You may have heard of dry brushing, and you may know you want to do it as part of your skin care routine. What you may not know is what the overall health and beauty benefits are of this technique. You may know that it removes dry skin, but you may not know what dry skin brushing offer that you can't get from other dry skin removal methods.
A Simple Overview of the Lymphatic System
Before we delve into the benefits of dry skin brushing, let's make sure we have a clear picture of what our lymphatic system is and does.
Our lymphatic system is our body's immune system. The lymphatic fluid can become sluggish over time and dry skin brushing can be a lymphatic stimulant. Skin brushing helps exfoliate and invigorate our skin too.
It increases our blood supply to the area bringing with it nourishment and oxygen. Our circulatory system has its own pump (our heart) to move our blood through our bodies but our lymphatic system does not. It relies primarily on our movement to assist it.
Typically, the more active we are the better condition our lymphatics are in. Skin brushing helps move our lymph fluid and gives us a jump-start on our health.
Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing:
There are several benefits to dry skin brushing. One of the main benefits is, of course, the removal of dry skin from the body. Some other benefits include the reduction of cellulite and the ability to get circulation in your body moving at a pace that helps you produce new skin cells and keeps your blood circulating properly. It can also be relaxing and help if you are having a sensory overload or if you need a calming feeling to help you reduce the stress from your day. And of course, it helps circulate the lymph fluid of your lymphatic system to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
You may be thinking that dry skin brushing will cost a lot of money for the right tools. The truth is, you can start with a simple soft bristle brush for less than $20 at most stores. Once you get used to the technique, you can step up your tools and purchase a nicer brush or a brush with higher quality bristles.
Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing for the Lymphatic System
One of the key benefits of dry brushing occurs to the lymphatic system. This is an important benefit because this system helps remove cellular waste. The dry brushing technique helps open the cells and the system to cycling the waste out and to rebuilding the skin and cellular system. It helps prevent blockage in this system as well.
Think of it as opening up blocked pores and making sure that things are cycling out properly and allowing the area to be cleaned properly as well.
Dry Skin Brushing Benefits for Circulation
Poor circulation can cause a number of problems with the skin including a build up of dry skin cells and a buildup of fat in certain areas. The increase in circulation that is caused by the dry brushing technique can help stimulate your cells just like with the lymphatic system.
This increased circulation helps with the removal of metabolic waste from the body which can help the skin distribute natural oils making the skin softer and smoother over time without the need for over the counter lotions that can have harmful chemicals and ingredients.
Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing for Stress Relief
Another leading benefit to dry brushing is the ability to add a new level of stress relief to your routine. The act of dry brushing can stimulate the skin and help release tension throughout the body without a hard massage or deep tissue option. Following the dry brushing with a hot shower can also help relieve even more tension and stress. Ideally, you would follow all of that with something equally relaxing like alone time or mediation.
These benefits can help people with mild to moderate skin irritation and issues. If you have more serious issues, you may want to consult a doctor before starting the dry brushing technique in your routine. They can guide you to how often you should be doing it and if there are any additional steps you need to take in your routine.
In a Nutshell, the Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing are…
- Helps to shed dead skin cells to eliminate clogged pores, improve skin texture and promote cell renewal
- Increases circulation and lymph movement to encourage metabolic waste elimination
- Promotes optimal blood flow to the skin which improves muscle tone and promotes a more even distribution of fat deposits helping conditions such as cellulite
- Stimulates the lymph canals which help drain toxins and mucous into the colon
- Stimulates nerve endings in the skin which has a rejuvenating effect on the nervous system
- Has a purifying effect on the entire body
The Method (How to) of Dry Skin Brushing
So, you bought your dry skin brush and you have read all the tips and tricks about the technique. You know what the benefits are and how to make them work for you. The trick now is that you need to get started and you have no idea how to do the technique.
Everything you have read has probably told you what the techniques are, but failed to give you the steps you need. Here are the basic steps for how to dry skin brush and get the most from your brushing routine.
Dry skin brushing is a simple enough method. You use a non-synthetic or natural bristle brush on your body to remove dry skin. This brushing technique is done all over your body and with no lotion, soaps, or water.
You simply brush the body gently making sure to get every part of your body and then take a shower afterwards. It is considered to be a more natural and milder form of exfoliation than using over the counter and chemical exfoliating methods that can actually cut or damage the skin.
The Tools of Dry Skin Brushing
The main tool of dry skin brushing is the brush itself. That's it. You can use a soft towel that is specifically for the days that you do dry skin brushing as well. This does help at the beginning when your skin is still very sensitive to the entire dry skin brushing process.
The most important thing to keep in mind with dry skin brushing is the brush itself. You need to use something with natural bristles. Synthetic bristles can cause damage to your skin and may be too harsh. Also finding a soft bristle brush is optimal. Natural health stores and spa supply shops will have the types of brush you need for dry skin brushing.
So, all you really need is…
- Natural bristle brush (do not use synthetic)
How to do Dry Skin Brushing
Get in the Shower
One of the first steps you need to take to dry skin brushing is to get in the shower. You want to be in a place where the dry skin is contained and can be removed from the area easily. You will also be showering right after the dry skin brushing in order to remove the extra skin that the brush may not have removed.
It will also serve as a method to clean the pores and rejuvenate the cells. If you do not want to shower, you can choose to take a bath instead. As long as one or the other follows the dry skin brushing.
Brush Your Entire Body
Start with your arms and work your entire body ending with your toes. The total time spent can vary, but for the most part, 10 minutes is enough. Once youâ€™re done dry brushing take a warm shower. Enjoy the day!
One thing that you may be questioning is what part of your body you should dry brush. The truth is you should be brushing your entire body. You may be wondering how to handle areas like breasts and other sensitive areas of the body.
All you need to do is brush lighter in these areas, but do not avoid them. You need to remove the dry skin from every area of your body to keep your skin cells moving and to keep the skin health in good standing. So, the answer is brush your entire body avoiding nothing.
Alternate Your Water Temperature
One aspect of the dry brushing method that you may not consider is the water temperature you use after the procedure. A lot of people suggest going from having the water as hot as you can stand it to as cool as you can stand it. You do not want to do this immediately. Make it a gradual decrease in temperature from hot to cold. This is done to open your pores and then close them getting them cleaned and then tightened to help with cellulite.
Though you can add several steps into your dry skin brushing, these are the basic steps you get you started. You may find that you want to make this time more of a spa and relaxation time for you by adding essential oils or other techniques. Though those are find to add later, the basics are where you should start.
Important Skin Brushing Tips
If you are new to dry skin brushing, you may not be sure what to do to make it work for your skin or in your routine. In fact, you may become discouraged if you aren't sure what types of brushes to use or how to use them properly. Before you become too discouraged, there are a few tips and tricks you can consider and apply to your dry skin brushing routine. Here are just a few to get you started and possibly answer some of your questions.
Types of Brushes to Use
The key point to keep in mind is that you need to stay away from synthetic brushes. The ideal dry skin brush is made of natural bristles that are soft. When you think of the softness and quality of the brush, think of something like a makeup brush and how it feels if it is too coarse. It can hurt and it can feel like it is actually cutting into your skin.
A high-quality brush made of natural bristles will not have this same effect and is gentle enough to use daily if you need to. There are brushes specifically for dry skin brushing, but if you are on a budget or have no health food store near you that sells the brushes, consider a natural brush suitable for sensitive scalps or children and toddlers. This would be soft enough to get you started.
Always use a dry brush. Using a light touch make long strokes towards the heart, except on your abdomen where your strokes should be towards your groin.
If you use a loofah pad instead of the natural bristle brush, place it in the washer and dryer prior to using the first time. This will loosen the fibers and make it more effective.
Location of your Dry Skin Brushing
When you start your dry skin brushing, make sure you are doing it in the shower or bath. You don't want to do it in the bathroom, bedroom, or other part of the home. You also don't want to do it just before sun tanning in a tanning bed or right after a workout.
Ideally your skin should be dry and have no lotions or sweat. You want the dry skin to go down the drain and not be on your clothing, your household items, or anywhere in the room. This is for sanitary reasons, but also to help you get in the routine of bathing following your dry skin brushing so you can remove any dead or dry/flaky skin that may be left and cleanse your pores.
Creating a Dry Skin Brushing Routine
You need to create a dry skin brushing routine that not only works in your schedule, but also helps to ensure you will stick to it. Ideally, you will be doing a dry skin brushing session at least twice to three times a week. You can reduce or increase the frequency depending on what you feel your skin needs. If your skin feels to raw then reduce the amount of times you are doing this per week. If your skin is still heavily dry, then increase the amount of times you do it per week.
Remember, the cost of the brush is not as important as the quality. You can find a variety of dry skin brushes in local health stores or online for a small fee that work very well. Don't let pricing and manufacturer sales talk discourage you. Stick to the tips and tricks here and you will be well on your way to comfortable and beneficial dry skin brushing.
Do not brush to the point of making your skin raw or sore. If irritation occurs you may be using too much pressure.
When You Should Do Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing may seem like something that would work for you in your daily skincare routine. The problem is you may not know when you should do skin brushing or when you should increase your skin brushing routine.
You may know how to do skin brushing and what you need, but the rest can be confusing. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are considering adding dry skin brushing to your routine and how you need to bring it in and increase or decrease it as needed.
Extreme Dry and Flaking Skin
One of the leading reasons that people use dry skin brushing in their health routine is for extreme dry or flaking skin. The brushing helps to remove that skin and helps to form new healthy skin in its place.
Though you can use ointments and lotions, these methods can actually cause the dry skin to remain and clog the pores which will decrease the amount of healthy skin that is formed and prolong the dry and flaking symptoms you are having. Dry brushing removes the dry skin, opens the pores, and helps circulation so that your body works with you and not against you.
Changing of the seasons, especially in areas where there is a severe cold spell or heat spell, can cause havoc with your skin. In these situations you should consider using dry skin brushing to help with the symptoms and stimulate your body to create the natural oils that will help your skin develop and be removed easily.
For most cases you will likely increase the dry skin brushing during colder months and decrease it during hotter months to help with the seasonal changes and in keeping with your bodies natural circulation.
Change in Exercise Routine
If you are changing your exercise routine, you may find that your skin reacts oddly to this change. It could become very dry or it could become very oily. Each of these is a sign to you of what you need to do with your dry skin brushing routine. For example, if your skin is too dry you should increase the brushing whereas if it is too oily you should decrease it.
These are just a few tips. The key point to keep in mind with dry skin brushing is to be gentle and work with what your body needs. Start slow and it is okay to decrease or increase your needs depending on your skin and reaction to dry skin brushing.
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