The amazing benefits of dry body brushing
Struggling to wake up in the morning? Suffering with dry skin? Getting through gallons of body lotion without seeing the moisturising benefits? Or generally feeling a bit sluggish? There is a very quick and easy way of combating these. If you are interested, read on …
The answer is Body Brushing. This is the use of a body brush on your skin before taking a shower in the morning. Sounds easy, right? It is!! It’s not a new fad though, it’s been common place in Ayurvedic medicine as a holistic treatment to cleanse and beautify the skin for years. It has amazing health and wellbeing benefits and many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda Kerr, swear by it.
There are a whole heap of benefits, including:
Exfoliates: The bristles of the brush manually sweep away dry, dead skin cells leaving you smoother and softer. As we get older our skin becomes less efficient at shedding layers of dead skin cells – enter dry body brushing! It also primes the skin to efficiently absorb the ingredients found in body creams, oils, serums etc. Meaning more bang for your buck! It actually saves you money!
Increases circulation: The act of brushing brings nutrient rich freshly oxygenated blood to the skins surface, which gives better tone and elasticity. This will leave the skin looking more radiant.
Invigorates and energises: The sweeping action wakes up the skin and can be quite bracing in a good way!
Helps promote lymphatic drainage: Helps your body to metabolise toxins more efficiently and discourages water retention. Bacteria, toxins and waste from our blood filter through the lymph nodes where these substances are destroyed. But sometimes this process is sluggish. The lymphatic system does not have a natural pump like our circulatory system so it needs some help. Body Brushing stimulates it (remember to brush behind your knees as there are lymph nodes here).
Improves the appearance of the skin: As circulation is increased this encourages cell turnover and plumps the skin making cellulite appear less obvious. However, this is a temporary fix. Cellulite is a stubborn phenomenon!
An enemy of ingrown hairs: Encourages ingrown hairs to lift up and keeps clogged pores at bay.
Stress reliever: It calms the nerves and lowers feelings of stress.
AND it takes less than 5 minutes!
How to do it:
Use your body brush in the morning before a shower/bath. It will be too invigorating in the evening before bed. Not conducive to a good nights sleep.
Both skin and brush must be completely dry when you do it.
Sweep across the skin, quick flicks rather than long strokes. Don’t go over the same area more than a couple of times.
Do not brush too hard. It shouldn’t hurt, burn or sting. Skin should be pink but not red.
Start at your feet and work upwards towards the heart (Stomach and chest are often more sensitive than the rest of the body so apply much lighter pressure. Avoid the breast and nipple area).
Once finished take a shower or bath and make sure you moisturise after your shower to prevent dryness (tip – try to blast your body with cold water for the last few seconds of your shower. I’m doing this but can only manage the bottom half of my body! It’s SO cold!).
Clean your brush regularly (follow cleaning instructions. But can usually wash bristles in gentle soap, rinse well and dry naturally i.e. not on a radiator)
Incorporate body brushing into your routine daily, a couple of times a week or weekly – whatever works for you. I’m currently doing it every morning but I often reduce this to every other day.
N.B. Don’t body brush over eczema, psoriasis, rashes, wounds, sunburn or irritations or if you generally have sensitive skin. Do not use the same brush on your face, this will be too harsh. Instead use a soft cloth or flannel. Avoid breasts and nipples.
What type of brush?
I prefer a brush that you can hold comfortably in the palm of you hand but you may prefer a long handled brush for those hard to reach areas like your back.
Here are a few on the market:
Espa £20 *this is the one I use at home
The Organic Pharmacy £7.95
The Body Shop £9
Liz Earle £9.50
Botanics (Boots) £6.50
Elemis (with detachable handle) £21
Happy scrubbing! x