When it comes to wellness and beauty, we’re always curious about anything steeped in tradition while also encouraging the body to heal itself naturally. Dry brushing is one practice that bridges the gap between holistic health and a deeply relaxing self-care ritual.
You may have come across it on a spa menu or mentioned in Ayurvedic medicine, but did you know the practice is very simplistic and easy to DIY at home? If you have five minutes, you’ll be able to calm the mind, invigorate the body, and smooth the skin.
What Is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is an ancient ayurvedic technique that involves using sweeping motions across the full body with a handheld, natural bristle brush. The idea is that it supports blood circulation, which brings oxygen to the tissue, helping to rejuvenate and give a youthful glow.
It is also believed to promote lymphatic drainage and energize the body. Lymph fluid is a clear fluid that moves through the circulatory system and bloodstream, cleansing it. It can be slow or stagnant, causing everything from feeling occasionally sluggish to dry and dull skin. Lymphatic massage or dry brushing technique helps move this process along.
How To Dry Brush
The point of dry brushing is to encourage movement toward your heart, where the lymphatic fluid drains. You always want to follow the circulatory flow and work your way toward the heart.
Most people find the practice energizing, so it’s recommended to do it in the morning just before you hop in the shower. Starting with a completely dry brush and skin, use light and swift motions. Each area can take repeated 2-5 strokes.
Start with the top of the feet, calves, and thighs. As for your stomach, some recommend making circular motions. You can find what feels right for you.
Much like you, start with the feet, begin with the hands, and go across your arms toward the shoulders. Brush the back of your hands, forearm, and then around the upper arm.
With the neck, you'll want to be extra gentle, as it's delicate skin. Also, make sure you’re moving downward toward the heart. Start at the jawline and move down to the chest.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Here are a few health benefits we love!
It Exfoliates Skin
Dry brushing is a great physical exfoliator, manually buffing the top layer of skin, making it smoother and giving an instant glow. It also allows lotions and treatments to be more effective.
It May Encourage Circulation
Lymphatic drainage and circulation are believed to be the most common benefit of the ritual. Your lymphatic system works to remove waste in the body, which is why dry brushing is thought to be detoxifying. Healthy circulation is rejuvenating for overall skin health and function.
Offers a Moment of Self-care
If anything, dry brushing encourages you to take a moment and focus on your body, and the tingly sensation is calming for the mind. Many people feel awakened, energized, and invigorated from the practice.
How Often Should You Dry Brush?
It’s recommended to start slow, perhaps once a week, and move up to two to three times a week.
You should first see how your skin tolerates the bristles, as more sensitive skin can become inflamed if you are too rough. Light pressure is all you need. That being said, if you are prone to dry skin, inflammation, and irritation, you may be able to use a dry cloth instead.
Dry Brush Aftercare
It’s a good idea to shower and rinse off any dead skin from the brushing process.
After the shower, hydration is essential because the skin will be thirsty and more absorbent. While your skin is damp, apply a light nutrient-rich oil, like almond, sesame, or coconut. You can also use an emollient cream that will moisturize, soothe and seal in hydration. Definitely be sure to apply an SPF to any exposed skin if you’ll be in the sun.
When procuring a brush, make sure to look for a naturally-derived material like jute or bamboo. Once you get the hang of it, this is an easy practice that anyone can do! Though, just like anything, consistency is key. The instant results are smoother and glowing skin, while sustained use offers multiple health benefits, making this a no-brainer wellness habit. Most importantly, we love anything that offers a few quiet moments to connect with your mind, body, and soul and leaves us feeling renewed.