Dry skin brushing
Your step-by-step guide
What if we told you there was a simple beauty trick that only takes five minutes out of your day, costs next to nothing, and helps your body inside as well as out? Too good to be true? It’s not.
Dry skin brushing is the secret and it has long been a part of Ayurveda’s cleansing philosophies. Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old science originating in India and is believed by many to be the oldest healing science.
How does it work?
Your skin is an organ of elimination, just like your kidneys, liver and colon. It’s the largest organ of your body and it’s estimated that one-third of your body’s daily impurities are excreted through the skin. Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. If your skin becomes inactive, its ability to remove excess toxins is impaired. This places extra stress on other organs and on your body in general.
As we age, our bodies become less effective in shedding outer layers of dead skin cells. This build-up of dead skin can result in a thick, dry and somewhat leathery look, which is often common with more mature skin. As well as exfoliating this outer layer, dry skin brushing also stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin. It also helps keep young skin fresh, vibrant and free of breakouts.
Because your body breathes and absorbs essential nutrients through your skin, regular dry brushing will leave your skin clear of excess debris so it’s free to absorb oxygen and other nutrients into your body.
It also stimulates your body from the outside in. It works to cleanse the whole system and is an effective treatment for many ailments. Accumulated waste products in the body are known to contribute to many illnesses as well as premature ageing. Dry skin brushing also increases blood circulation, which helps to contribute to healthier muscle tone and better distribution of fat deposits, also known to many as cellulite.
40-year-old Cassandra Haughton James, AcuEnergetics practitioner and owner of The Natural Alchemist in Sydney, believes that the secret to her supple and healthy skin comes from consistent dry skin brushing coupled with the use of natural oils. Cassandra was introduced to the art of dry skin brushing almost 20 years ago while living in Hawaii and has been hooked ever since. She dry skin brushes several times a week before showering and applies natural oils to her skin afterwards.
“Water hydrates the skin and the oils feed it,” she explains. “Dry skin brushing removes the dead skin and allows the body to breathe. It leaves the skin open to absorb the oils which are applied while the skin is still slightly damp, leaving a fine film of oil on the surface.” Oil on its own can dry out your skin, so it’s important to dry skin brush, then have a shower, then apply the oil to gain the most benefit.
In addition, dry skin brushing is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by aiding the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in elimination, helping to move toxins through the body. It also contributes to the strength of the body’s immune system by producing certain white blood cells and generating antibodies. The lymph system doesn’t rely on an automatic ‘pumping device’ like the cardiovascular system and it depends on the movement of muscles to keep it working.
There are many lymph nodes situated at different places in the body but the inner thighs and armpits hold the greatest number, so it can be helpful to pay extra attention to these areas when brushing. The lymph system flows towards the heart so it’s important to brush in the same flow as the lymphatic system.
Benefits of dry skin brushing
- Removes dead layers of skin and other outer impurities.
- Stimulates and increases blood circulation.
- Helps release fatty deposits under your skin’s surface.
- Assists the eliminative capacity of your body’s organs.
- Rejuvenates your cells.
- Strengthens your immune system.
- Increases muscle tone.
- Improves skin texture.
- Helps prevent premature ageing.
Step-by-step guide to dry skin brushing
- It’s best to dry brush first thing in the morning before you shower. Start with light pressure until you’re used to the sensation, then move on to firmer strokes.
- Use a natural bristled brush (like those found at www.naturalalchemist.com) or a loofah as a second choice. Avoid synthetic or nylon brushes or gloves as they’re too sharp and can damage the skin.
- Start with the soles of your feet, use swift upward strokes and brush from the feet, up the legs, working towards your heart.
- Once you’ve covered your lower body, move to your hands and work up your arms toward your heart in the same manner.
- Next (using a long handle brush or get your partner to help out), brush your back.
- 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 most people’s facial skin is too sensitive.
- Brush for about three-to-five minutes until your skin is rosy and slightly tingly.
- Always shower after you dry brush to wash off the dead skin.
- Keep a separate dry brush for every member of the family, and be sure to periodically wash it.
NOTE: Avoid on broken or sensitive skin and take care to brush lightly over cellulite areas.