Once upon a time, I went to Vegas. . .
This isn’t the story you think it is ;), stay with me.
I was there for a relaxing spa weekend (it was great!). While laying face down for an hour massage, my masseur started brushing my skin with something. After the massage was over, I asked her what she had used. She showed me a dry brush made with cactus bristles and stated, “It is the best thing you can do for your body”.
I purchased one, and the rest is history.
You’re going to LOVE today’s post! I’m going to tell you all about dry skin brushing: the benefits, the materials a dry brush should be made of, how to clean it, and directions on how to dry brush yourself. Once you try it, you’ll never go back!
Why dry skin brush?
Dry brushing has been around for centuries and is making a come back. It is a great way to help with :
- lymphatic drainage – activates waste removal
- cleaning out pores
- reducing cellulite
- exfoliating the skin
- encouraging cell growth
- giving a boost of energy
- improving vascular blood circulation
- improving digestion and kidney function
- helping with bloating
The skin is the largest organ on your body. It needs to be cared for, cleaned, detoxed and taken care of. Dry brushing helps to rid the body of toxins and increases blood flow to the surface of the skin.
Now when it comes to the topic of cellulite, I know we all want to run out immediately and buy a brush, right! But dry skin brushing isn’t considered a medical treatment for cellulite. Cellulite is considered genetic and is a result of fat and connective tissue. While the circulation dry skin brushing creates does help, it’s not the anti-cellulite miracle of all time.
Personally, I’ve seen the most benefits with skin renewal, softened skin, less bloating during PMS, increased energy, and not having varicose veins in my legs.
What types of dry brushes are there, & what should I look for when buying?
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a dry brush:
- If you want to surface brush OR if you are just starting out, you can use a fine bristle brush or a firm bristle brush using lighter strokes until your skin adapts to the brushing.
- A firm bristle brush is better when you’re looking for deep tissue massage.
Both kinds of brushes are sold at health food stores or online, and both serve a purpose, depending on whether you’re going for exfoliation, getting deep into tissues, etc. Either way, consider that you can use more pressure with a short-handled brush, but long handles are useful for hard to reach places. There are even small brushes, specifically designed for your face.
Now let’s talk about materials. . .
There are both synthetic and natural-based brushes. Synthetic materials may irritate the skin, while natural bristle brushes do not.
Natural brushes also help to distribute our bodies natural occurring oils. Dry brushing is very cleansing and the bodies natural oils help to keep the skin soft and supple.
When you buy, opt for natural bristle brushes made from boar bristle, hemp fibers, coconut fiber, cactus bristles, or vegetable-derived bristles.
How do I clean my brush?
To clean the brush, fill a small spray bottle with a tea tree oil/water mixture. Here is my favorite recipe:
- 1/4 cup water
- 5 drops tea tree oil
Mix in a small spray bottle. A few sprays on the brush every now and then keeps it clean.
To clean the dead skin cells out of the brush mix:
- 2 cups water
- 10 drops tea tree oil
Place water and oil in a bowl. Dunk the brush into the water with the bristles down. Shake out to dry.
How do I dry brush myself?
Dry skin brushing should be done as the name indicates – on dry skin. Most prefer to do it before a shower so you can wash off any dead skin. Brushing only takes about 5 minutes.
To begin with, your skin may be sensitive to the brushing, but the more you do it, the less sensitive your skin will be. I dry brush about 3 times a week.
The general guidelines are to:
- always sweep the brush toward your heart.
- brush about 10 times in each area before moving on to the next area.
- Your skin should be slightly pink (not red) and should tingle. It should never hurt.
- As you brush, move through the following areas
- Starting at the bottom, brush the bottom of your foot, starting at the toes and moving towards your heel. (Remember, you want to brush about 10 strokes and toward your heart). Move up the calf towards your thigh. Repeat, starting on the top of your foot and moving up.
- Do the front, sides, and back of thighs and buttocks, sweeping upwards toward the heart.
- Do the same to your other leg.
- Now make clockwise circles on abdomen and breasts.
- Next, reach as much of your back as you can, sweeping upwards toward the heart.
- Begin brushing the palm and back of your hand and move your way up the arm. When you get to the armpit area, raise your hand and make half-moon strokes down your armpit, the outside of your breast, and slightly under the breast. Spend a good amount of time here as you have a lot of lymph nodes in this area.
- Lightly brush face from your chin to your hairline, on one side of the face, and then move to the other side.
If you need an illustration on how to dry brush, there are quite a few online. Once you start to dry brush, you will feel the benefits and soft skin.
Have you tried dry skin brushing? What do you love about it?