If you’re anything like me you might think, “Ugh, another beauty trick to pack into my day? I don’t have time!” But hear me out. Yes, it can take a few extra minutes out of your day but the benefits are worth it. We’re talking everything from removing toxins to reducing cellulite. Plus, it’s as “green” as you get – no chemicals involved – and best of all – FREE! So, let me tell you five dry brushing benefits and then how to correctly do it.
(This post probably contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.)
As I’ve said many times here at Pretty Simple Ideas, our skin is our body’s largest organ. That is why I am always talking about why we need to be careful about what we put on it. On the flip side, this also means it is one of our body’s best ways to eliminate “bad stuff,” too. That’s why many women swear by their detox baths.
Before we get into the process itself, let me tell you my favorite benefits to get you excited to try it. And while you’re reading, make sure to grab your own natural dry brush to try it out yourself this week!
5 Dry Brushing Benefits
1.) Can reduce cellulite.
Can I just go down a quick rabbit trail? No matter how much kale you eat, or how many times a week you work out, you could still have cellulite. And that is OK. I wouldn’t call it a badge of honor, but it’s natural and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it thanks to genetics. If there is nothing we can do to get rid of it completely, why do we tear ourselves up about it? I’m mostly speaking to myself here but if this resonates with you I’m glad, too.
While we probably won’t ever be able to eliminate it completely, there are things we can do to reduce its appearance.
- Drink lots of water to help flush fat out of our body.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week
- Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can in a day.
- And since you already know what this post is about – start dry brushing your skin
I’ve found that dry brushing is one of the most effective ways to reduce cellulite. Think about it, you take a dry brush and *work* problem areas to break up fat deposits and more evenly distribute them in your body. Even for the non-scientific among us (that’s me!) it just makes sense.
2.) Help reveal smoother and brighter skin
Not only does it reduce cellulite, but it helps the appearance of your skin overall. Dry brushing helps remove dead skin cells aiding in new cell renewal. I’ve also heard it can help with ingrown hairs. Worth a shot.
3.) Cleans your Lymphatic system
First off, what’s your lymphatic system? It’s the highway that runs through your body that white blood cells called lymphocytes soak our cells, bring nutrients as they come, and removing waste as they leave. Don’t you wish all guests did that?
Dry brushing literally moves the lymph containing large proteins and particulate matter that cannot be transported in any other way back into the circulatory system. If these proteins stayed in our systems outside the blood vessels, it would attract other fluid. Pretty soon we’d get swollen ankles, limbs and eventually we’d be leaking fluid out our skin (not a pretty sight.) This is called lymphedema and is why most health programs include some type of exercise and bodywork.
According to Natural Health Techniques:
So, why don’t we die if we don’t do this dry brushing thing? Well, lymph vessels themselves have their own pumping mechanism sensing when the vessels have more fluid in them or in the interstitial fluids. Lymph only goes one way because of the many one-way valves on the insides of each lymph vessel. The body is a fascinating thing. It literally pumps the lymph along its path back to the heart. Removal of proteins from the interstitial spaces is an essential function. Without this happening, we would die within 24 hours. We can help speed this process up when we dry brush or massage toward the heart, contract our muscles and move our bodies (like when we walk or exercise.)
Increased lymph flow can also be caused by high blood pressure. This is why it is so important to attend to this malady and why the doctors get into a frenzy of prescribing so many different medications for it. (Currently, there are over 140 medications for high blood pressure!)
The more I research it, the more impressed I am with the benefits of dry brushing.
4.) Improves Digestion
Massage and dry brushing both help to get your body functions moving properly and more efficiently – including your digestion.
According to a skincare 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.”
5. Relieves Stress
Some people find dry brushing to be relaxing (although I admit I am not one of those people.) But you could put on some soothing music and if you do it gently enough you might enjoy it too. I will say though, your skin feels amazing after, like you had a massage, so that could be part of the stress relief.
Quick note – you might wonder what kind of brush I use or where I got it. I bought a Yerba Prime brush from Amazon but you can use whatever brand you like. TJMaxx and Marshalls might also be good places to check.
How to Dry Brush Properly:
- Start on dry skin before a bath or shower. Start farthest from your heart – your feet or ankles.
- Brush in gentle circular movements working your way toward your heart. You don’t have to be rough. It is not supposed to hurt. Go from ankles to legs to thighs to stomach. I spend extra time on trouble spots like the back of my thighs.
- Before you reach farther than that start dry brushing up your arms, then down your back. Be extra careful or avoid sensitive areas. Avoid any and all area with cuts or open sores.
- Shower or bath to get rid of the dead skin cells.
- In the shower is where I like to “double scrub” – meaning I use a green body scrub to further help with circulation and get rid of those dead skin cells.
- Follow up with body oil. Any clean body oil is fine from grape seed oil to mixtures you buy from companies. Just make sure it is “green and clean” and pure oil instead of a cheap oil filled with chemicals. I like Shelby Naturals, Beatnik Naturals, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil or almond oil. Don’t forget to check out my friend Erin’s post on the best oils for your skin type and how to use them effectively.
You’ll see the best results if you do it every day. However, I like to be realistic. I do not have time to do this every morning before work so I aim for once a week and more if I have time. Do it when you can but don’t stress yourself that it has to be every day. You can still reap the benefits of dry brushing.
Don’t forget to check out my other posts as part of my Green Beauty Month:
- Benefits of Sulfate-Free Shampoo
- Let Me Tell You About the Oil Cleansing Method and Why Your Skin Will Love it