Happy Wellness Wednesday, ladies (and gents if you are reading this)! I hope you’re having a great week. I am spending the day at the spa with my hubs and I’m so excited! We really needed a day off together to relax and unwind. We have been working our bums off and I’ve also been unwell for the last two months. So, for Valentine’s Day I got us a gift certificate for massages and facials! Self-care is a must for me. I take it very seriously, haha. Speaking of which, I wanted to share one of my self-care practices with you today: dry brushing!
What is dry-brushing and how do I do it?
Dry brushing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like! You literally take a stiff, bristled brush and brush your entire body in upward circular motions on dry skin. Start at the feet and work your work your way up your legs going toward the heart. This helps the lymphatic system to drain properly. Then, you can brush your abdomen, arms, armpits, glutes, back, and even your face if you like. Brush each section thoroughly. I like to do about 3-5 circular motions in each area. You don’t want to do it too roughly, though, especially if you have sensitive skin. For those with eczema, psoriasis, or other kinds of skin conditions, I would recommend asking your doctor if it’s something you’re interested in trying. They would know your particular case best and if it would be a good idea for you or not. I would guess you might want to avoid it. But, if you have normal skin, it’s recommended to do it 1-3 times a week. You may experience some redness and that is normal. But, if your skin gets very irritated, hurts, cracks, or bleeds, you are definitely doing it too hard. Decrease the pressure and give yourself some time in between brushings to let it heal. I would advise starting lightly and increasing your pressure. You may even peel after the first couple of times. That’s okay. Don’t be worried about that! It will reveal softer, smoother skin and the peeling will eventually stop.
I always dry brush right before I get in the shower so that I can wash off the dead skin cells right away. When I’m done in the shower, I use a lotion that’s all natural like shea or cocoa butter.
You want to get a brush that has nice and firm bristles. I like one with a long handle because you can reach your back more easily. You should replace it every 6 months to a year as well as wash it every couple of weeks. This helps to remove built up dead skin cells! Yuck.
What are the benefits?
There are lots of reasons to dry brush! You might be surprised. It sounds pretty non-exciting, but it does deliver some solid benefits.
- EXFOLIATION: Dry brushing as you can imagine is a great way to exfoliate your body. We spend so much time on faces, we shouldn’t ignore the rest of our skin! I’m sure J. Lo doesn’t get her youthful glow (at age 50) on her legs by ignoring them, know what I mean? Gotta take care of the whole thing! This process eliminates dead skin cells and reveals softer skin. It can even help with ingrown hairs that cause those tiny bumps. I notice my skin is much softer when I make it a habit to dry brush.
- STIMULATES THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM: The lymphatic system is crucial to staying healthy! By stimulating this, we are improving our overall health and immunity. The lymphatic system distributes lymph (a fluid that contains white blood cells which are responsible for fighting infections) throughout the body. This system is also responsible for removing a lot of the body’s waste, including unwanted fat cells! By stimulating the lymphatic system, you are helping your body to detox better.
- INCREASED CIRCULATION: Dry brushing helps to increase your circulation. This is important to maintain healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. It allows organs like your lungs, heart and muscles to function at optimal levels. Good circulation also means your immune system will function better because the white blood cells are properly transported, fighting off infections. Increasing your circulation can also give you an energy boost! YAY!
- POSSIBLE CELLULITE REDUCTION: There’s no real evidence out there to say that this is necessarily true. I can’t tell you my experience because I don’t have cellulite myself – at least not yet. But, it’s very common and totally normal if you do. Dry brushing has been reported to reduce cellulite because it is a toxic material that is allegedly trapped in fat cells beneath the skin. The increase in circulation is supposed to help rid the body of toxic substances including cellulite. So, it may not get rid of it, but it could reduce the appearance of it.
My Dry Brush Recommendations:
As I mentioned above, I like a brush with a long handle so you can get to hard to reach places without pulling your back out! I also found some that will work best for your face if you want to try brushing your face as well. If you do brush your face, I would recommend getting a special facial brush like the ones I linked here because they will be more gentle on that delicate skin. Here are some great body and facial brushes I found in different price ranges.
I personally like to dry brush! My skin feels softer, smoother, less flaky and dry, and I like knowing that I’m potentially helping my immune system and detoxification pathways. If you’re interested, give it a try! It might not be for everyone, but it could possibly help you, too. As always, I am not making any kind of health claims. This is only my experience. I am not a licensed medical professional. I just like to share my self-care tips and routines with you all, but that does not mean that they will or will not work for you.
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! Have a fabulous rest of your week!