Should You Brush Your Skin?
You brush your teeth and your hair, why not your skin? Dry brushing or skin brushing is an incredibly easy way to support your body’s natural detox process. As the largest eliminative organ, the skin plays a vital role in ridding the body of toxins and impurities. Dry skin brushing before a sauna or shower has many potential benefits—from smoother skin to eliminating inflammatory toxins.
While there aren’t scientific studies validating the benefit of dry brushing, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, and even dermatologists agree that gently brushing the skin does have exfoliating benefits and may stimulate the body in a way similar to massage, which does have well-documented benefits.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing may leave you feeling slightly energized—so you might want to do it in the morning rather than before bed. Here are a few other potential benefits:
Lymphatic support: Part of your immune system, the lymphatic system, is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport fluid—and toxins—back into blood circulation so they can be eliminated. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin; so dry brushing the skin is thought to stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.
Exfoliation: It makes sense that running a firm, natural bristled brush over your body helps remove dead skin cells and soften skin. Naturally exfoliating with a dry brush will not only leave it feeling smoother, but it may help your body release toxins.
Increased circulation: Dry brushing increases blood circulation to the skin, encouraging the elimination of metabolic waste and often giving the skin a healthy glow.
Less cellulite: While there is no concrete evidence that dry brushing can actually eliminate cellulite, there is anecdotal evidence that it may tighten the epidermis and reduce the dappled appearance cellulite creates.
How to Perform Dry Brushing
Most experts recommend dry brushing before the sauna or shower to facilitate dead skin sloughing and promote better detoxification. Detox brushes should be medium soft and not cause scratching or harsh exfoliation. Dedicate at least 3 to 5 minutes to brush the skin, once or twice a day.
Start at the soles of 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 abdomen, work in a clockwise direction to facilitate digestion. Seven strokes per each area of the body should be sufficient.