We all that it’s important to exfoliate the skin to keep it looking young and feeling smooth, right? Chances are you may even use a brush or loofah in the shower or bath. But, did you know that dry brushing not only exfoliates and plumps the skin to keep it looking young- but it also can support our health and wellness by boosting circulation and aiding in lymphatic drainage?
I’ve been brushing for years, and I’ve gotten disciplined with incorporating it into my nightly routine within the past year and I can 100% say that I notice a significant difference in how I feel when I dry brush.
Here’s why: Dry brushing boosts circulation. You may notice as you dry brush that your skin may be a bit red (that’s actually a good thing!) It’s the result of increased circulation in the areas you’ve been dry brushing. Your body is simply pushing more blood to those areas.
All blood contains lymph (lymph is made up of white blood cells, especially lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria). We filter lymph through our lymph nodes. Dry brushing speeds up the rate of blood pumping by increasing circulation, which helps get the lymph through the body, therefore removing toxins, pathogens (viruses!) more quickly.
So how do you dry brush? It’s exactly what it sounds like! You simply take a (dry) body brush with stiff bristles and brush your (dry) skin upwards. I’ll do 8-12 strokes per each section of my body. I always start with my calves, work up my legs and then my arms, stomach and chest. The key is to brush in long upward strokes towards your heart, so you’d always be brushing up, with the exception of your chest when you’ll be brushing down towards the heart.
I brush about 5 times a week, but when you’re starting out I’d start with once a week, and work my way up to two times a week. There are some that say dry brushing can boost energy, due to the fact that it increases circulation. For this reason many recommend dry brushing in the morning. I shower at night so I dry brush at night. While I definitely feel “invigorated” after dry brushing, it doesn’t effect my sleep. After you brush, hop in the shower to rinse off all the dead skin cells. I take a detox bath 1-2 times a week, and I’ll hop in the bath after the shower, or I’ll apply my body oil and head to bed. I then do body gua sha on my body in the morning, the mornings after I dry brush.
WLG sells two brushes that I use and love. Our long handled dry/ wet brush is fantastic if you’re just getting started. It comes with a removable long handle so you can easily get your back too! Our hand held dry brush is what I use, but it’s quite stiff and I wouldn’t recommend using it if you’re new to dry brushing.
Let me know if you give it a try and how it works for you!