Why You Should Dry Skin Brush
Ever since I was a young teenager in the late 80ies I have been wildly interested in beauty and self-care. And even if I have been a notorious shopper through the years for all kinds of expensive creams and other beauty products, I have always been a huge fan of natural methods like dry skin brushing and using ingredients from the kitchen pantry.
I remember reading about natural ingredients for self-care like honey face masks, sugar scrubs, dry skin brushing and more in my mom's magazines. And I got my first dry skin brush already as a teenager. Back then I had no idea how to do it properly though (I guess I was just afraid to get cellulite if I didn't brush!), and I haven't been faithful to the method ever since either, even if I have been using it on and off for over 20 years.
But now that I'm learning so much about toxins in beauty and self-care products, and how they can affect our endocrine system, dry skin brushing and the use of natural ingredients seem even more relevant. And I recently took up dry skin brushing again after a few years astray.
So why should you do it?
Not only is skin brushing inexpensive, it packs a lot of benefits. It exfoliates your skin – removing all of the dead skin, dirt, and garbage clogging your pores. From a beauty point of view, daily body brushing is the most effective way to achieve glowing skin from top to toe. On top of that, it also boosts cell renewal and eliminates toxins. It may also reduce cellulite by improving circulation to the area + stimulates the lymph system and increases energy and circulation.
Dry skin brushing is also the best way to prepare your skin for a beautiful, even suntan. Just don't forget to use a natural sunscreen while soaking up those lovely sunrays. I'm going to write more about natural skin care in another post, but for now promise to avoid buying sunscreens containing (to mention a few!) oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate and parabens. There are unfortunately many more nasty ingredients in most traditional sunscreens, but if you don't want to disrupt your hormonal balance you should definitely avoid the ingredients mentioned above.
How to do it?
- Use a natural (not synthetic) bristle brush, preferably with a long handle so you can reach all areas of your body.
- Starting at the feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up your legs in long, smooth strokes. A good rule of thumb is to brush each section of skin 10 times. For lymph flow, always brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains.
- Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, brush each section of skin 10 times.
- On the stomach and armpits, brush in a circular clockwise motion.
- When you're done brushing, take a shower. I like to alternate between the hottest water temperature I can tolerate and the coldest. This stimulates blood circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.
Note! Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. Your skin should never be red or sting afterward. If it hurts at all, use less pressure! Also, if you have eczema or very dry skin, you should probably avoid dry brushing altogether.
Lotions, oils and brushes
I brush before showering and use a natural lotion and/or oil after showering. In the winter and after exposure to sun/wind/salt in the summer, my skin is drier and then I just LOVE using this oil. Coconut oil is also great if your skin is super dry, and I prefer using an unscented oil.
This is the brush I use at the moment, and I would also like to invest in one with a long handle to be able to reach my back. Note that you should replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. It is also recommended to wash the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells and dirt.
Do you dry brush your skin? And have you noticed any benefits or changes related to it? I would love to read about it in the comments!