Dry brushing is an exfoliation technique that not only brings new life to your skin but can also improve total health and wellness. You may be familiar with some exfoliation methods already, such as using a loofah in the shower to help remove dead skin cells. Dry brushing is simply a way to perform the same process without the need to take a shower or bath.
All you need is a specially designed dry brush that provides a gentle abrasive action on the surface layer of skin to encourage new, younger skin cells to flourish.
At first you may be a little apprehensive about dry brushing as the prickly wooded scrubbers are more abrasive than shower loofahs. However, you will soon learn to apply the correct pressure to give a gentle and refreshing exfoliation.
Health benefits of dry brushing
Dry skin brushing has several health benefits which extend beyond having healthy and vibrant looking skin. It can help to improve circulation which helps the body to naturally detoxify. It also increases the rate at which waste and toxins are eliminated through the surface of the skin. Finally, dry brushing can improve lymphatic flow and drainage.
The skin is so much more than just a waterproof protective covering for your body. The pores of the skin are designed to allow wastes and toxins escape. However, as dead skin cells, bacteria and other pollutants build up on the skin it waste can become trapped in the skin. The pores literally clog up and our skin starts to look tired and old on the surface. Underneath more serious health problems start manifesting.
When waste builds up in the lymphatic system your immune system can become badly affected and you are more likely to suffer from viruses and illness. It is for this reason that many people now perform a daily dry brush to help cleanse and exfoliate the skin.
In addition to benefiting the immune system dry brushing can also aid with the reduction of cellulite, reduce skin puffiness and also tackle water retention. Some people have reported improvements in digestive health after dry scrubbing with less constipation and more regular bowel movements.
You should take care when dry scrubbing. Use a brush designed for the task, do not just grab the first abrasive object that you can find. When brushing perform gentle motions over the skin avoiding all sensitive areas. You should always work your way towards your heart, never sweep away. Bowel movements can be improved with a sweep from the armpit down the side of the body to the lower stomach area.
Safe brushing tips
Women should never brush over their breasts as the skin here is too delicate for dry brushing. Also never brush skin that is sore or broken as this will hinder the healing process. If you suffer from varicose veins then you also need to avoid these areas too.
Daily dry brushing is best
Rather than performing a vigorous weekly scrub that can leave your skin sore and damaged you should instead perform a gentle daily brush to help the skin to adapt rather than breakdown. Joan E. Sanders, PhD warns that irreversible injury and necrosis can occur if the skin experiences too much abrasion (discussed in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development Vol. 32 No. 3 1995). However, with a gentle load the skin builds up greater tolerance through adaptation.
A daily dry brush can really help to perk you up in the morning too. Some people prefer dry brushing to get the blood flowing over morning exercise. You skin will look rejuvenated and young again and your health will be improved.
Kay McLaren writes about health & beauty for quality sites such as this one and beFlattered.com, an online beauty store focused on offering great products and advice for women over the age of 40.