Dry skin brushing is an easy way to improve circulation, lymphatic elimination, and skin appearance. Even the soles of your feet and palms of your hands benefit from dry skin brushing.
Dry skin brushing:
- Is a simple way to keep the skin soft, smooth, and healthy, as it stimulates the sweat and oil glands (which decrease production with age, resulting in mature skin often being dry) and stimulates the connective tissue and collagen in the skin
- Exfoliates the layers of dead cells to enhance skin's appearance (skin's ability to shed the outermost layer of cells decreases with age)
- Stimulates the skin circulation to improve elimination
- Stimulates the lymphatic system, accelerating filtration from the intercellular spaces to the lymph vessels, the emptying of lymph vessels to the nodes, and the flow of lymph through the nodes (remember that the lymph does not have its own pump like blood, so relies on muscle movement and manual stimulation such as that through massage and skin brushing)
- Tones the muscles, stimulates the nerve endings, and relaxing the muscles
- Redistributes fatty deposits by improving circulation and avoiding lymphatic congestion
- Can help break up areas of cellulite and prevent further cellulite by avoiding lymphatic and capillary congestion
- Increases and stimulates circulation, especially of the small capillaries under the skin
- Never wet the brush: Dry skin is important as water acts as a lubricant and the beneficial affects of the friction are lost
- Use a natural bristled brush, preferably a long handled bath brush. Note that it must be of natural bristles - nylon tears the skin and disturbs the electro-magnetic balance of the skin
- Take your brush and start in small circles brushing all over the body on bare skin (note that the photos above showing brushing over clothing are for demonstration only)
- As you move through each area, it may assist lymphatic flow to begin in the lymph node for that area, then work from the outer extremities towards that lymph node.
- Begin at the feet and work towards the heart to stimulate venous circulation
- Do not brush the face or any tender or inflamed areas
- Do brush the soles of the feet
- The brush may feel very rough to begin with so just use gentle pressure until you become used to the sensation. Increase the pressure as needed
- Dry skin brush at least once a day for best results
- If desired, you can follow your dry skin brushing with a simply hydrotherapy technique: a shower that alternates hot then cold shower. The hot and cold temperature further stimulates the circulation but is not vital. If this is too traumatic for you, just finish off with a shower at usual temperature
- It can be helpful to follow dry skin brushing with a salt rub (use half a cup of sea salt or Epsom salt, add sufficient olive oil (you can also use sweet almond oil) to made a paste. Add a few drops of essential oil if you wish). Rub all over the body, avoiding the eyes, mucous membranes, and any broken skin. Then rinse off in the shower.
To give yourself a thorough brushing, you should plan to spend at least five minutes on your full body. Note that you only get to see the benefits when you dry skin brush once a day; we recommend brushing before your morning shower routine. If you can dry skin brush consistently over a period of a few months, you will notice the benefits.
Peterson, D. (2015). NAT 211 Anatomy & Physiology II. Portland, Oregon: American College of Healthcare Sciences.