We often construct our image of someone being healthy and beautiful based on how their skin looks. Whether skin looks radiant or dull, youthful or aged, fresh or tired gives us a pretty good idea of a person’s lifestyle, habits and fitness.
This relationship between our body and our skin works both ways. Whatever our body goes through visibly impacts the condition of our skin. At the same time, if our skin is healthy, our body will be healthy too. Besides being a protective layer, our skin is an important organ of elimination and regulates many of our important bodily functions.
Therefore, taking care of your skin and keeping it robust and lustrous is important not just for your outer appearance but also for keeping your body healthy on the inside.
Dry Brushing and Skin
There is nothing that can match the benefits of dry skin brushing when it comes to the regular upkeep of our skin. As the name suggests, dry brushing is simply brushing our skin with a dry brush. When done properly, this practice can give you visible and long-lasting results from your face all the way down to your toes.
Historical evidence points to Finland as the country where the practice of dry brushing the body might have originated. Finnish nutritionist and naturopathic physician Paavo Airola (pictured on the right) used dry brushing to detoxify and even cure his patients of certain ailments. From Finland, the practice spread all across Europe.
The way dry brushing was done then and the way it's done now is more or less the same, except that back then sand, sticks, and even rocks were used for dry exfoliation of the skin.
Dry Brushing - More Than Just Exfoliation
Dry body brushing cleans the skin much more effectively than other skin care techniques, but it goes beyond the skin's external appearance, helping the skin get rid of toxins and excess minerals. It also stimulates our oil glands thus moisturizing the skin naturally. Dry brushing is gentle and tender and thus it doesn’t irritate or over-stimulate the skin in any way.
Benefits of Body Brushing
The list of advantages that body brushing gives our skin is vast, some of which are
- Removal of dead skin and other external impurities
- Stimulation of the lymphatic system, circulatory system and excretory system
- Visible cellulite reduction
- Improvement in muscle tone
- Prevention of premature aging
- Strengthening of the immune system
For more details on how exactly dry brushing brings about these positive changes to the body, read this article.
Dry Brushing and Cellulite Reduction
Cellulite is an unsightly issue which makes many women conscious about their body image. The problem with cellulite is that it's a tough cookie. These fat deposits are so stubborn that many times even diet control or exercising doesn’t work. The most used procedure for keeping cellulite in check is liposuction. The problem is, liposuction costs a lot and still doesn’t give lasting results.
You may be surprised to learn that dry brushing has been found extremely effective in cellulite reduction. It gently, but firmly presses the stubborn fat. Over a period of time it efficiently distributes fat evenly throughout the affected area.
How to Dry Brush
Dry brushing isn’t rocket science, but there is a particular way to do it in order to get maximum results. Here’s a quick guide for the beginner:
- Dry brushing requires a particular brush. You must ensure that the brush is optimal for dry brushing. The reason being a brush too soft will not exfoliate the skin enough. A brush too hard will be irritating the skin more than soothing it. I recommend this body brush which is made of all natural Tampico fibers to suit all skin types.
- Dry brushing of course requires brushing over dry skin. The best time to do it is right before taking a shower.
- You need to always brush towards your heart. So if you are brushing your legs you will be brushing upwards, if you are brushing your hands you will brush them sideways, and if you are brushing your shoulders you willl brush them downwards.
- Always start with your feet. Move upwards to the legs, thighs, stomach, hands, arms and shoulders before arriving at the heart.
- Brush using long strokes and absolutely avoid random and back-and-forth strokes.
- After dry brushing, take a shower to wash off the dead brushed-off skin.
- After showering, moisturize your entire body with natural oil such as coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil.
Facial Dry Brushing
Based on my own experiences with dry body brushing, I have invented another similar technique which imparts all the benefits of dry brushing to our face - facial brushing. Face brushing is done with a facial brush (it is different and more gentle than the brush used for body brushing).
Facial brushing can give your face the radiance and luster of a polished face. It tightens the skin giving it a clear look. Depending on the current status of your facial skin, start slowly and gently with facial dry brushing, but eventually you will be able to dry brush firmly and daily.