Should you be dry brushing?
Dry brushing is becoming more and more popular in the world of health and beauty, but what is it and should you be doing it too?
How to Dry Brush:
Dry brushing is literally just brushing your skin (in a specific pattern) with a dry, natural bristle brush. The pattern follows the flow of lymph toward the heart. Here are some simple instructions to get started dry brushing:
Starting at your feet brush long smooth strokes from the bottom of your feet up your legs in sections, brushing each section 10x.
Move to your abdomen brushing your stomach in a clockwise circle starting on the right side (following the path of your large intestine) 10 circles.
Brush up your sternum (middle of your chest) toward your left collar bone 10x.
For your arms, begin at your palms and brush toward your armpits in sections, 10x per section.
Breast tissue can be gently brushed out toward your arm pit (avoid brushing nipples!!). Emphasis should be on the area where your bra band/underwire sits as this is typically the most congested area of breast tissue. 10 times each side.
You can also dry brush your face (with a softer brush made specifically for faces!) to do so brush from your ears down your neck 10x first. Then from the center of your chin out along your jaw line and across your cheeks and forehead starting at the center of your face and moving out 10x per section.
Don't brush too hard, the lymphatic system resides very close to the surface of the skin so light gentle strokes stimulate your lymph best! If you experience stinging, pain or redness (lightly pink is okay) after dry brushing use less pressure, it should not be painful or uncomfortable.
The bristles will eventually wear our, I recommend replacing your brush every 6-12 months or when you notice them wearing out. Wash your dry brush every week or so to remove dead skin cells, always let it thoroughly air dry after washing (I like to spray mine with a little tea tree oil also to kill any bacteria and wash my facial dry brush daily).
As simple as it sounds, dry brushing is amazing self-care, here are some of the benefits:
Exfoliation - Probably the most obvious benefit and honestly the reason I began dry brushing in the first place. Dry brushing helps remove dead skin cells and leaves your skin softer and smoother and is great to do before shaving because it can provide a closer shave and reduce ingrown hairs by exfoliating the skin and allowing the hair to grow out properly.
Clean pores - Facial dry brushing (using a dry brush MADE FOR YOUR FACE - seriously do not use the body brush on your face it is way to harsh!) exfoliates the skin, clearing out oil, dirt and residue from your pores leaving your skin softer and smoother with much less noticeable pores!
Cellulite Reduction - Although there is not much research to support this claim, I do notice firmer, smoother skin when I dry brush (I even notice improvement in my stretch marks!) I will be honest, I did not have significant cellulite to begin with, but the dimple I was developing are mostly gone thanks to daily dry brushing and monthly lymphatic decongestion therapy.
Energy Boost - I swear my morning dry brushing routine is the only this that really gets me going in the morning. I dry brush in the morning first thing and it has improved my mornings tremendously - I went from a grumpy coffee zombie to a mostly-functional, pleasant human in the mornings, even without coffee! A theory behind the energy boost is that dry brushing can increase circulation which can increase your energy as well. I do recommend only dry brushing in the morning for this reason.
Lymphatic Support - This is my favorite benefit, mostly because I did not believe it would do much for my lymphatic system. I began a 30 day self-challenge to dry brush EVERY MORNING expecting my skin to be smoother and my mornings to be easier with a boost of energy to start the day, but I did not expect my skin to be clearer or my digestion to be more regular. Energy, better digestion and clearer skin are all things I notice after my lymphatic decongestion sessions so to see even more of an improvement with daily dry brushing was exciting but the best part was my lymphatic treatment at the end of the 30 days showed that I had less congestion than I typically have each month meaning I could space out sessions and still feel amazing! Considering dry brushing resembles Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage, I should have realized that of course it would stimulate the lymphatic system but then again I am a skeptic until I see results for myself!
Over all there is a lack of research on the benefits of dry brushing, researchers do not care if a $5-10 brush will help you feel better or have softer skin, there is no money to be made therefore no research done. However, it is considered a harmless, safe practice and there are plenty testimonials on the benefits people are seeing from dry brushing. As with all health and beauty tips and recommendations I always urge you to do your own research, try what sounds good to you and let me know how it goes! You may love dry brushing and decide to add it to your daily routine like I did! If you decide to try it, or have tried it or currently practice dry brushing let me know what you love or don’t love about it in the comments!