What Is Dry Brushing? The Natural Way To Exfoliate Skin, Improve Circulation and (Maybe) Eliminate Toxins
Have you heard of dry brushing? It's an exfoliation technique that can supposedly help your body to eliminate toxins, increase circulation, tighten loose skin, and more. Some people even say it can help with cellulite and weight loss (we're a little skeptical about that, though).
Dry brushing is popular in the natural health community. Dr. Ivy Branin, a naturopathic doctor, explains how it can help your lymphatic system:
The lymph system removes waste fluids and is an important component in the circulatory system. Skin brushing invigorates the lymphatic drainage and its effectiveness in eliminating waste.
Laurie Neronha, an esthetician, loves dry brushing for circulation. She says:
Dry brushing also stimulates peripheral circulation (surface blood flow). Not only can this help speed healing of damaged tissue, but it brings oxygen and nutrients resulting in glowing skin.
Dry brushing has other reported benefits, but removing dead skin cells is a big one. You can think of dry brushing as another approach to exfoliating dry skin: rather than doing it with a scrub in the shower, you're doing it with a brush.
What is dry brushing?
Basically, dry brushing involves rubbing and brushing your dry skin with a natural bristle brush, usually before you enter the shower. Sherrell Dorsey, a former esthetician and organic beauty expert, told me: “The bristles on the brush should be natural (skip synthetic versions that leave the skin irritated and could potentially cause scarring).” There's no concrete guide on exactly how often to do it, although experts say you should always start at your feet and rub upwards, in the direction of your heart (this is the way the lymph in your body flows).
There's not a great deal of scientific evidence or research that exists in relation to dry brushing; most of what we know about it is anecdotal. People that dry brush regularly seem to rave about it and the way it makes them feel, though. Monika Wahi, an epidemiologist, says:
While I do not know of any scientific evidence of dry-brushing's efficacy, I personally have experienced its positive effects. When combined with the oil massage, I found that it reduced my anxiety symptoms, especially in the morning if I did it before getting ready for work.
If you want to try dry brushing, all you need to do is pick up a natural bristle brush and start brushing. You may see results or you may not, but it's certainly worth a try.
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