When people think of a cleanse, they most often imagine a strict diet, a liquid detox, or fasting entirely. Dry brushing acts like a cleanse for the skin, promoting lymphatic drainage, helping to rid the body of cellular waste and function optimally.
Dry skin brushing, as the name suggests, is an ancient Ayurvedic technique of brushing the skin in long sweeping strokes toward the heart. Typically performed using a natural bristle brush or silk gloves, dry brushing is recommended for those who show signs of fatigue, sluggishness or a taxed immune system.
Benefits of dry brushing:
- Encourages circulation
Dry brushing stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage throughout the entire body encouraging the body’s removal of metabolic waste. When the body removes toxins it’s able to run more efficiently.
- Cleanses the lymphatic system
Brushing the skin stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic matter into the colon, thereby cleansing the entire system. This allows the lymph to purify the body keeping the blood and other vital tissues healthy.
- Skin renewal
Dry brushing is an exfoliator, keeping your skin looking youthful. By removing dead layers of skin and impurities, you improve the skin’s appearance making topical treatments more effective. Increasing circulation also helps to tighten the skin which may lessen the appearance of cellulite, a toxic material accumulated in the body’s fat cells.
How to dry brush properly:
- 1Shower power
Dry brushing is best done before a shower to get the best benefits in improving circulation and removing dead skin cells. Use a brush with a long handle and natural bristles like this one.
- 2Towards your heart
Standing in the shower, before the water has been turned on, begin at your feet and brush up the legs in long sweeping strokes. Move then from the hands toward your shoulders. Gently brush the torso in an upward motion. Always brush in the direction of your heart. Pressure should be light enough to stimulate the lymph, not so hard that you’re reaching the muscles. Always avoid sensitive areas of the skin like the face or anywhere the skin may be broken.
- 3Wash it off
After brushing, take a shower to help release the dead skin and improve circulation. Alternate between hot and cold water to bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
- 4Moisturize naturally
After showering, dry off vigorously and use a natural oil like coconut, sesame, or olive to nourish the skin without adding any chemicals.
While dry brushing is typically safe for most, if you have signs of skin irritation like eczema or psoriasis, ask your dermatologist before you begin any practice of dry brushing.