Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Table of contents
- The concept of dry skin brushing
- stimulates the sebaceous glands
- The following are just some of the many benefits claimed by dry skin brushing regularly:
- The Takeaway:
- Did You Know:
- Questions + Answers
- Unlock the secret to radiant skin by boosting your regimen with these glow-enhancing ingredients and habits!
- Healthy skin starts from within.
- Discover the Ultimate Foods for Radiant Skin!
- Dry Brushing For Lymphatic Drainage – Get tips from a Lymphedema Physical Therapist!
- How To Dry Brush
- Frequency of brushing:
In the late 1800s, a complex system of brushing and stimulating the lymphatic system was developed in Europe, similar to modern-day dry body brushing. The process was thought to rid the body of toxins, stimulate digestion and improve circulation.
Dry skin brushing is believed to be a simple, natural way to stimulate and improve the health of your lymphatic system. It’s also very effective in stimulating the skin and ridding it of dead skin cells, thus keeping pores unclogged.
According to Dr. Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupuncture Center for Arthritis & Immunity in New York City, “The lymphatic system is one of the most important components of our immune system” and “the skin is the largest organ of elimination (purification).” For these reasons and more, using a dry brush before taking a shower can make a big difference in your overall health. For instance, helping to regulate the muscles (smooth and cardiac), glandular secretions (sweat, oil, lactation), lymphatic drainage, and blood circulation in the body.
Medical studies have recognized the benefits of skin brushing, but not the dry brush specifically. The benefits are attributed to skin brushing in general. Therefore, any skin brush or an exfoliation washcloth will produce similar results.
A study conducted by Dr. James Gordon demonstrated that dry brushing your skin could aid in detoxification and improve overall health. The study included dry brushing in conjunction to diet and exercise. After one week of skin brushing twice daily, participants noticed an improvement in the pH levels in their bodies!
Another study published by Dr. Norman Walker showed that lymphatic massage can eliminate excess fluid from the tissues of the body – a process known as tissue fluid drainage.
In a nutshell, Dr. Walker found that the accumulation of tissue fluid in the body can result in poor health and serious disease! Not to mention feeling sluggish and tired.
He also stated that it is beneficial and essential for health when lymphatic massage is achieved with a dry skin brush. Especially before bathing or showering, at least twice daily – preferably after each bowel movement and at bedtime!
In addition, dry brushing has been said to improve muscle tone and firmness by helping the body eliminate toxins through the lymphatic system. Acupuncturists have indicated that pain from arthritis is caused by poisons in the joints and connective tissues. Thus releasing these toxins can provide relief.
The concept of dry skin brushing
Dry body brushing can help stimulate the lymphatic system which is your body’s natural drainage system. Lymph fluid (similar to blood plasma) seeps through vessels throughout the body until it reaches tiny filtering units called “lymph nodes” where bacteria, viruses, and wastes are filtered out.
The lymph then returns to the heart through one-way valves that help push it along. Dry brushing helps improve circulation and lymphatic flow by reducing the buildup of bacteria, dead cells, and toxins in the body.
It also carries interferon to fight infections and cancerous cells. Some of these cells are removed via the kidneys, while some are also drained through the skin. When the lymph is sluggish, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause boils, cellulitis, tumors, etc., when its flow is restricted.
stimulates the sebaceous glands
When you dry brush your skin, this also stimulates the sebaceous glands which secrete oil (sebum) to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair. The oil produced by these glands helps to protect against penetration of germs, which are the cause of numerous skin infections. Dry brushing also stimulates these glands to release toxins into the blood stream to be disposed of by other organs in the body.
Over time this process will strengthen your immune system, improve digestion, increase energy levels and make you feel healthier. It’s also excellent for the skin because the brushing helps remove dead cells from the stratum corneum, the outermost epidermal layer, consisting of dead cells.
The following are just some of the many benefits claimed by dry skin brushing regularly:
- Stimulates elimination of cellular waste
- Stimulates the lymphatic system / Aids in lymphatic drainage
- Helps the body’s natural detoxification process
- Improves metabolism
- Improves and reduces lymphatic swelling in extremities
- Increases / Improves circulation
- Rejuvenates nervous system by stimulating nerve endings
- Allows for better absorption of products
- Eliminates dead skin cells
- Exfoliates / Unclogs pores
- Helps with muscle tone
- Reduces signs of aging
- Smoother skin + Softens the skin + Promotes younger looking skin
- Stimulates oil glands
- Tightens skin (reduces appearance of cellulite)
- Reduces varicose veins
- Helps relieve symptoms of arthritis
- Relieves symptoms of asthma
- Helps improve digestion
- Can help you fight off colds and respiratory issues
- Helps with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
Although many doctors have claimed the above-aforementioned benefits have validity, many doctors have also opposed them passing them off as “myths.”
However, innumerable people declare otherwise. So, if something worked/works for you, great!
Be realistic about the results you’re expecting and listen to your skin. Also, keep in mind that claims made that “dry brushing alone will free you of unwanted toxins” are a tad bit misleading. The skin may be your body’s largest organ, but it’s not the largest detoxifying organ. That honor belongs to your liver, with the kidneys coming in second.
However, the more toxic your liver is, the more likely you will develop wrinkles and other skin issues. To find out more, visit my article on the heavy metal detox smoothie for an effective detox.
Did You Know:
In 1628 the English physician William Harvey (1578-1657) published his revolutionary theory that blood circulates through the body driven by the heart?
This challenged the long-standing teachings of Hippocrates and Galen concerning four different bodily fluids or ‘humours’ that flowed through separate arterial and venous vascular systems. – PMID
Questions + Answers
When selecting a body brush, choose one with natural, soft, gentle bristles, especially for sensitive skin. One of my favorites is Beauty By Earth or this one by Shash.
If you have delicate skin, try a soft brush with natural bristles or a loofah sponge. A medium bristle brush works well for most people. Your body will tell you if the bristle is too harsh or not harsh enough.
The best time to dry brush is in the morning, upon rising. Typically before taking a shower or bath. However, there are lots of other times when it can benefit various conditions and circumstances that arise! For example, try dry body brushing before bed if you have trouble falling asleep and after a period of prolonged stress to help reduce the negative effects.
For maximizing benefits, begin at your feet and brush upward toward the heart using firm, small strokes and work in a circular motion. When reaching your midsection, begin at the outside of the body, using long sweeping strokes that cover as much surface area as possible. For your belly, work in a clockwise direction. Likewise, when you move on to your arms, start at your hands, and work upward.
When you first begin dry body brushing, your skin may become irritated. To reduce this, work more gently and don’t brush as often. Also, remember to hydrate more because the extra exfoliation can make your pores a little dryer.
While some people dry brush every day, others may dry brush once or twice a week or even once a month. The amount of dry brushing is entirely up to you.
While dry brushing can be done every day, it’s important that you give your skin time to rest and repair itself. This usually means taking at least two days off each week. It is also recommended that you start out with only three minutes of brushing the first week, adding one minute for each following week until you get to the recommended fifteen minutes.
You can start slow if you’d like—five minutes a day for a few weeks before increasing the amount of time you dry brush. It’s not necessary to do the whole routine each time. The goal is just to work up to doing it for 10-15 minutes twice a week, and then gradually increase your brushing time as your body adjusts.
A helpful note: Dry brushing should not hurt, if your skin is red and flushed from dry brushing, you’re either exerting too much pressure or dry brushing too often or using a hard brush. Gentle massage is always best.
After dry brushing rinse off all the dead skin cells. Then, pat your skin dry (not rubbing) with a soft towel. Apply a moisturizer to your skin, such as the one I use, hibiscus body butter, or fresh aloe.
Yes. For a great clean, wash your dry brush in hot soapy water with a Tea Tree Oil Soap or other natural anti-bacterial soap once a week to eliminate bacteria and the dead skin buildup. To dry, leave in the sun or a well-ventilated area, with bristles facing down. Never dry the brush with the bristles up or stand it upright, or water can collect at the base of the handle and cause mold to grow.
Unlock the secret to radiant skin by boosting your regimen with these glow-enhancing ingredients and habits!
Healthy skin starts from within.
Dry body brushing is a great way to keep your skin healthy and glowing. However, the secret to healthy and beautiful skin starts from within.
Quench your skin and boost your lymphatic system by combining the power of hydration and dry brushing! Just remember to keep your body replenished as you practice this invigorating duo!
When you are properly hydrated it will greatly show with healthy glowing skin. Additionally, and more importantly if you’re properly hydrated, your body can remove toxins and poisons from your liver, kidneys, and other parts of your body. So, remember to drink lots of water to help flush out toxins.
Excellent liquid Hydrators For Your Skin.
- Coconut water is a highly nutritious, cleansing, refreshing juice loaded with B-complex vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese.
- It is also considered one of the highest sources of electrolytes known with the same level of electrolytic balance that we have in our blood.
- Plasma makes up 55% of human blood in our body, and coconut water is identical to human plasma, making it a universal donor.
- Lemon water is an excellent way to hydrate, purify, and revitalize your body and contains a good source of vitamins C and B and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
- Excellent for weight loss, the immune system, alkalizing the body, controlling high blood pressure, anti-aging, detoxifying, purifying the blood, and regulating body temperature.
- Fresh cucumber juice is a fantastic rejuvenation tonic. It is a highly alkalizing and hydrating drink rich in vitamins A, C, K, magnesium, silicon, and potassium.
- Cucumber juice can cleanse and detox the entire body and help alleviate digestive problems such as gastritis, acidity, heartburn, indigestion, and ulcers.
- Drinking fresh cucumber juice is also an ideal way to properly hydrate the body since it contains beneficial electrolytes that can bring nutrients and hydration deep into the cells and tissues, making it far more effective than water alone.
Discover the Ultimate Foods for Radiant Skin!
Unveil your skin’s natural radiance and charm with a delightful self-care routine! Indulge in the calming blend of chamomile and Mānuka honey sugar scrub, and embrace the power of wholesome food and rejuvenating sleep. Discover the secret menu for gorgeous, healthy skin – both on your plate and off!
What to increase/add for healthy skin
Bioavailable organic foods such as beta-carotene-rich foods are best for helping your body detox naturally while supplying the necessary nutrients your skin needs to thrive. Beta-carotene is critical for healthy skin and found in many fruits and vegetables. Increasing your fruits and veggies significantly and incorporating fruits like papaya promote beautiful, clear, healthy skin.
- mamey sapote
- sweet potatoes
- colorful melons
- leafy greens like spinach
What to avoid for healthy skin
Shift away from foods that cause inflammation. Such as refined carbohydrates, which are found in overly processed foods like white breads and pastas, rice cakes, crackers or cereals. Lower fats, proteins, salt, cooked food, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Fried foods
- canola oil
- keep your fat intake low – If you eat a plant- based diet, you can reduce your plant fats by 50%. For example, you can minimize oils, and reduce nuts and seeds to just a couple of tablespoons per day. If you’re a meat eater, reduce the amount of animal protein you consume and eat it no more than once a day.
Dry Brushing For Lymphatic Drainage – Get tips from a Lymphedema Physical Therapist!
How To Dry Brush
Dry Brushing is an easy way to keep the whole body healthy and happy. This simple ritual will support your natural self-care, from head to toe, year round. When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. Start slow, start gently and start with the sole of your foot using long, light strokes, brushing each section of skin about ten times. The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful keeping in mind that harsh exfoliation is not the way (avoid “scrubbing”).
After dry brushing, it is important to shower off all dead skin cells from your skin. Then, pat your skin dry (not rubbing) with a soft towel. Because the skin will absorb a product more efficiently, it’s essential to follow with a healthy, high-quality moisturizer such as the one I use – hibiscus body butter and fresh aloe, or natural oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil for healthier, more beautiful skin!
When done properly, you will feel invigorated and energized after every dry body brush massage. The benefits of dry brushing are numerous-it stimulates the cleansing process in the liver by increasing bile production.
- Working from your foot to your ankle, brush outwardly then inward, applying a swift motion using short, gentle strokes in small clockwise rotations, up the shin, calf, then to your knee, following your thighs in a swift circular motion focusing on problematic areas such as your bum and the backs of your thighs, brushing upwards towards the heart. Use the same technique for your stomach; apply small clockwise rotations.
- Brush your chest, starting with small clockwise circles, moving up to your shoulders and arms in the same manner.
- When you reach your hands, brush each finger gently starting with the thumb. Then, gently brush up your arms with long, smooth strokes towards your shoulders.
- Then, brush your back in a circular motion using the long dry brush.
Frequency of brushing:
- In the morning, after a shower or bath.
- In the evening, before bedtime.
- Everyday is best, if possible. If you don’t have time for a full session in the morning, try it right before bed…or even just before you hop into your shower!
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