Dry body brushing has been around for centuries. The ancient technique has been linked to an impressive list of skin benefits, from banishing cellulite to boosting your skin’s glow. So how come we’re not all taking five minutes out of our mornings to indulge in body brushing? Here’s everything you need to know about dry body brushing to convince you once and for all that it’s worth making time for.
What is dry body brushing?
Dry body brushing, which is also known as Garshana (which means ‘friction by rubbing’ in Sanskrit), is an Ayurvedic massage that helps stimulate the skin and lymphatic system.
“The body’s largest detoxification organ is the skin and dry body brushing supports this process by stimulating circulation and lymphatic drainage, encouraging the elimination of toxins from the body through improved blood and lymph flow,” explains To Wonderland Spa’s founder Adie Robertson.
Dry body brushing involves exfoliating your skin from your toes up to your neck using a brush that has natural stiff bristles. The action shifts dead skin while also encouraging blood flow.
“It’s a simple exfoliating technique to incorporate into your daily beauty routine that will make a world of difference; think smooth, glowing, even textured, softer skin,” says Robertson.
What are the benefits of dry body brushing?
For such a simple ritual, dry body brushing delivers many benefits. Robertson notes that it enhances circulation by improving blood flow around the body and stimulates lymphatic drainage, which helps improve lymph flow and eliminate toxins from within. “Your skin may appear a little plumper and the appearance of cellulite may become reduced as a result of boosted blood flow to the surface area,” says Robertson.
“Dry body brushing also provides a super exfoliation, effectively sloughing off the old, dead skin cells to reveal new softer, brighter, cleaner skin. It also contributes to preventing ingrown hairs as the dead skin cells known to trap new hair growth are brushed off and later washed away. Additionally, your moisturiser will go further and will be absorbed more effectively.”
The benefits of dry body brushing are more than just skin deep, too. “Dry body brushing is an opportunity to connect with your body and tune into how you feel each day, with each brush stroke of self love,” says Robertson. “It awakens your senses by stimulating the nervous system, promoting a more energised, lively you. It’s the perfect way to begin each morning.”
“Prepare to farewell lacklustre, dull, dry skin and welcome the new glowing you.”
Adie Robertson, founder of To Wonderland Spa
How often should you body brush?
Make dry body brushing a daily ritual and incorporate it into your morning getting ready routine. “Set aside five minutes each morning before you shower or bathe and be really present with what you’re actually doing and feeling,” advises Robertson. “Dry skin brushing is best done before showering so that you can wash away the dead skin debris and toxins afterwards,” she adds.
What do you need?
All you need to try dry body brushing is a brush. Dry body brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to find one that works best for you. Robertson recommends “investing in a brush with natural, firm bristles and a long handle so as to be able to reach down your back.”
What is the correct way to use a dry body brush?
Before you get started, there are a few essential tips you need to know. “Always brush towards the centre of the body, towards the heart,” says Robertson. “Begin at the soles of the feet and then work upwards over each foot, lower leg, knee, thigh, (including the bottom with the thigh at your rear), torso, hands and arms with long upward strokes in the direction of the heart.
Brush your abdomen in a clockwise direction to promote good digestion and elimination. Finish with the neck and décolletage with the stokes coming down towards the heart. I like to do twelve strokes in each area; go with the flow and do what works for you.”
“The strokes should be at a medium pressure; you will find your rhythm with practice,” explains Robertson. “Initially, use gentle pressure and don’t brush too hard or cause abrasion. Then, incorporate more pressure as the days go by and your skin adjusts to the sensation.”
Robertson’s top tips for dry body brushing
1/ Keep your brush clean with tea tree oil at least once a week to remove dead cells that accumulate in the bristles, and leave the brush to dry in the sun.
2/ If your skin is sensitive, prone to eczema, psoriasis or other skin issues, proceed with caution and avoid actively irritated areas. Do not brush broken skin, inflamed or aggravated areas of the body.
3/ Be mindful to increase your water intake as optimal hydration will assist the detoxification process and add to skin luminosity.
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