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Let's try: Dry Brushing

Due to stay-at-home orders in my state and working from home all the time, my stagnant life required me to work on my blood circulations and toxic removal. So, I decided to give it a try on dry brushing.

Yes, it’s now my new favorite self-care ritual to do before showers. So, after trying dry brushing myself for almost two months, I thought, let me share some golden nuggets on this!

Believe it or not, but dry brushing was introduced to me in my childhood from my mom in some other form. At that time, we were not equipped with any fancy loofah or brushes.

However, my mom taught me using rough cotton clothes and making a bowl from it, how to perform dry brushing before shower. She said that if you want subtle glow on skin, then massage your body before you take a shower.

My mom and I didn’t know; it is called “dry brushing” at that time. But now, in this modern world, dry brushing becomes more prevalent in terms of “self-care.”

Dry brushing is around since time immemorial. It was a well-known practice performed by many cultures for centuries, from ancient Greeks to Native Americans. Egyptian beauty history reminds us that they have used dry brushing techniques thousands of years back as well as exfoliating in sour milk and wine.  

In ancient Ayurveda, this practice is famous as the name “Gharshana” (which means friction by rubbing in Sanskrit). As per Ayurveda principals, this technique is well known to reduce “ama” (undigested food or emotions that manifest into a toxic and sticky substance that can extend to the gastrointestinal system and other parts of the body).

In Greek culture too, strigil, a sort of metal scraper, was popular to remove dirt from the skin, which is similar to the dry brushing concept. While in Japanese culture, loofah is popular to dry brush your skin.

As I said earlier, dry brushing is gaining popularity once again. Celebrities and supermodels such as Gwyneth PaltrowElle McPherson, and Miranda Kerr are all into dry brushing to help keep their skin and bodies in excellent condition.

That being said, it is perfect time for me to write about dry brushing, its benefits, and before/after effects.

What is Dry Brushing?

For me, dry brushing is the juice cleanse and detox of beauty health. It is a technique to rub skin without any oil or lotion. As a rule of thumb, in dry brushing, the skin is typically brushed toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest.

 It is generally performed before you take a shower using natural bristles of the brushes. This technique is genuinely detoxifying, circulation-stimulating, body-toning treatment without spending big bucks.

If you are one of those who like to exfoliate the body with a gentle body scrub, or chemical peels, this one is gentler, and more natural form of exfoliation.  

All you need is a dry brush. While there are ample amount of options out there in terms of dry brushes in the market, it is vital to choose the one that is made of soft natural bristles, such as plant fibers, animal hair, or copper for this ritual.

I don’t prefer synthetic bristles such as plastic, as it will be too stiff and harsh for your skin. They may even cause cuts and small wounds on your skin that could become infected. So natural bristle brushes are the way to go. 

Once you know the type of material of brush bristles, next comes the size and type of handles. The most common type is a handheld brush with a strap across it, allowing you to grip the brush.

This brush will enable you to quickly and thoroughly access hard-to-reach spots in your body, like the back of your knees, elbows, and shoulders. It also gives you more control over the pressure you exert on the brush.

The brush is the only investment, you will ever need in this technique.

 Benefits of Dry Brushing: 

There are not many formal studies on dry brushing available in the research arena. But spa experts swear by that dry brushing does have its benefits. In my personal view, I am performing dry brushing thrice a week ever since the lockdown started. And I loved my skin more than ever. Here are dry brushing benefits: 

Dry Brushing for Skin: 

Dry brushing for skin is all about exfoliating, increasing blood circulation, and invigorating and energizing experience. 

Gradual exfoliation on your skin will help to remove all toxins slowly. A mixture of dead skin cells, broken or ingrown hairs, environmental pollution, and sweat can clog your pores.

Sometimes those regular daily showers may not be enough to clear these blockages fully. When this happens, the skin is not able to absorb vital nutrients and substances. Frequent dry brushing will help to make and open up the pores of the skin. 

Dry Brushing for Cellulite:

If you see sagging skin surrounding your thigh highs, that means you are getting cellulite. Cellulite happens when pockets of body fat get pushed against the vertical connective tissue surrounding fat cells.

That puts pressure on your connective tissue, which ultimately drives the fat against the top layers of the skin. Dry brushing those top layers helps reducing cellulite in your body. The technique of dry brushing helps promote circulation and lymphatic drainage.

It can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the connective tissue – and in I return, it helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite. 

Dry Brushing for Weight Loss: 

Are you one of those who are snacking the whole day due to quarantine? Then, dry brushing can help on weight gain issue and reduce those unwanted pounds.

Body brushing, particularly around the abdomen, stimulates the inner energy, removes unwanted hair and skin. At the same time, it supports the digestive system and rebalances the internal organs.

Dry brushing is great for weight loss because it makes sure that your gut health is an excellent situation while you are taking care of yourself from outside. 

While benefits of dry brushing are not just limited to these three, but there are countless benefits of it. It also helps to enhance the lymphatic flow and provides excellent anti-aging treatment.

Especially when you are in the 30s’ (like me), I would love to get into a cost-effective technique which can save me from Botox. 

How to do Dry Brushing? 

I heard that, dry brushing is not for everyone! But today, after sharing above benefits, it is essential to know the correct technique of dry brushing. The process and methodology are everything.

So here are some rules and process points: 

  1. It is suggested that you always brush towards the heart. Start at your feet and brush upwards towards the legs. This is believed to help stimulate the lymphatic system. Strokes ideally should be performed 2-4 minutes on each portion.

  2. Next, move on to your hands, elbows, and make upward sweeping strokes to your arms.

  3. Next, target the neck area. Working on one side of the jawline, start from the earlobe and sweep all the way to the chin. Repeat on the opposite side. Don’t dry brush on face ever. 

  4. From the base of the back of the neck, sweep all the way to the collarbone. Start with one side, and afterward work on the other.

  5. Targeting your breast area, brush with light strokes towards the heart, starting from the collarbone. The pressure should be very light.

  6. Move to your belly and brush up towards the heart.

  7. Move on to your armpits and, with your arm extended overhead, brush down and towards the chest.

  8. Next, start from your hips and sweep upwards to your armpits. Start with one side and repeat on the other side afterward.

  9. Moving to your back, start from the tailbone sweeping up towards your head. Have someone help with the back for the places you can’t reach (For the back, it is good to use long handle brush).

Dry Brushing Before and After 

Now, I talked about various benefits of dry brushing, let me talk about my experience on this. Since I was sitting on my couch practically the entire day,

I started to feel slightly sluggish and tired all the time. I also felt that since there were no blood circulations in my feet, I experienced cramps occasionally.  

For blood circulation purpose, when I started doing dry brushing, I felt so good and energetic to myself. Most experts recommend dry-brushing in the morning rather than before bed. They believe that it has more energizing qualities and I totally vouched for this as well.

I don’t put any oil on my brush when I do dry brushing, but I know that some people put a bit of body oil on the brush before they use it to prevent excess peeling.  

I also saw a difference in my skin in terms of softness. I see that my lumps and dumps are gone. I saw skin peeling for almost two weeks, but after two weeks, my inner layer became the outermost layer. I see my ingrown of my legs gone. In general, it was a good experience, and I will continue using it. 

Let me know if you are doing dry-brushing! I would love to hear your views on this. 

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