Dry skin brushing is also called garshana in Sanskrit, a Hinduism language. The simple technique of dry skin brushing has been used for thousands of years in India. The technique is so simple that you can add it to your morning or evening routine with little time or effort. It takes as little as 2 minutes a session. Dry skin brushing is considered to be an easy way to improve your skins appearance and there’s anecdotal evidence that it can improve your health and well-being. Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that help protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals. Your skin also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Another role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. If your skin is overrun with toxins and dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently. Dry skin brushing is invaluable not only to brush off dead skin cells but in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes.
Here are some of the benefits you may experience from dry brushing:
- Lymphatic System is Stimulated– This system is responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubes allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transports this waste into your blood for elimination, this is called lymphatic drainage. When you dry skin brush, you stimulate your lymphatic system and help it release toxins through the cells and membrane of the skin. When your lymphatic system isn’t working properly, toxic waste can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.
- Exfoliation– This process removes dead skin cells, improving appearance by clearing your clogged pores and allowing skin to “breathe”.
- Circulation Increases– This process increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
- Reduces Appearance of Cellulite– This process may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly in turn diminishing the appearance of cellulite. It also helps reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down the connective tissues.
- Stress Relief– The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieves stress like a light whole-body massage.
- Improves Digestion and Kidney Function- According to one skin care and spa expert…….”dry brushing helps with bloating by massaging the lymph nodes, it helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One immediate effect is smoother skin but also helps improve digestion, kidney function, and more.”
- It’s Energizing– Many people including myself have become “addicted” to dry brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. The glowing and tighter skin are a bonus!
Spas are now offering dry skin brushing on their menus but you can do this at home with little time, cost, and effort!
The Process: First, you’ll need a high-quality brush. Look for one with natural materials. It should feel stiff but not too stiff. It should have a long handle to reach your entire back. I use this one. When you brush, always brush toward your heart, which is for best circulation and your lymphatic system. Start by brushing the soles of your feet to top of feet and then work your way up your legs to your arms, chest,(avoid heart and breast area) back, and stomach (avoid genitals and face). The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful. Your skin should be pink afterward but not red or irritated. You can brush for as long as you’d like. The average session may last between 2 and 20 minutes. I personally dry brush before my shower and again before bedtime. To see a picture on how to do the brush strokes click on this Chart.
Tips on Dry Skin Brushing and Keeping Lymphatic System & Skin Clean:
Do Not brush on irritated skin, abrasions, varicose veins, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, or sunburn. Wash brush once a week with soap and water, allow to air dry completely. Shower after dry skin brushing, then use an oil moisturizer like this to sooth the skin. Avoid nylon and polyester clothes since they don’t allow the skin to breathe. Avoid skin creams and body lotions with perfumes, synthetic chemicals, and dyes that suffocate the skin and potentially toxic. Use virgin organic coconut oil like this one instead. Be sure to use an aluminum-free deodorant.