I love dry body brushing and really notice a change in the appearance and texture of my skin afterwards. Other notable benefits of dry body brushing include:
1) Softer skin and fewer ingrown hairs
Body brushing helps to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and supporting skin cell turnover to reveal fresh and smooth skin.
2) Improved blood flow and circulation
Body brushing temporarily dilates your blood vessels, which allows more oxygen and nutrient blood to reach your skin cells.
3) Lymphatic drainage
Body brushing promotes lymphatic drainage which supports a healthy immune system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system and contains lymph, a fluid that carries immune cells as well as metabolic wastes and byproducts of toxins we are exposed to daily. It’s like our septic tank or body’s sewage system.
4) Increased energy
Running a dry brush along your skin can feel invigorating and provide a natural boost of energy. It’s a great practice to include in your morning routine!
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Body brushing is a modern day practice that’s based on the ancient technique of gliding a natural or synthetic bristle brush along the skin. It’s been used for centuries in many cultures as a way to remove dead skin, promote detoxification, and improve overall skin health. Various forms of body brushing have long been a part of Ayurveda (traditional medicine of India) as well as traditional Greek, Scandinavian, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian self-care rituals.
SELECTING A BODY BRUSH
Made with wood and natural or synthetic bristles, a body brush comes in different shapes and styles, ranging from oval (below) to round with massaging nodes (below), or affixed to a short handle or long handle which assists in getting to hard to reach places such as the upper back.
DRY BODY BRUSHING TECHNIQUE
You can either use a body brush on dry skin directly or integrate herbs or essential oils that help to boost circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage. This is a lovely way to support your lymphatics and get in a bit of aromatherapy!
Starting with the soles of your feet, gently brush with long strokes upwards along your body (legs, buttocks) towards the groin area. Then gently brush upwards along your arms, lower back, abdominal region towards your heart. Finally, brush downwards along your neck, upper back, and shoulders towards your heart.
After brushing, take a shower or bath to help wash away dead skin cells.
After showering or bathing, replenish the skin's moisture with body oil (e.g. Calm Body Oil) or cream.
After several uses, wash your brush with a mild soap cleanser and hang in a well-ventilated area to dry.
When first using this brush, use small and gentle strokes and gradually increase pressure as your skin begins to adjust. Body brushing is not recommended for those with very sensitive skin, sunburns, burns, cuts, lesions, wounds, or conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or cystic acne.
BODY BRUSHING & YOUR SKIN’S MICROBIOME: WHY LESS IS MORE
You don’t need to body brush every day, although some prefer to include it in their daily routine. I generally recommend brushing 1-2 times a week, similarly to how you would exfoliate your face. With frequent brushing, you run the risk of over-exfoliating and disrupting your acid mantle - an important layer of protective film that’s made of dead skin cells, the ‘good’ bacteria that lives on your skin (i.e. microbiome), and sebum. Just like in your gut, your skin is home to millions of microbes that protect you from environmental stressors. A recent study demonstrated a link between a healthy skin microbiome and immune system function. Other research has shown that inflammatory skin disorders such as rosacea may be caused by an imbalance in the skin microbiome. This is a very important area of research that I’m excited to dive deeper into.
I’m always delighted to see ancient techniques (re)gaining popularity. In the case of body brushing, not only is it beneficial in maintaining skin and overall health, but it’s also a wonderful way to enhance your self-care practice and deepen your sacred connection with your body.
Are you ready to start body brushing?Please share your comments or questions below!
Product photos taken by: Julia Paras
Please note: this information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.