Dry Brushing Benefits
As dry skin takes over the winter season, you may be looking for a new skincare remedy. The cold air and heating systems set to blast can leave skin feeling so dehydrated, that even the thickest creams and lotions might not cut it! Adding some fine bristles to your skincare routine may keep your skin looking and feeling healthy through the harsh winter weather.
Dry Brushing History
Dry brushing― a current skincare trend― has been practiced for centuries in many different parts of the world. Indian cultures practiced an ancient ritual called Gharsana to massage and brush certain points on the body. These movements were shown to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote detoxification. Chinese cultures practiced dry brushing with the dried fibers of fruit called silk squash to rid the body of dead skin cells, stimulate circulation, and eliminate waste within the lungs, stomach, and liver. The Greeks and Romans lathered their bodies in olive oil and used curved bronze instruments called strigils to remove dirt, sweat, and excess oil on the skin before they bathed. Currently, dry brushing is used in many ways and has great benefits to the skin and the body.
Why Dry Brushing is Good for the Skin
The main purpose of dry brushing is to exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells from its surface. Many of you may use a loofah, coarse washcloth, or sugar scrub as an exfoliant on wet skin in the shower, however, exfoliating on dry skin is proven to be more beneficial to the body’s outer skin layers. Exfoliating while showering in hot water can inflame your skin barrier while stripping away the natural oils, fats, and proteins needed to keep your skin healthy. Brushing on dry skin allows you to exfoliate without robbing the skin of essential moisture and nutrients.
Dry brushing can also provide detoxification benefits. By moving in long brush strokes towards the heart, the bristles can help drain the lymph nodes, release toxins from the skin, and increase blood circulation. Doing this may help your body fight off infections while promoting the production of white blood cells. Dry brushing also assists in the body’s cleansing process by activating sweat glands and opening the pores.
How to Dry Brush
To dry brush, use a natural fiber brush with soft-to-firm bristles, as synthetic bristles may be too harsh on the skin. It is best to start brushing at your feet and move up your body in long stroke-like motions towards the heart. Strokes should ideally be done 7 to 14 times on each portion of the skin for effective stimulation. It is important to use light pressure on areas where the skin may be thinner, like on your stomach, and more pressure on areas with thicker skin, like the soles of your feet. It is important not to brush over your face unless using a much softer brush created for facial exfoliation, as the face is usually the most sensitive part of your body. Avoid brushing over areas with scars, cuts, rashes, or infections to eliminate further irritation. After brushing, apply lotion or natural oils like coconut oil on your skin for additional benefits.
Dry brushing has so many wonderful benefits! If dry brushing sparks your interest, speak with a trusted healthcare provider to see if dry brushing would improve your skin. Adding fine bristles to your skincare routine may have your skin thanking you this winter.
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