Dry brushing has been trending among wellness communities these days, but the practice is actually an ancient self-care ritual that has been used for centuries. Here's our low-down.
What is dry brushing exactly?
Traditionally, dry brushing is using a dry, soft bristled brush against the skin in long strokes towards the heart, usually before or after bathing.
Why dry brush?
Brushing detoxifies the body by stimulating the skin and clearing the pores clear so that the body can freely release through the skin (aka sweat!). When pores are clogged, waste and toxins become trapped, becoming a roadblock for the skin as well as other organs of elimination.
Brushing your skin also stimulates oil glands bringing natural oils to the skin’s surface, thereby protecting the skin and increasing the skin's radiance, smooth texture, and elasticity. Dry brushing also stimulates circulation, balances fat distribution, helps with muscle tone, eliminates dead skin cells, and increases nerve function throughout the body.
How to Dry Brush
· Brush starting with the sole of your right foot, using long, light, quick strokes. Move up through the knee to cover the whole lower leg.
· Repeat with your left foot and lower leg.
· Brush upwards on your right thigh, followed by your left thigh from the knee up. Then move to your abdomen in a circular motion.
· Brush the arms, beginning with the palm of the hand, always brushing towards your heart. Gently brush the chest area in a circular motion, avoiding the sensitive skin of the nipple.
· Start brushing at the back of the neck and move towards the front. Avoid the face.
· Lastly, brush your back in upward strokes -- or have a partner help!
Keep in mind...
It's best to dedicate 3-5 minutes per day to dry brushing.
Traditionally, dry brushing is performed before bathing. After a bath or shower, replenish moisture by applying a soothing body oil or moisturizer. If you choose to shower before brushing, you can actually apply oils to the brush itself before you begin.
Avoid brushing over wounds/cuts, scabs, or rashes. Also avoid the face and other sensitive areas. Always brush towards your heart to reap the full benefits for circulation.