Dry Brushing: The Benefits are more than Skin Deep

dry brushing

What I’m talking about here is a practice called Dry Brushing. Usually done with a body brush that looks a little bit torturous but really is pretty delightful. The bristles are soft and the idea isn’t to scratch your skin, just stimulate it.

There are plenty of spa treatments that incorporate dry brushing into the services, but when you see one of these brushes at your spa available to buy, you should get it. For a couple of reasons.

  1. If your salon or spa is retailing a dry brush, it is probably the same kind they use in the services they provide. We like to share our finds with our clients!!
  2. Dry brushing at home can give your immune system a big boost. There are a ton of benefits to dry brushing that I will go over after this, and you can do it twice a day. As much as we love seeing our clients I don’t think you want to come in for services that often.

So now we’ll talk about some of the benefits. Dry brushing helps shed dead skin cells and that improves the appearance of your skin, smoother and brighter skin is always better. It also helps cells to renew themselves. Something our skin needs help with as we age. Shedding those dead skin cells goes a little further because now your skin can absorb nutrients that it needs, because it has eliminated the clogged pores. Eliminating clogged pores reduces the size of the pores too. Win! Win! This one is everyone’s favorite; it breaks down cellulite deposits! Yes that’s right! It has been documented that with continued use, it will contribute to better distribution of fat deposits, breaking down cellulite and leading to healthier muscle tone. It helps to eliminate uric acid crystals and other acids in the body. Lightly brushing the surface of your skin can release toxins and metabolic wastes by helping the lymphatic fluid and blood to circulate and drain properly- and that could end up rejuvenating the whole nervous system.

Well that was a really long and “textbooky” paragraph that I can’t blame you if you didn’t get through without a little day dreaming, so let’s break it down,

Dry Brushing Benefits:

  • Shed Dead Skin Cells
  • Absorb Nutrients
  • Reduce Pore Size
  • Break Down Cellulite
  • Eliminate Uric Acid and Other Acids
  • Release Toxins
  • Rejuvenate the Nervous System

With that said— there is a proper way of going about it, and I’ll quote from one of my best resources Universal Companies. They have an article with instructions from Virginia León, ONDA Spa manager at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica.

The Method
“Start with light pressure until you’re used to the sensation, then move on to firmer strokes,” says León, who shares these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Beginning with the soles of your feet, use swift upward strokes and brush from the feet up the legs, working toward your heart. Repeat five times.
  2. Brush from the ankles to the knees on all sides of the legs. Repeat five times.
  3. Once you’ve covered your lower body, move to your hands and work up your arms. Brush from the wrist to the elbow on each surface of the arm (front, back, inside, outside) and repeat for the area between the elbow and shoulder. Repeat five times.
  4. Next, using a long-handle brush—or ask your partner to help—brush your back. Beginning with your lower back, stroke from the bottom of the spine up to the bottom of the shoulder blades, or as high as you can reach. Do this for the center, left, and right sides of the lower back. Repeat five times.
  5. Last, work on your abdomen (moving in a clockwise direction to follow the movement of the colon), chest, and neck. It’s best to avoid your face, as facial skin is too sensitive.
  6. Brush for about three to five minutes until your skin is slightly tingly.
  7. Shower after you’ve dry brushed your entire body to wash off dead skin. Alternate between the hottest water temperature and the coldest. This stimulates circulation, bringing more blood to the top layers of the skin.

Burke advises, “Always use a dry brush against dry skin—don’t wet your skin as it stretches the skin and will not have the same effect. And never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sunburn, or skin cancer.”

Finishing Touch
At spas, dry-brushing treatments are often followed by a body mask or wrap. “With the skin exfoliated and the lymphatic system stimulated, skin is more ready to absorb the beneficial nutrients and properties of the body mask,” Burke says. Get the effect at home by applying a natural body lotion, body butter, or body oil post-dry brushing and shower.

Maintenance Work
Be sure to keep your brush in a well-ventilated area and let it dry completely between uses. “If plant bristles are left damp, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria,” Burke says. “Spritz a tea tree oil spray on the bristles after every use; tea tree is a powerful bactericide, killing a broad spectrum of bacteria and some stubborn fungi.” Wash your dry brush with warm water and gentle soap at least once a week, and be sure to keep a separate brush for each family member.