two different brushes, one with no handle and one with a long handle, or just one the long-handled brush for the entire body. If dry brushing ever feels painful, try brushing more gently or look for a brush with softer bristles.
7. Take Shower with Lukewarm Water
Once you’re finished brushing, jump in the shower. Make sure the water is warm and not too hot. Simply rinse off the body with only water or a gentle soap. There is no need to further scrub or wash the skin with soap because you have already shed any dry or dirty skin.
After you’re out of the shower, lightly blot your skin with a soft towel and moisturize while the skin is still a bit damp with your favorite natural oil.
Jojoba, coconut or grape seed oil are all wonderful for this. In the humidity of the bathroom, pour an ample amount of the oil onto your palm. Rub your palms together to heat the oil for better absorption and slowly rub over your entire body.
Be careful not to put delicate clothing on too soon, or the oil could stain. It’s best to hang out in a towel or robe for a while until it dries.
Try dry brushing every day for about two weeks, and let us know how dry brushing works for you!
(This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.)