DRY BRUSHING: YOUR BEAUTY & HEALTH ALLY
We love anything that makes our skin glow. Not only our face but the body too. Especially if we are talking about techniques that stand the test of time, have sworn followers and visible results. Regular readers of the CODE Magazine have definitely read about dry brushing, a technique we write about quite often. If, on the other hand, you have not heard of the benefits of this ancient beauty ritual, look no further. The CODE Magazine answers all your questions, simply and understandably so that, when you are through reading this article, you are ready for action…
WHAT IS DRY BRUSHING
Dry brushing is…just that! Brushing the body without the use of water or other moisturizing agents, like serum, dry oil or lotion. And by brush, we don’t mean any brush. For example, the use of hairbrush to brush your body – or even to try out the technique- is out of the question. Choose a brush specifically designed for dry brushing, with natural bristles preferably made from jute or cactus.
Now, if you wonder what is the gain of this procedure other than, perhaps, the feeling of an at-home-spa, here is what the science behind the technique reveals…
THE BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING
1. Dry brushing boosts the lymphatic system, which helps the body eliminate toxins. Over time and under the influence of gravity, lymph flow slows down, so it’s necessary to support the body’s natural process of eliminating waste (source). This is exactly what dry brushing does. Lymphatic congestion can potentially leading to inflammation and disease. Using this special massage technique, we essentially help the body get rid of toxins and/or fluid retention.
2. Βrushing also helps with blood circulation, just like ordinary massage – do keep in mind that poor circulation plays an important role to swelling, varicose veins, pain and cellulite. This circulatory stimulation is important because it transports nutrients and more oxygen to the cells.(source)
3. Since we are talking about cellulite, which is an issue for most women, let’s also note that dry brushing can help soften the fat under the skin. This can help minimize the appearance of cellulite, ALWAYS when combined with changes in our lifestyle (nutrition, exercise etc)
4. Dry brushing is excellent for skin exfoliation as it removes dead cells and helps unclog pores, starting from the bottom and working your way up. (source) Over time, skin cells regeneration slows down and their accumulation leads to drier skin. Thanks to dry brushing, unnecessary dead skin cells are gently removed, making the skin softer and smoother, and helping it better absorb moisturizing products and get rid of toxins.
5. Dry brushing helps stimulate the nervous system. Brushing is often described as “refreshing” because it creates euphoria. It’s a great way to start your day, especially if you feel tired and lacking energy. Try it before your morning shower and thank us later.
6. Improves skin tone. Stimulating the nervous system also stimulates the muscle fibres. Muscle fibres develop muscle tone* which helps eliminate loose skin.
*the continuous slight contraction of the muscles that normally takes place even at times of rest (source)
7.Relieves stress. Dry brushing can be a soothing and anxiolytic process that relieves the body from unnecessary tension. Dr. Leslie Korn recommends dry brushing for patients with depression and anxiety. She writes that dry brushing is a “safe self-care activity that can be done daily as a way to get in touch and connect with our emotions, our senses but also our limits even with the image of our own body.”
HOW-TO DRY BRUSH TUTORIAL
1. Pick a body brush, preferably with bristles made from natural ingredients.
2. Make sure your body is completely dry. The best time is before your morning shower. Dry brushing exfoliates without removing its natural lipids.
3. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
4. The lymph flows towards the heart. It is important to brush following the same direction.
5. Start with one foot. With small, circular movements, brush from the ankle up to the calve and then the thigh. Continue to the back of the thigh and then to the lower part of your back. Repeat three times (optional) and continue with the other leg. Then go up to the abdomen, stomach and chest. Finish with arms and shoulders. Raise one arm above the head and start at the wrist. With gentle movements, move towards the inside of the arm, up to the armpit and the outer breast tissue, avoiding the breast area.
6. Once you are done, shower to remove all dead cells and any kind of impurity.
- Dry brushing should be done gently, with minimal pressure on the skin. Intense movements that exert more pressure are unnecessary and can irritate the skin, without being more effective.
- Movements should always be from the bottom up, not the other way around.
- Brush a little more on problem areas of the body (eg areas with cellulite or sagging).
- Create an atmosphere. Light a scented candle or listen to music while you brush.
- Take a few minutes to properly care for your skin after brushing (and showering), with your favourite moisturizing or nourishing product.
the CODE tip: Dry brushing is a ritual which promotes self-care and body health. It is not a chore. It is about taking care of yourself. Enjoy it.
Have you already tried dry brushing? Do share with us your own experience here!
the CODE team
Sporty & Rich