The wellness community has long been enthusiastically buzzing about the benefits of dry brushing. Though at first glance it might seem little more than mild exfoliation, we’re here to tell you there’s more to this ancient Ayurvedic beauty ritual than meets the eye!
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing, as the name suggests, quite literally involves brushing your bare skin—belly, booty, arms, thighs, you name it—with a firm-bristled brush in order to stimulate the lymphatic system, buff away dead skin cells and naturally detoxify the body.
You’ve probably heard about how dry body brushing can help you achieve softer, smoother skin (AKA head-to-toe radiance!) in just a few weeks, boost your immune system and even reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression and dissociative personality disorder. But, one of the most underrated benefits of dry brushing is what it can do to support your liver, kidneys, lungs and intestines.
The detox benefits of dry brushing
Dry brushing your skin just once a day can help to keep your pores clear of dead skin cells, dirt, street pollution and other accumulated chemicals that you come into contact with on a daily basis.
These chemicals can be found in products/places like:
Brushing away these residual toxic ‘layers’ can help your skin breathe and perspire freely, which is super important for your health. Why? Because if your pores get clogged and your skin can’t perspire freely, excess waste and toxins can get trapped in your body, becoming a burden on your elimination organs (the liver, kidneys, lungs and intestines).
What happens if your skin can’t expel toxins?
The lymphatic system, AKA your skin, doesn’t have a pump like your circulatory system, where your heart can keep your bloodstream flowing. This means that, without regular movement, exercise, muscle contractions and manual stimulation (like dry brushing), toxic waste can become stagnant and build up in your tissues and lymph nodes.
You might have heard about the lymph nodes in your neck swelling when you’re sick or have an infection. That’s because these amazing little nodules are part of your body’s defence system, removing microorganisms and other foreign bacteria from your body. Think of them like tiny, bad-ass filtration systems, protecting your bloodstream from toxins!
Dr Mehmet Öz, the widely-known author, cardiothoracic surgeon and TV Personality of The Dr Oz Show, says many of these toxins are fat-soluble. Meaning they “wiggle their way into fatty parts of your body, like your liver, brain and hormonal glands, where they may stay for years (or even for your entire life)”. The result if not prevented early, Dr Öz says, can be severe, including increased risk of cancer, as well as a range of other health problems like:
Dry brushing essentials
Now that you know about the amazing detox benefits of dry brushing your skin, we’re sure you’ll agree this wellness beauty ritual should be a part of everyone’s daily routine!
Choosing a brush
A natural bristle brush is ideal for dry brushing. We suggest looking for a brush that’s firm enough to buff away dead cells, but soft enough to not damage or bruise your skin. Trust us, the last thing you want to do is irritate or inflame your birthday suit! We also recommend looking for a brush with a handle to make it easier to brush in all those difficult to reach areas.
Dry brushing technique
The best time to dry brush your skin is in the morning before you shower. The technique is super simple – just use light strokes in an upward motion, always towards your heart. You can dry brush all over, although we recommend using a softer brush for more sensitive areas like your face and décolleté. Don’t forget to brush your hands and feet!
Adding essential oils
For extra beauty benefits, try adding a few drops of your favourite detoxifying essential oils to your brush. Lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, wild orange, lemongrass, ginger and lavender will work to improve your circulation and encourage detoxification.
Complete your dry brush massage with a shower. You can alternate between warm and cool water to boost your circulation, and then lather your body in a deliciously moisturising body cream or oil.
The Wellness Beauty Rituals team