In the ever evolving landscape of products and practices, we find ourselves at times going back to the Source. The ancient technique of dry brushing is one of the simplest and most effective practices for the health of the skin and body. While dry brushing leads to softer, glowing skin, its benefits go more than skin deep. It stimulates lymphatic drainage, boosts circulation and exfoliates the skin, increasing its elasticity and tone and even minimizing the appearance of cellulite. Our largest organ, the skin is also our largest vehicle for detoxification. This eliminative organ is responsible for about a quarter of the total waste released by our bodies everyday. This transformative practice boosts the inherent cleansing processes of the body. It’s an invigorating yet relaxing ritual and as we move into the colder months, you’ll welcome its warming effects. Embrace your skin’s natural intelligence to deep clean and radiate from within.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE By aiding the process of lymphatic drainage, dry brushing helps to rid the body of toxins. The lymphatic system collects, transports and eliminates cellular waste by moving lymph fluid through a series of blood vessels directly under the skin. Unlike the blood, which is pumped through the body by the heart, lymphatic fluid requires external stimulation in order to circulate effectively. When this process of lymphatic drainage slows, waste can accumulate and compromise the immune system, which can manifest in illness, inflammation and the uneven appearance of the skin. Dry brushing helps to move the lymph by gently massaging and stimulating the vessels that carry lymph fluid underneath the skin. Moving stagnant lymph aids in detoxification, encouraging cells to release waste and facilitating its removal from the body.
EXFOLIATION Dry brushing is also one of the most effective means of exfoliation, an instantly visible result of it. While the removal of dead skin cells through dry brushing polishes skin, it also unclogs pores, again facilitating an easier removal of toxins from the skin. Unlike other means of exfoliation that require water, dry brushing involves no barrier between the skin and brush, leading the skin to shed more noticeably. When dry brushing for the first time, you can literally see dead skin falling off of the body. This gentle yet intense exfoliation minimizes ingrown hairs and increases the elasticity of the skin, strengthening it over time. Stimulating the lymphatic system also breaks down stored waste, redistributing fat deposits responsible for cellulite and uneven skin texture. Over time, dry brushing smooths and releases the build-up in these stagnant tissues and reduces the appearance of cellulite.
CIRCULATION The circulatory benefits of dry brushing run deep. Activating the body’s own circulatory and cleansing processes is so transformative that it can improve digestion, support kidney function and lessen bloating. Dry brushing is renowned for its invigorating effect and it often creates an all-over tingling sensation in the body. As a daily ritual, dry brushing is both active and meditative, balancing and rejuvenating the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings. Using the body’s own pathways of cleansing, dry brushing eases stress and tension while energizing the body, creating a stimulating current that flows far beyond skin’s surface.
HOW TO Whether a daily ritual, weekly indulgence or occasional supplement to deeper cleansing, dry brushing holds the power to transform. Dry brushing can be done as often as twice a day before bathing, producing an invigorating effect in the morning and increasing relaxation at night. In conjunction with a sauna or steam, dry brushing promotes even more thorough cleansing through the skin.
In order to dry brush effectively, all you need is a brush made of natural bristles. While dry brushing will similarly benefit the facial skin, if you are choosing to dry brush the face be sure to select a face brush built specifically for this more delicate area.
To supercharge the process, brushes made with copper bristles boost skin circulation even further, as copper promotes circulation in the body. Karmameju’s ionically charged brush utilizes ultra fine bristles of horsehair and copper wire, forming negative ions through friction to bring electromagnetic energies in the body into balance while oxygenating skin cells.
Using essential oils can enhance the dry brushing process. Living Libations’ Lymph + Tonic uses circulation enhancing oils of cypress, rosemary and laurel to stimulate and support the lymphatic system. Add one to two drops of this oil blend to the palm of your hand and glide your dry brush over the palms to saturate the bristles before dry brushing.
To dry brush, use strong but gentle strokes, starting at the soles of the feet and moving upwards. Brush towards the heart, upwards on the limbs and downwards on the chest and upper back. Brush counterclockwise around the belly and spend extra time on any stagnant areas such as the inner thighs or underarms. The whole process should take about two to five minutes. While the pressure should be firm and invigorating, be gentle with your skin; it should feel stimulated, not irritated. After dry brushing, follow your usual process of bathing, and be sure to moisturize thoroughly. The exfoliating effects of dry brushing allow body lotions and oils to penetrate the skin more effectively. And hydrating with a body cream, balm or oil after dry brushing will further support circulation, reduce stress and let you bask in even more self love.