Dry brushing is one of those topics that I reference all the time and have been meaning to do a full-fledged post on for what seems like literal ages. I started dry brushing after reading another blogger's lowdown on it a few years ago, and I've pretty much been obsessed ever since. It's something that I try to do almost every time before I get in the shower, and my skin is definitely thankful for it!
But wait, WTF is dry brushing?
Even though it's been all the rage recently with both health and beauty gurus alike (as usual, there's quite a bit of crossover between the internal & external beauty benefits), most people still don't know how to dry brush properly, let alone what the reason for doing it actually is.
Let me fill you in on the science behind it first:
There's a reason that the health community has been nonstop raving about dry brushing for the past few years. This is because the light pressure of dry brushing and the direction in which you stroke can help speed up the cellular detoxification process within you lymphatic system.
According to this source:
"The lymphatic system does not use a pump like the circulatory system, where the heart keeps the bloodstream flowing. It depends on the contractions of muscle, through body movement, breathing, exercise or manual stimulation, to push the fluid along the lymph vessels. This is where body brushing can help to encourage blood flow through the channels and clean out the metabolic waste that can build up in the tissues and lymph nodes."
In other words, dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system (which is the system responsible for disposing of cellular waste...[cellular waste >> inflammation & disease...yuck]).
it helps nix cellulite?
Though there's little scientific evidence to prove that dry brushing effectively eliminates cellulite, the anecdotal evidence is a driving force behind the popularity of the technique. And researchers do agree that there's a cosmetic upside to dry brushing regularly, even if it doesn't totally rid cellulite completely.
Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist at the Yale School of Medicine states, "The motion improves circulation and helps flush waste and toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system. Doing all of that can certainly parlay into skin radiance and glow and a plumper appearance."
Another upside to dry brushing is that it's a great way to exfoliate. You'll definitely notice smoother skin after incorporating this practice into your beauty regimen, and it can also work wonders if you're into self-tanning since it removes all of the dead skin (ew) from your body, allowing moisturizers to soak in more properly after your shower.
So, clearly there's more than a few benefits of dry brushing. I'm totally hooked, and I hope that after reading the above info you're just aching to try it too!
BUT...there is a right and wrong way to dry brush, so follow these instructions if you do want to give it a shot:
[ Also, I'm leaving links to my favorite products at the end of this post if you feel like copycatting my exact dry brushing routine ]
how to dry brush properly
- Start at your feet, moving the brush in circular motions. You always want to be moving towards your heart, so gradually work your way up your legs. [ Pro Tip: I always pay special attention to the backs of my thighs, since this is where pesky cellulite can start to set in. I'd recommend giving a bit of extra attention to this area if you're looking for that cosmetic benefit as well. ]
- Once you're done your lower body, start at your palms, and work your way up your arms and towards your heart again.
- Finally dry brush your back and midsection, always moving towards your heart. [ Pro Tip: Your midsection is likely to be more sensitive than the rest of your bod, so you may want to invest in a gentler dry brush for this area, or just take it easy! ]
So tell me, what do you guys think about dry brushing? Love it, hate it? Gotta try it? Let me know in the comments!