You brush your hair, you brush your teeth, you may even brush your brows. But there's a rather conspicuous area that may be missing out on the benefit of bristles: your entire body.
Stacked among the clear glass jars of homeopathic remedies, immune-supporting supplements, rose creams, and carrot cleansers on the sparkling shelves of the pharmacies, you’ll find a brush that looks straight out of an especially well-made Norwegian sauna.
When to use it?
Indeed, the practice of brushing the skin once or twice daily with a soft but firm brush is more common during a detox, but more benefits are seen when it becomes a permanent habit—from sweeping away dead skin cells to improving the appearance of skin. I personally recommend exfoliating no more than three times per week for 3-5 minutes, and once per week is even sufficient for most people. It’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine.
How to use it?
To do it yourself, start at your feet and brush upward toward the heart. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward. Use firm, small strokes upward, or work in a circular motion. For the stomach, work in a clockwise direction. Harsh exfoliation is never the point; be sure not to press too hard or use a brush that’s too stiff. Any kind of brushing or exfoliation should be gentle and should never break the skin. I chose medium-soft cactus bristles for skin brushing for gentleness; the skin should never be scratched or damaged. My skin is slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure!
Some people use the brush on its own; others put a bit of body oil on the brush before they use it. Shower before skin-brushing if you’re using an oil on the brush. If not, shower after skin brushing, then apply oil or lotion – as I prefer. Replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. I also recommend washing the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells.
What are the benefits?
1) Lymphatic drainage: The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. Especially during this pandemic when we are all looking to enhance our immune systems. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin. Dry brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and helps the body detoxify itself naturally.
2) Exfoliation: This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. I noticed less dry skin and much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after dry skin brushing.
3) Cellulite: Though there is not much research on this, I’ve found many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helps to reduce cellulite.
4) Energy boost: I can’t explain why but dry brushing always gives me a natural energy boost. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night but it is great in the morning. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy. Either way, I only do it early in the day as part of my morning routine.
· Using this technique once a week can help increase blood circulation and help exfoliating the dead skin cells from the skin.
· Dry brushing is more important after the age of 30’s as the outer layer of our cells becomes ‘thicker’ or ‘stickier’ as we age.
· Using short but firm strokes is the key.
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