I have really dry skin that is occasionally flaky and itchy. And it becomes even drier this time of year when the heater sucks the moisture out of the house. It seems like no matter what type of lotion or oil I use, it only temporarily soothes my skin, and I simply don’t have the time or discipline to continually apply it during the day. About 5 years ago I had someone tell me I should use a dry brush on my skin which would not only help me get rid of the dead cells, but make me feel better too. I did look for one at a couple of stores like Target and Wal-Mart but couldn’t find a “dry skin brush” and eventually forgot about it. But the other day I pulled off a black T-shirt and there was dead skin on the inside of it. Gross! (I did notice Wal-Mart now sells them.)
After a bit of research I discovered that not only would dry brushing my body make my skin look and feel better but it actually has lots of health benefits. Who knew? While dry brushing your body sloughs away dry skin, which promotes tighter skin (and helps diminish the appearance of cellulite); it actually helps rid the body of toxins too.
HEALTH & BEAUTY BENEFITS –
Did you know that skin is the largest organ in the body and responsible for a fourth of the body’s detoxification each day? This makes our skin one of the most important elimination organs, after the kidneys and lungs. The skin actually eliminates more than 1 pound of waste products every day under normal circumstances. But if pores get clogged up, the skin becomes inactive and toxins remain in the body, which can stress the liver and kidneys and make them become overworked. Dry skin brushing is one of the best techniques to open up the pores of the skin and to stimulate and detoxify the lymphatic system.
Dry skin brushing helps…
- Stimulate the lymphatic system
- Helps digestion
- Increases cell renewal
- Cleans toxins from the lymphatic system
- Stimulates circulation
- Tightens skin
- Helps shed dead skin cells
- Strengthen the immune system
- Can help decrease body odor
Seriously, just by dry brushing your body everyday for a minute or two…You get improved circulation, stimulate hormones, firm skin, discharge metabolic wastes, eliminate toxins, open pores, help with muscle tone, and rejuvenate the nervous system.
Don’t be alarmed if you find gelatinous mucoid in your stools a day or two after you begin dry skin brushing. It’s because dry brushing is emptying out any backlog of mucoid from the lymphatic system and is the effect of detoxifying the lymph system.
You will actually feel more energized and invigorated after just one dry brushing session.
WHAT KIND OF BRUSH SHOULD YOU USE? –
A dry skin brush is totally different from a regular bathing/back brush and should never be used with water or on wet skin, which will nullify the effects. The bristles should be natural, not synthetic, preferably vegetable-derived. Bristles are soft but stiff, not hard. I bought my brush at Natural Grocers. The dry body brush I bought looked like the other brushes and I actually had to read the tags to figure out what was what. Mine is called a Tampico Skin Brush and the tag included directions for dry skin brushing. The brushes are made from Tampico fiber, which is the unbleached stem of the agave plant. It cost $7.45.
HOW TO DRY SKIN BRUSH –
Brush daily or twice daily. Make sure you don’t use in the shower or bath and your skin needs to be dry, as does the brush. Use in the morning for an invigorating start to the day. This should only take a minute or two.
- Use long gentle but firm strokes. Don’t brush back and forth, in a circular motion, or scrub with it.
- In most instances, you’ll be brushing towards the heart.
- Start at the feet and move up the legs, on both sides, brushing upwards. You just need to brush over each area once, again, no scrubbing.
- Brush upwards on your butt.
- Starting at your hands, move up to your arms and to the armpits, going towards your heart.
- Brush down the neck and chest, again, towards your heart.
- Use a counterclockwise direction when brushing the stomach.
- When brushing the tops of shoulders and upper back, you can brush across or brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- Brush breasts very lightly, avoiding the nipple area.
- Don’t use on your face!
Remember…don’t brush too hard. You want to stimulate and invigorate the skin, not irritate it. You may notice some slight flushing, which is normal and due to increased circulation. If your skin is red and irritated looking, you’ve brushed too hard.
DON’T brush over cuts, wounds or rashes. And as always, if you have an underlying medical condition, it’s always best to check with your doctor before starting something new.
For the best feeling skin ever, dry brush, shower, and then apply an oil like jojoba.
CLEANING YOUR BRUSH –
You want to clean your brush on a regular basis. Think about it, it’s full of all those dead skin cells. For best results, wash weekly with soap and water and let cry thoroughly.
Here’s a few dry brush selections :