Dry skin brushing
Dry brushing your skin is a self‑care ritual that has some great benefits for your body, especially during a detox. It has been practiced by cultures around the world for centuries. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, dry skin brushing (known as garshana) was completed every morning, prior to bathing, to stimulate circulation.The benefits
- Boosting lymphatic flow and circulation. The lymphatic and circulatory systems in our bodies help to remove waste, which is why dry brushing is seen as detoxifying.
- The gentle internal massage stimulates our detox organs such as the liver, gut, kidneys and skin.
- It exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and improving its appearance. Plus it may make any topical treatments that you apply afterwards more effective.
- Encouraging you to nurture your body. Spending time to care for the body you live in is always worth it.
What does it involve?
1. Get a suitable brush. The brush you use should have stiff bristles but isn’t too abrasive. Boar bristle brushes usually have the right texture, but if you're vegan, you may want one that has synthetic bristles. A brush with a long handle is useful because it helps with getting to those hard to reach places, like on your back. However, a handheld brush does give better control.
2. Select the best time and place for you. You need to be in the nude to dry brush your skin, so many people do it before they jump in the shower. Plus, dry skin brushing exfoliates dead skin cells that you will probably want to wash off right after. If you don’t like the thought of the skin flakes getting scattered all over your bathroom, brush your skin in the shower stall before the water is turned on.
3. Get the rhythm right. Use long strokes with medium pressure (not enough to irritate the skin). Do each pass more than once and overlap sections while brushing.
4. Start at your feet. When you do dry brushing keep in mind that you are trying to encourage lymph fluid toward your upper torso and chest, where the lymph fluid re‑enters the bloodstream. Do each leg in turn. Start with the top of your feet, then the lower leg, followed by the knee, and the thigh. When you brush the back of your thigh, continue upward to your butt and then the small of your back.
5. Move to your tummy. You can use circular motions or long strokes: do what feels right for you.
6. Then the upper body. Start with the back of your hands, around the forearm, and then the upper arm. Make sure to give under the upper arms extra attention, as that's where many lymph nodes are.
7. Finish with your neck and décolletage. Be extra gentle with these areas as the skin is delicate. Also, because you are brushing above heart level you need to deviate from the bottom-up technique. Start at the jawline and move down toward your chest. Finally, go over your heart in a circular motion.
8. Take a shower to clean off any dead skin.
9. Hydrate. Your skin will absorb any topical products more readily after it’s been exfoliated. Apply your moisturiser while your skin is damp, as it will seal in the water from your shower.
Further reading: Be a queen of self-love