(via the awesome Stripes & Sequins)
I had a dry brush.
Its like a natural hairbrush, but you use it to brush your body before a shower.
I liked how it really exfoliated dry skin, especially on my legs, so I did it often.
I did it, technically, wrong, so I didn’t get benefits beyond the surface exfoliation.
So, ultimately, I abandoned the brush.
And now, it is making a huge comeback in my life.
It had a shining moment in 2012, but it is about to become a bigger part of my day.
I’ve mentioned it before as a healthy habit of the week, but as I am diving deeper into this dry brush routine in preparation for spring and summer, I wanted to share much more enticing goodness about a simple dry brush, and how to use it!
Headed off to the spa tonight, the dry bush is an essential element and the focus is not just beauty— it is detoxification! If you don’t have the wherewithal or time to get massages, a dry brush is an amazing way to deeply stimulate circulation. The actual benefits of “brushing” your body are incredible.
First, here’s more about how to do it correctly, using a natural bristle brush on your dry skin do long strokes, moving toward your heart. As mentioned in the great info graphic, you can overlap strokes and do more than one of each stroke. That said, don’t feel the need to press too hard!
Mercola explains that there are benefits of dry-brushing skin far beyond the beauty of exfoliation!
1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to “breathe.”
3. Increase Circulation
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
4. Reduce Cellulite
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fast deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become more plump and swollen after brushing).
“When we’d heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs.”
5. Stress Relief
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
6. Improve Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to one skin care and spa expert:
“…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.”
7. It’s Invigorating
Many people become “addicted” to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session
If you take an extra five minutes (or much longer! but five is a great start!) in the morning before our shower to dry brush, it’s amazing how much is can wake up your body and invigorate your cellular energy.
While you dry brush, you’ll have some time. To turn this into more of a full-scale morning ritual you can:
1. do some fun, positive affirmations
2. listen to an inspirational lecture
3. do some deep breathing exercises
& If you try it, please let me know what you think!
PS: Once you have your skin so exfoliated and your circulation all revved up, it is more important than ever to stick to a natural moisturizer or body oil! Coconut oil is the easiest one to start with for most people, or you can find tons of great natural lines and celebrity beauty expert recommendations in The Beautiful section of the blog! xoxo Dana
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