Dry brushing: What It Is + Unexpected Health Benefits
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Originally posted October 2018 / Updated May 2023
The skin is the largest organ in the body that plays a large role in protection and regulation. Unfortunately, most of us take better care of our eyes, teeth, and other bodily systems and neglect the health of our skin.
In addition to supporting the skin through nutrition, there is much we can do to help it look and function better. A simple practice to do just that is dry brushing to perform whole-body exfoliation.
Dry brushing is a technique that involves using a brush with stiff bristles or loofah or mitt to massage the skin, causing exfoliation. It boasts numerous health benefits, including promoting blood circulation, reducing inflammation and stress, and unclogging pores.
The primary goal of dry brushing is to instantly remove dead, dry surface skin cells and promote a smoother, more even skin texture.
If performed once or twice each week, dry brushing can offer a wealth of health benefits as the process:
- Loosens and removes dead skin cells that are commonly on the surface
- Enhances blood circulation, which enables cells and organs to receive much-needed oxygen and nutrients
- Opens pores that become blocked with dead skin, environmental pollution, or cosmetic formulations
- Reduces cellulite by stimulating collagen and fibrin production while redirecting fluid accumulation that causes the dreaded cottage cheese appearance of skin
- Relieves stress as dry brushing provides a form of relaxing topical massage
- Stimulates the lymphatic system to boost immunity and remove toxins when brushing the limbs toward the heart and in circular motions on the torso
Exfoliating is easy to do and only requires a few simple tools:
- Stand in the shower and start brushing all areas of the arms in long, fluid strokes toward the heart.
- Repeat the motion on the fronts and backs of the legs.
- Use circular strokes on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
- Use circular motions on the abdomen and on the back.
- Avoid the face, neck, and chest areas along with regions having broken or open skin.
- Take a refreshing bath or shower to effectively remove the dead skin.
- Pat the skin dry and apply almond or coconut oil to moisturize.