In a couple of Facebook groups I’m in the most asked question lately has been “What is dry brushing?” I thought I’d write a post about it to hopefully answer everyone’s questions.
1. What it dry brushing?
Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s brushing while you are dry. Seriously. It’s that simple. You take a brush and brush your body. Not rocket science. We will explore this more in a bit.
2. What kind of brush should I use? Where can I buy one?
According to several articles I’ve read, a brush with natural bristles is best. Some people like ones with handles (like me) and some like ones that fit in your hand. They sell them at Target, Wal Mart, on Amazon, at CVS and Walgreens. They probably have them at the Dollar General or Dollar Tree. I promise you, a $5 brush is going to work just as well as a $50 one. You can use a ‘scrubbie’ or ‘puff’ but know that stiffer is better, brush is best! Mine is the one on the right. It has little massage nubbies that I’m hoping might smooth out my thighs from a surgery several years ago. Worth a shot.
3. What is dry brushing for?
Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system allowing the release of toxins trapped in your body. It’s a cheap and easy way to help clean out your system and possibly avoid getting sick.
- Smoother skin You’re exfoliating so even after the first time, you’ll notice how much softer your skin will feel. This is an immediate result for you impatient people like me.
- Stress relief Close your eyes. It’s quiet. Picture yourself gently brushing your feet, your legs, your stomach, your back, gliding the brush up your arms, down your neck. Feel the tension release from your body. There are no kids, no husband, no carpools. Just you and your brush. Now, open your eyes. Feel better? You’re welcome. 😉
- Cellulite reduction That toxic stuff that gets trapped in fat cells making our once beautifully smooth skin look like it was invaded by the Planet of Cottage Cheese. In many women, stimulating the skin helps release these toxins and can reduce cellulite. Don’t throw your brush out the window if it doesn’t do that for you. There are still many other good reasons for dry brushing.
- Tightens skin The first time I heard about dry brushing was related to tightening skin. As we lose weight and/or after having our precious children, our skin starts to look like an elephant’s ass. On a really bad, bad day. I’ve seen some remarkable before and after pictures. $5 brush or $10,000 surgery. Again, worth a shot.
- Energizing It can just plain make you feel good. And often times, when you feel good, you’re more energized. I’d do it just for that benefit alone!
- Kidney function and digestion I don’t know where this quote came from originally but I’ve seen it all over the place- “…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.”
Note- dry brushing is NOT recommended for pregnant or nursing moms since it releases toxins. Consult your doctor before starting.
4. Got my brush, now what?
Meet Sally. She is modeling how you should dry brush. You’ll want to start at your feet and brush in long, overlapping strokes toward your heart. Belly and breasts should be brushed counterclockwise (no, I don’t know why, but when several people tell me the same thing, I usually go with it). Arms should be brushed from your fingers up toward your shoulders and don’t leave out the arm pits. Starting at the neck, brush down, again, towards your heart down your back and down the front of your chest. Yes, your man can do this, too. Don’t brush too hard. You shouldn’t look like Mommy Dearest just tried to scrub you to death. Hop in the shower to rinse away the dead skin cells.
5. I’m finished, now what?
Because you’ve stirred up toxins (much like when you get a massage) you will want to drink at least 8 ounces of water after (8 ounces before is also a good idea). Some prefer a glass of hot water with lemon. Water flushes out all of the yucky crap we put into our systems so it’s important to drink it. A lot of it. Like, a lot a lot. And no, adding Kool-aid doesn’t count. Neither does Soda Stream (you know who you are). You can, however, infuse it with cucumber, lime, lemon, orange, mint, etc. Natural stuff.
6. Anything else?
Yes! It’s moisturize time! A lot of women prefer to use coconut oil after dry brushing and showering. I was using Body Dew from Pure Romance but decided to hop on the coconut train. Because coconut oil is a little pricey, I only use it on my belly and outer thighs (my trouble spots) and still use Body Dew for the rest.
7. How often should I dry brush?
As often as you like! You can do it once a week, 3 times a week, daily or even twice daily. There are no disadvantages of doing it (unless you’re doing it too hard or with too stiff a brush).
8. Can I dry brush my face?
Yes, but use a gentler brush or a scrubbie. If you are in your 20’s it’s okay to exfoliate your face daily. Once you hit your 30’s you’ll want to cut down to about every other day. You all in your 40’s need to only exfoliate a few times a week. And those of you in your 50’s and beyond don’t want to do it more than once a week. The older we get the more of those facial skin cells we need. Unless you want to look like Great Aunt Hazel who has translucent skin.
I hope this was helpful and answered everyone’s questions. If you have anymore, please feel free to ask below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Happy dry brushing!
Here is a video of how to dry brush. If you want to get right to the actual demonstration, skip to about 2:15.