The Ins & Outs & All-Arounds of Dry Brushing
If you are anything like me, you may have also rolled your eyes the first time you heard about dry brushing. “As if I need another thing to fit into my busy schedule”, I thought to myself with skepticism. However, my friend gifted me a dry brush and, with an open mind, I gave it a try. It took a little "googling", several tries and a few more eye rolls until I got the hang of it. Now, I dry-brush several times a week and it has quickly become an anticipated part of my routine. Why did I give in? Simply put...it feels so good! I love the way it scratches my itches, how my skin feels afterward and, surprisingly, I feel so energized after a good dry brush!
Why is our skin so important?
According to National Geographic, adults carry about 8 pounds or 22 square feet of skin. That makes our skin the largest organ in the body! Here are a few amazing things that our skin does:
- It protects us from microbes and the elements.
- It helps regulate our body’s temperature.
- It works as a detoxifier by removing waste from our bodies through dead skin cells and sweat.
It’s actually mind-blowing just how important the skin you’re in really is and that’s why it is vital that we take good care of it.
The benefits of dry brushing.
Dry brushing is a simple way we can support our skin and keep our bodies healthy by improving circulation, unblocking pores and softening our skin. Here are some fascinating benefits of dry-brushing that surprised me when I first started:
- Exfoliates and detoxifies the skin.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system, a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite by tightening the skin.
- Improves immune health.
- Increases circulation.
- Improves organ function.
- Promotes higher energy levels (which is why you want to incorporate dry-brushing into your morning routine.)
What you’ll need.
Believe it or not, the right technique and tools go along way to achieving the benefits of dry brushing. Ideally, you want to dry-brush daily, in the mornings before hopping into the shower. I have little ones that keep me busy all day, so I usually incorporate it into my night-time routine when I have some “me time”. To get started, you’ll need:
- A natural bristle dry skin brush (spa brush).
I like to have two, a short-handle brush for the legs, arms and belly as well as a long-handle brush for hard-to-reach places like my back. Avoid wetting it or letting your kids use it as a microphone in the tub!
Basic dry-brushing techniques.
Here are a few of my personal favourite techniques:
- Use long, upward strokes.
- Start at the feet and move up the legs.
- Next, start at the hands and move up toward the shoulders.
- Upward strokes on the torso and always towards the heart.
- When I get to the torso, I like to use a clockwise circular motion over my digestive system.
- Brush several times in each area overlapping your strokes.
- Avoid brushing over broken skin.
- When you are done brushing, shower or bathe as you would normally.
- For added hydration, be sure to moisturize with your favourite, non-toxic lotion, body butter or oil.
After investing in a dry brush, you will want to take good care of it to make it last. Here are a few tips:
- Cleanse it once a week with a little soap and water.
- Keep it as dry as possible in between cleanings.
- Avoid submerging the handle into water as this will cause it to crack.
If you haven’t yet, give dry brushing a good and decent try. Even if its just once a week to start, you will reap amazing benefits and feel great!
"Healing is somewhere between being gentle with yourself and pushing yourself to grow." -E. Maloku