If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’ve heard about the incredible benefits of oil pulling, a crucial step in my daily morning routine and a ritual that has improved my health tremendously. Today I want to introduce you to another practice that is also part of my daily ritual: dry skin brushing.
You’ve probably heard of dry brushing before, but maybe you’re not sure if it’s worth the effort or you simply don’t know how to do it. I’ve put together a little how-to guide to demystify dry brushing so that you can start enjoying its amazing benefits too. It is a fantastic practice to incorporate into your daily routine to improve your overall health, and it is a ritual I now look forward to every morning. Plus, it takes only about 2 minutes of your time!
First, why should we dry brush?
We tend to forget that skin is an organ. It’s in fact the largest organ of the body. Along with the liver, kidneys, digestive system and lungs, it contributes to the body’s natural detoxification process. But when it’s clogged and blocked, it can’t function and detoxify properly. Our skin is a reflection of what is happening inside the body. Every day, our skin regenerates itself and eliminates a huge quantity of toxins through perspiration. But covering our skin with creams, oils, and other pharmaceutical products – which, if you’re not using natural skincare products, is the equivalent of spreading dozens of chemicals over your skin daily! – blocks our pores and prevents the elimination of toxins.
By adding this simple habit to your daily routine, you naturally stimulate the lymphatic system, improve blood circulation and help your body eliminate accumulated impurities, while supporting a healthier skin, stronger immune system and overall vitality.
The Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
1. Improves circulation and helps detox the body
Our lymphatic system is like water in a swimming pool. If we neglect it and we don’t clean it regularly, the water becomes stagnant and impurities and waste start to accumulate. The same principle applies to the lymphatic system. When we brush the surface of the skin, we stimulate the circulation of the lymph, a yellowish liquid that is located just under the skin. We help it move and circulate all the way to the lymph nodes, those small filtration organs whose main function is to eliminate bacteria and impurities. Dry brushing helps to improve circulation and increase blood flow in the body and also stimulates the transport of fatty acids from the digestive system. It’s overall a wonderful way to energize the body and supports the natural elimination process of toxins.
2. Strengthens the immune system
The lymphatic system is one of the most important components of the immune system and the two are closely related. When it is clogged, our defences are weakened and the risk of infection increases. On the opposite, a healthy lymphatic system helps protect the body from infections and helps get rid of pathogens that may have entered the body. Brushing regularly contributes to a strong immune system and helps the body to prevent and fight disease.
3. Exfoliates, tones and clears the skin
Forget those expensive scrubs and exfoliants; dry brushing is the best natural exfoliant you will find. It removes dead skin and impurities from the surface of the skin, which would otherwise be stagnant. It clears the pores, lets the skin breathe and stimulates the natural production of sebum, which results in a smoother, tighter, more glowing skin.
4. Reduces the appearance of cellulite
Yes, I saved the best for last! Regular dry brushing actually helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite. By stimulating circulation, brushing helps to distribute fatty deposits evenly throughout the body and removes stagnant toxins, which can make the skin smoother and can help get rid of the orange peel appearance.
Now, how do we do it?
The Golden Rules of Dry Skin Brushing
1. Choose the right brush
First, make sure you choose a brush with natural fibres. Avoid synthetic fibres as they can be too harsh on your skin, and avoid brushes with leather handle or animal hair for a more ethical, sustainable and cruel-free purchase. The bristles should be stiff; this is normal. I personally use this beautiful vegan brush (pictured).
2. Brush in the morning
Because dry brushing is energizing and invigorating, it is recommended to do it in the morning before you shower. It will helps kick-start your day and will leave you feeling energized. Make sure you do it on a dry skin. If this period doesn’t suit you, you can do it any other time of the day. Do what works for you.
3. Always Brush Towards the Heart
Start with the bottom of your feet and make small circular movements with the brush; gradually work your way up your legs, one at a time. Then do the mid-section of your body, front and back, always brushing upwards. Brush your hands towards your shoulders. It is important that you always stroke the brush in the direction of your heart to follow the natural movement of the lymph. Spend time on each part of your body, but avoid sensitive areas like your face and nipples. Make sure to brush the armpits, groin, neck and behind the knees; those are important sites of the lymphatic system.
4. Apply the right amount of pressure
Apply enough pressure to properly stimulate your lymph nodes, but be gentle enough not to scratch your skin. Brushing can be uncomfortable the first time you do it, but your body will get used to it very quickly and it will actually become enjoyable.
5. Enjoy It!
Brushing can take as little as 2 or 3 minutes, but it can take up to 10 minutes if you take your time. There’s no wrong or right way to do it. Just do what works for you. Take this opportunity to relax. Enjoy this little moment of self-care and even turn it into a meditative session if you want. Rather than seeing brushing as a chore, turn it into a special time of day dedicated to yourself and your health.
After your first session, you should feel energized and invigorated. After a few times, your skin should feel softer and smoother. Gradually, your body will become stronger and healthier.
Is dry brushing part of your daily routine? Have you noticed any benefits? If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”