Dry skin brushing has long been a part of many ancient cleansing philosophies. Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old science originating in India and is believed by many to be the oldest healing science, touts the benefits of dry skin brushing. Athletes in ancient Greece used skin scrapers to improve their circulation and remove sweat from their bodies after contests, while for centuries the Japanese used skin brushing to prepare themselves for traditional hot baths. It is hard to overestimate the value, or the simplicity of this important technique! After all, the skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and responsible for up to 15% of toxin elimination.
So, how do you do it? Using a body brush with natural (not synthetic) bristles that are stiff, but not uncomfortably hard, you brush the surface of your skin in specific directions in order to open up your pores, remove dry skin, increase circulation, and decrease the appearance of cellulite. Body brushing promotes tighter skin, cell renewal and blood flow, giving you a glowing and smooth complexion. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective things you can do for promoting healthy skin.
Always brush in the direction of your heart. Use long sweeps, avoid scrubbing back and forth, and only use a circular motion on your stomach, where you should brush counterclockwise. Start at your feet, moving up each leg, then work from your arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. And, don’t brush too hard: Skin should be stimulated and invigorated but not irritated or red. Don’t forget the backs of your arms (elbows are often neglected!), your inner thighs and back. A brush with a long handle will help you reach some of these areas. You should notice results within the first two weeks.
For some skin types it may take some time to get used to, but ultimately you can work up to dry brushing every day. Try it before you get in the shower in the morning, you will start your day invigorated!