How & Why To Dry Brush

reading time: 4 min

Episode 5.
Now, you probably brush your hair and also (hopefully) your teeth – but do you brush your skin as well? 

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it is also one of the most important – and neglected – way of eliminating toxins? It won't surprise you then that dry body brushing is a potent method of exfoliating dead skin, detoxifying the body, reducing cellulite and tightening your skin while also making it smooth as silk. But the list of health benefits doesn't end there!
Dry brushing is an ancient Ayurvedic practice known as Garshana, and one of Ayurveda's daily self-care routines. It is especially recommended during springtime aka kapha season, which lasts from February to June, along with other methods of detoxification and cleansing such as tongue scraping or nasal rinsing.

This technique only takes 5 minutes of your time, and less than four minutes to read about ;) 

I am not a physician, and the information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

What You Will Need For This Method
  • a natural bristle brush or a hemp glove (such as this one or this one or this one)
  • optional: a bit of body oil or moisturizer
  • your body

The Benefits of Dry Brushing
  • improves circulation  
  • stimulates lymphatic system
  • reduces / prevents cellulite and stretch marks
  • releases toxins
  • exfoliates skin
  • tightens skin
  • unclogs pores
  • reduces muscle tension
  • improves digestion
  • relieves stress

Due to its exfoliating effect, dry brushing also helps with those annoying little ingrown hairs if you use an epilator to get rid of leg hair! (yay!)


How To Do Dry Body Brushing

Start on a dry skin (duh). Personally, I like to do this right before I get into the shower – in fact, it's a good idea to stand in your shower or bathtub to catch the falling skin (yeah... gross).

1. CHOOSE YOUR BRUSH. There are different types of skin brushes, some with a long handle, other without a handle; there's brushes with soft, medium and firm bristles; and brushes with massage nodules instead of or in addition to bristles. So choose a bristle strength to suit your skin concern and/or condition. Make sure to use a brush made from natural materials such as bamboo or cactus (no boar bristles!).

2. UNDRESS. If you like, you can put a bit of body oil or moisturizer onto your brush.

3. START AT YOUR FEET. Firmly but gently (!) move the brush over your body, working from your left to your right side of the body. Move in long, slow sweeping motions from the bottoms of my feet and up your legs toward your heart – as seen in the picture above. Either stroke straight upwards or in small circular motions – long strokes for the limbs and circular motions on the joints, belly and back.  

4. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward with gentle pressure, TOWARD YOUR HEART.

5. For the STOMACH, work in clockwise circles.

6. When dry brushing your BACK, move from the buttocks up to the shoulder blades (you can use a long handled brush for this).

7. Brush SEVERAL TIMES in each area (5-10 strokes each). My brushing routine goes like this: Left leg, right leg, butt, stomach, left side of the torso, right side of the torso, left arm, right arm, shoulders, neck.

8. Be extra careful as you brush over more sensitive areas, like your collarbone or your breasts. NEVER dry brush over inflammation, open wounds, or sunburnt skin!

9. TAKE A SHOWER to wash away all the dead skin cells. I like to take this opportunity to end my shower with cold water to further boost my circulation.

10. After getting out of the shower, pat dry your skin and APPLY A MOISTURIZER such as body oil or aloe vera gel.

TIP: Before hopping in the shower, you could also do a warm oil massage known as Abhyanga!

How Often Should You Do Dry Brushing?

For best results, it is recommended to do this once to twice a day for five minutes. As a rule of thumb, do this before each time you shower.

Have you ever done dry body brushing? Have you noticed any of its benefits? Let me know in the comments!



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