The art of dry brushing gives you beautiful, youthful skin, inside and out. That’s why we love it and you will too. In this article, originally printed in the Organic Spa Magazine Skin Care Guide 2015, Celia Shatzman shares the benefits of dry brushing and explains her technique. This method is incorporated in lots of spa treatments and can be done at home as well.
Dry brushing is popping up on seemingly every spa menu because it’s a simple way to get glowing skin with a healthy boost. Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells and encourages new cell renewal, which results in smoother and brighter skin. It helps to eliminate uric acid crystals as well as other acids in the body, improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, releasing toxins and metabolic wastes and rejuvenates the nervous system. Are you ready to start dry brushing? Here’s what you need to know first.
Beauty Benefits The perks for dry brushing are more than skin deep. It contributes to healthier muscle tone and better distribution of fat deposits and breaks down cellulite with continued use. Dry brushing helps skin absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. It is one of the most low cost and effective things we can do for promoting healthy skin.
Best Buy When shopping for a brush, look for one with bristles made from natural materials – don’t use nylon or synthetic since they can damage the skin. The bristles should feel stiff but not overly so. Choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots. Make sure the handle is comfortable in your hands.
TRY THIS: Body Brush Perfect Timing This is something you can and should be doing daily, even twice a day. Your skin should be dry so the ideal time is in the shower before you turn on the water. Because dry brushing energizes and stimulates the body, most pros suggest doing it in the morning. Once you introduce it into your daily cleansing ritual it will become a habit and the benefits will surprise you.
The Method Start with light pressure until you’re used to the sensation,then move onto firmer strokes. Try these step-by-step instructions.
1. Beginning with the soles of your feet, use swift upward strokes and brush from the feet up the legs, working towards your heart. Repeat five times.
2. Brush from the ankles to the knees on all sides of the legs. Repeat five times.
3. Once you’ve covered your lower body, move to your hands and work up your arms. Brush from the wrist to the elbow on each surface of the arm (front, back, inside, outside) and repeat for the area between the elbow and shoulder. Repeat five times.
4. Next, using a long handle brush – or ask your partner to help – brush your back. Beginning with your lower back, stroke from the bottom of the spine up to the bottom of the shoulder blades or as high as you can reach. Do this for the centre, left and right sides of the lower back. Repeat five times.
5. Last work on your abdomen (moving in a clockwise direction to follow the movement of the colon), chest and neck. It’s best to avoid your face, as facial skin is too sensitive.
6. Brush for about three to five minutes until your skin is tingly.
7. Shower after you have dry brushed your entire body to wash off dead skin. Alternate between the hottest water temperature and the coldest. This stimulates circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.
Always use dry brush against dry skin – don’t wet your skin as it stretches the skin and will not have the same effect. And never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sunburn or skin cancer.
Finishing Touch At spas, dry brushing treatments are often followed by a body mask or wrap. With the skin exfoliated and the lymphatic system stimulated, skin is more ready to absorb the beneficial nutrients and properties of the body mask. Get the effect at home by applying a natural or organic body lotion, body butter or body oil post dry-brushing and shower.
Maintenance Work Be sure to keep your brush in a well-ventilated area and let it dry completely between uses. If plant bristles are left damp, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Wash your dry brush with warm water and gentle soap at least once a week and be sure to keep a separate brush for each family member.