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The secret benefits of dry brushing your body

Diana Milnes | 26 July, 2020

            The secret benefits of dry brushing your body

Do you want to know a simple health and beauty trick that only takes five minutes (or less)? It costs next to nothing, and it helps to support your body inside as well as out.


Sound too good to be true? Read on! 

Dry skin brushing is the secret! Dry skin brushing is one of Ayurveda's cleansing philosophies. Ayurveda is the 5000-year-old science originating in India and is thought to be the oldest healing science. 

Your skin is a significant detox channel for your body.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and, along with your kidneys, liver and colon work to remove impurities from your body. Around one-third of your body's daily impurities are excreted through your skin! 

What is dry brushing for your skin?

Exactly what it sounds like… brushing your skin with a dry brush, usually before showering. You can experience the many health benefits of dry skin brushing in minutes each day.

How does dry brushing work?

Giving your body a firm brush all over has rapid internal as well as external benefits. It stimulates blood and lymphatic flow, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin surface and carting away wastes via the lymph nodes and skin. It rids the epidermis of dead cells so that the skin can breathe better and encourages new cells to regenerate. It also stimulates the production of sebum, which declines with age. The result is smoother, softer skin. 
— Tessa Thomas | Author | 10 Minute Facelift

What are the benefits of dry skin brushing?

  • Exfoliation 

As we age, our bodies become less efficient at shedding outer layers of dead skin cells which can make our skin look dry and dull. Exfoliating dead skin stimulates the sweat and oil glands. This provides moisture to the skin surface, leaving it fresh, vibrant and free of breakouts. 

  • Minimise ingrown hairsand the effects of many dry skin conditions. (Psoriasis, Keratosis Pilaris, Eczema)

  • Absorption of nutrients and oxygen

Removing debris from your skin surface increases the absorption of oxygen and other nutrients into your body. 

  • Strengthens your immune system 

 Increased circulation boosts white blood cell production and antibodies to strengthen your immune system. 

  • Release fatty deposits (cellulite) under your skin's surface 

Brushing problem areas can help to minimise and eliminate annoying fatty deposits, so give those areas an extra brush!

  • Rejuvenates your skin cells 

Dry brushing stimulates skin cell renewal, helping to prevent premature ageing. 

  •  Increases muscle tone

Boosting blood circulation increases the oxygen in your muscles. 

  • Improves skin texture

By removing dead skin cells and stimulating natural oil production, your skin will look and feel soft and smooth. 

  • Helps prevent premature ageing by increasing natural collagen production 

Collagen production decreases as we age, but dry brushing can encourage your body to produce more. 

  •  Stimulates your lymphatic system 

Our lymphatic system plays a vital role in removing toxins from our bodies. Dry skin brushing stimulates your lymphatic system by aiding the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body. While there are lymph nodes located throughout our bodies, the inner thighs and armpits have the most, so pay extra attention to these areas when brushing. The lymph system flows towards the heart, so it's important to sweep in the same flow. Always brush towards your heart.

Bodecare natural dry body brushes

How to dry brush your body

It's best to dry brush before your shower, starting with light pressure until you're used to the sensation, then move on to firmer strokes. 

Use a natural bristle brush, a loofah or even a dry rolled-up towel if you have sensitive skin. Nylon brushes or gloves can be sharp and may damage your skin, so avoid using them. 

To stimulate your lymphatic flow, always brush toward your heart with a soft, smooth stroke. Your skin will look slightly pink and feel slightly tingly afterwards. Avoid broken, bruised or sensitive skin. 

This simple routine takes a few minutes to help your body inside as well as out! 

Always brush towards your heart. This stimulates your lymphatic system to move toxins through the body for elimination.

  • Start with the soles of your feet and use long upward strokes. Brush up your lower leg to your knee covering the entire calf and shin several times. 

  • Next brush from your knee to the top of your thigh and over your bottom, giving extra attention to your inner thighs. The dimply bits are where there are lots of lymph nodes. 

  • After you've brushed your lower body, brush both arms from the wrist to the shoulder. Brush the top of the arm over the shoulder and up your neck to the base of your skull. Pay extra attention to the top of your arms around your armpits. 

  • Brush your back, upwards to your waistline for your lower back and downwards from your shoulders for your upper back. Just reach as far as you can. 

  • Brush in a clockwise direction around your stomach to follow the movement of the colon.

  • Brush for about three-to-five minutes until your skin is rosy and you feel a tingle. A slight reddening (erythema) of your skin is normal after brushing. 

  • Shower after you dry brush to wash off the dead skin. Massage a natural oil or body moisturiser afterwards to hydrate and nourish your skin.

You can dry brush anywhere! All you need is a natural bristle brush, loofah or even a rolled-up dry towel for sensitive skin. This not only gives you smooth skin, but it also helps detoxify your body by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow. It also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated, so it's a great way to start your day!

The energising benefits of skin brushing can be felt days after starting the process and could also tighten the skin and reduce cellulite in many cases, particularly if complemented with regular exercise, a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water.
— Rebecca Gaspert, Owner and Director of Bodecare

When not to dry brush

  • Don't brush if you have enlarged lymph nodes or active cancer

  • Discuss with your doctor before you start if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.

  • Avoid brushing if you are sunburned, have any open wounds or skin inflammation. 

  • If you have a reaction after brushing consult your health practitioner - it could be your body detoxing

How do you choose a brush?

Generally, a softer brush is best if you're new to body brushing or you have sensitive skin. You can move to a firmer brush once your skin gets used to it. Medium brushes are for those wanting a bit more stimulation and exfoliation. You could start with a medium brush if you use light strokesand then gradually increase the pressure. Firmer brushes are best for those that are experienced body brushers.

My favourite brushes are fromBodecare. They have a great range of natural brushes to suit everybody. You will find all the information you need to choose your brush in the shop, or you have any questions. Rebecca will be happy to help. You'll also be able to download a booklet with all the information you need. 

If you have any questions about dry body brushing, please ask in the comments below. If you've found this article helpful please like and share so that others can benefit as well.