Umm…you want me to do what with that? And I’m naked?
Let’s talk dry brushing. This ancient ayurvedic ritual is still making modern-day waves as an addition to one’s morning routine. In case you’re not familiar, dry brushing is a self-care technique where one uses a natural-bristled brush all over the body for a variety of health benefits. It’s known as “dry” brushing because both you and your skin are completely dry.
The Benefits: Are You Blushing or Brushing?
While there’s still a lot of debate on the reported benefits of dry brushing, many experts can agree on the following:
- Exfoliation: By helping remove the dead skin cells, dry brushing can help reveal the shiny, happy new cells underneath.
- Circulation: The brisk motion of the brushes can help stimulate blood flow leaving the skin looking more radiant, even if only temporarily.
- Energy Boost: Increased circulation leads to subtle energy boosts which is why it’s recommended to do in the morning.
- Detox: This is where things get a lil’ dicey. Some claim that dry brushing can stimulate your lymphatic system by encouraging sluggish lymph to move through the body to help drain your body of toxins. We are not medical experts so we can’t confirm or dismiss this, but I was in on the three points before this, so if detox is an added bennie, then whoohoo!
The Technique: Wax On, Wax Off
The recommended technique of dry brushing is definitely intentional. You’ll gently, but firmly, brush your skin in long strokes moving towards the heart. The goal here is to push and circulate the lymph fluid in a rhythmic manner, so you’ll want to overlap areas maybe 2-3 times. Medium pressure is suggested – you want to feel something for sure, but without irritating the skin too much.
The powers at Goop are down with dry brushing as well and in this article, they suggest that you start at the bottom and work your way up.
- Legs: Begin at your feet and brush upward to the knees, thighs, and hips.
- Arms: Begin at the hands and work upward towards the shoulders.
- Stomach: Brush in a clockwise direction.
Gently brush the skin for three to five minutes or as long as your schedule allows. This is definitely an instance where less is more so be gentle with yourself, your skin should never feel too irritated or damaged afterward. If done before showering, your baby fresh skin will now be perfecting primed for all your gentle cleansers and vitamin-rich moisturizers. They’ll go even deeper into your skin now that all the dead skin is out of the way – can we say ahh-men?
The Brush: A Goldilocks Situation
This really comes down to personal preference but generally, you’ll want to find a natural-bristled brush – there are options out there like boar-bristles but there are loads of vegan options as well including jute, sisal, or even cactus fibers. Ensure that the bristles aren’t too firm – stiff bristles don’t necessarily mean a better dry brushing experience. Your skin should feel good and stimulated – not tortured.
Brushes generally come in two styles: long-handle and hand-held brushes. Obviously the hard-to-reach places will benefit from the longer handle while some prefer the control of the handheld brush. It really just depends on personal preference. I typically like the best of both worlds and found this little set that has a detachable arm and also vegan. You’re welcome.
Me Time: Because all of us need it right now.
If there was ever a time to allow yourself to be nurtured when you can, I’d say a global pandemic is probably near the top of the list. Dry brushing is just one way you can incorporate a little TLC into your new routine. You deserve it. Regardless, we hope that you find some time to hold space for yourself.
Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be Wealthy.