Skin Deep Detox: Exfoliating DRY BRUSHING as Self-Care
WHAT IS DRY BRUSHING?
DRY BRUSHING is a natural and effective ancestral massage technique performed to slough off dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, increase blood circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Done regularly over time, it encourages smooth, even-toned skin. Dry brushing as a beauty and wellness ritual has been traditionally practiced in India, Greece, Japan, and China and can be done using exfoliating gloves as in the traditional Ayurvedic self-care practice of Garshana but it is most commonly performed with body brush made of sisal fibers. A loofah, sponge, or Japanese washcloth can also be used.
MAJOR BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING
invigorating, skin-stimulating + mood boosting practice
increases energy, circulation and blood flow
Stimulates lymphatic system, encourages movement of lymph
massage technique calms the nervous system and relieves stress
exfoliating action removes dead skin cells unclogs pores for improved texture + texture of skin
dry brushing is also thought to help reduce the apparent appearance of cellulite when practiced consistently, over time.
SHOULD I TRY DRY BRUSHING?
If you are experiencing mental or emotional fatigue, sluggishness, stagnation, or if your skin is congested, dull, uneven in tone or texture... consider adding dry brushing to your weekly rituals just before showering. For dry skin, be extra gentle as you exfoliate and replenish your skin using abhyanga, a self-massage technique done with warm body oil.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DRY BRUSH?
KAPHA DOSHA |
oily, congested skin:
2x per week
PITTA DOSHA |
Even-toned, healthy skin:
1-2x per week
or opt for a yogurt-based body mask
VATA DOSHA |
dull, dry, flaky skin:
1x per week before abhyanga,
or opt for scrub-based exfoliatION
HOW TO DRY BRUSH:
The technique and direction of the stroke is similar to the practice of abhyanga, the Ayurvedic self-massage. Begin at the top of the feet and work upward toward the torso, around the abdomen and upper body and to the hands, arms and shoulders.
If you are using a dry brush, use long strokes on dry skin, moving in an upward direction toward the heart. Move clockwise in a circular direction around the abdomen. From the neck up, apply gentle, downward strokes toward the heart. Use circular strokes over all of the prominent joints like the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. The friction of the long strokes against the skin stimulates blood circulation. As you move through this practice, imagine each stroke increasing blood flow, flooding the body with a fresh oxygen and nutrient-rich supply of blood.
Dry brushing is best done on dry skin just before showering or bathing. Remember to always be very gentle with your skin. It is important to use a brush with quality natural fibers. Brushing with a rough brush, using too much pressure or brushing too vigorously can strip away your skin's protective, outermost layer. Over exfoliation can lead to irritated or abraded skin. Do not dry brush over areas of sensitive, inflamed or broken skin.
Add dry brushing into your weekly self-care routine. Spend several uninterrupted moments going over every part of the body. Once you finish exfoliating, rinse your body with clean water and then towel off any debris. A warm washcloth can also be used to wipe the skin clean. Better yet, follow-up your dry brushing ritual with a warm Epsom salt bath... close your eyes and imagine any tension melting away.