The Distinction of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing, the juice cleanse of the beauty industry. This simple, yet revitalizing and energizing Ayurvedic remedy is fantastic for rejuvenation. Dry brushing has historically been prevalent in detoxes and body treatments, but is a great daily habit too. Your friends will soon tell you how much more radiant you look — that is how salubrious dry brushing is!
Your skin is the body's largest organ and comes into contact with the outside world; detox is necessary. Dry brushing is a natural detoxification and exfoliation that does not involve toxic beauty products or the taboo “fragrance” (which will be discussed on another occasion). It aids the entire body, from digestion to bloating to physical appearance: what is jolted out of balance when your lymph nodes are not doing their job. Lymphatic drainage is key.
As Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy, enunciates, “the lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and illness.” Dry brushing, therefore, boots your immune system and overall health. It exfoliates and massages the outer layer of skin, detoxing the body of waste and toxins. The technique unclogs pores, making them more absorbent to moisture and nutrients (which is why you want to moisturize with non-toxic cream or oil after your brush and bathe). It soothes and smoothes the skin, reduces cellulite, and sheds excess water, thus eliminating bloating and improving circulation.
What do I do?
One // Begin with dry skin — brushing on wet or damp skin will reduce the efficacy. With small, firm upward strokes, or in a slow circular motion, begin at the ankles and brush towards the heart. This is the direction in which the lymph nodes flow and subsequently drain in the chest. When you reach the stomach, flow in a counterclockwise pattern.
Two // After brushing, shower or bathe, preferably in essential bath oils which are absorbed and nourish the body. Pat the skin dry and moisturize with non-toxic cream or body oils. Drink warm water with lemon; hydrate from both the inside and outside. Wash the brush with clean soap and water. Let it air dry completely.
Note that you can also [dry] brush with an essential oil after bathing. Place the oil in your hand and the rub it into the bristles. Pouring it directing into the brush will tarnish it.
Three // Avoid sensitive areas (though you can brush delicately on your chest) and open wounds, cuts, or irritations. Do not break the skin; you do not want to over exfoliate. This technique should not be painful. While your skin may initially appear read and irritated, your body will adapt you will soon be able to increase pressure and frequency.
What do I use?
There are wonderful brush options. Short brushes are maneuverable and easy to use. Longer ones with handles make it easy to reach remote regions. Look for a brush with non-synthetic, natural bristles. They should be rather stiff, but soft. Brushing can be done on the face too, with either a specifically designed facial or with an exfoliating serum.
From top, left to right, The Organic Pharmacy Skin Brush | Aromatherapy Associates Polish Body Brush | Mio Skincare Natural Dry Body Brush | Rodin Cream Luxury Hand and Body Cream | The Organic Pharmacy Detox Cellulite Body Oil | The Organic Pharmacy Rose & Jasmine Body Oil
Just like masking, baths, and Retin-A creams, dry brushing is an esteemed home mode to ameliorate physically and mentally. It is important to treat yourself to privy time, even after a busy day. Spending time with yourself helps you feel confident, beautiful, and centered. #selflove
While it dry brushing’s energizing properties make it an ideal part of your morning regimen, I tend to brush before my evening goddess bath. It helps me wind down after a full day.
It is about finding what works for you and what makes you feel great. Even if it is a contrived coconut oil concoction and candles to which you read or listen to your favorite podcast, go for it. Honor and love yourself. You do not need an excuse to do so!
Header image via Aromatherapy Associates.
Dry brushing images via goop.