I have a fantasy about never needing to do anything to my skin in order for it to look fantastic. No moisturizing, no serum application, nada. I don’t care about putting stuff on my face, that’s easy enough. It’s the rest of my body that I don’t want to bother with.
Unfortunately this is never going to be a reality for me, or anyone probably, so today we’re talking about the benefits of dry brushing.
But first, a story that nobody asked for.
I used to work with a girl who had the best skin I’ve ever seen in my adult life, and I don’t mean just her face. I mean her face was great too, but I’m talking arms, legs, the whole thing just always looked like she walked out of an airbrushed magazine. Is that a weird thing to say? What’s likely even weirder is that I told her this, and asked her how she acquired her all natural earth angel smooth glowy goddess, to which she replied with a shrug, “dry brushing.”
After a brief Google search (out of embarrassment for not knowing what dry brushing was) I decided to give the trick a try myself and ordered one. At first I stuck with it, but it was one of those practices that never became a habit. Eventually I stored it away in the back of my bathroom closet, never to be used again.
That is, until I got diagnosed with Lyme Disease (and a bunch of other shit) a few years later, and my doctor recommended dry brushing as a detox method. I was pretty desperate to feel better, and willing to faithfully follow all her marching orders, so I pulled my dry brush out of the closet and have been using it almost everyday ever since.
Anyone can benefit from dry brushing (also called lymphatic brushing), and now it’s a permanent fixture in my routine for a variety of reasons. It’s one of those wellness-y topics for which there’s not a whole lot of conclusive evidence to support all the claims (let’s just get this out of the way: it’s not going to banish cellulite). But there is basis for some of them, and besides, why not try something that could potentially make your skin look great, ya know? It’ll only set you back $10.
With a summer full of beach trips and weddings on the horizon, let’s take a look at which claims are actually true, and how to do it.
5 Proven Benefits of Dry Brushing
- Improves the Appearance of Your Skin
By loosening and sweeping away dead skin cells, dry brushing is a great exfoliator. It can unclog pores, which helps remove oil, dirt and residue. Through this natural process, it helps the skin appear brighter and feel softer.
- Detoxes Your Body
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and the primary source of elimination. That means it plays a huge role in detoxing, so anything we can do to move the process along is a win. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and increases blood circulation, which helps the body get rid of metabolic waste.
- Energizes Your System
By stimulating the nervous system, dry brushing can leave you feeling invigorated, which is why many people choose to do it in the morning. Promise we’ll get to the how in a sec!
- Easy to Incorporate into Your Daily Routine
Dry brushing adds about 3-5 minutes to your daily routine, plus you can eliminate a body exfoliator if you’re currently using one. That alone is worth it in my book. There are a couple different sizes, so pick up whatever brush works best for you. I have this small one that fits into the palm of my hand and makes it quick and easy, but sometimes I think it would be nice to have a longer handle like this one, in order to reach a few spots on my back.
- Addresses Your Other Body Parts
As I mentioned, I have no problem slathering lotions all over my face, dare I say I even enjoy it most of the time. What is it about the rest of my body that I don’t care to bother with? Maybe because rubbing lotion all over sounds time consuming? I don’t know, but one thing I’ve realized since starting this practice is how little love I show my legs, arms and stomach. They deserve some attention too, don’t you think? Consequently, my whole body feels smoother and softer, not just my face.
How to Dry Brush
All you need is a dry brush (here’s the one I got for $9.95 on Amazon). Before you hop in the shower, take about 3-5 minutes for the whole process:
- Starting at your feet, work in a circular, upward brushing motion using small strokes toward the heart
- Be gentle: you never want to break the skin
- Move up the legs to your calves and thighs, thighs and butt
- On your stomach, use a counter clockwise pattern
- Move on to the lower back, abdomen, chest, and upper chest
- Finish with your arms, moving from the hands to your shoulders
Totally optional, but I use castor oil on my stomach after dry brushing before getting into the shower, as an additional way to support the lymphatic system at the suggestion of my doctor.
And there ya have it, dry brushing in a nutshell. Have you tried it? Think you’ll give it a shot? Let me know in the comments!