Dry brushing has been around for centuries. Cultures all over the world, such as the Greeks and Native Americans have used large brushes to remove dry skin. In fact, some cultures dry brushed every morning before bathing to promote blood flow throughout the body.
The skin is your largest organ, and over one-third of the blood goes straight to the lymphatic system or skin. However, when the blood is full of toxins or lacking nutrients, your skin is the first to show symptoms. This is where dry brushing plays an important role in skin health because brushing your skin improves its appearance and overall health. As dead skin cells are cleared away, new ones are allowed to form, also allowing toxins to exit the body with the dead cells.
Another benefit of dry brushing is that it stimulates the oil-producing glands in the skin, which protect the skin in addition to making it look and feel healthier.1
How To Dry Brush
Dry brushing is one of those unique routines that feels amazing whether you do it to yourself or to someone else. To dry brush your own body, start at the toes. Slowly go to the feet, up your legs, and so on. Make sure to always work upward towards the heart.
Move the dry brush in an upward, circular motion. When you get to your stomach, use a counter-clockwise motion. Try to use pressure, but not too much—you never brush so hard that your skin breaks. A complete whole-body dry brush should take about five minutes.
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Always consult a physician if you are worried about your skin health or have any other conditions that may be affected by dry brushing. It is never recommended to dry brush over open sores, wounds, or rashes. It is also not recommended to dry brush your face.2
Best Type of Dry Brush
Many types of brushes work well for dry brushing. You may want to start by using a loofah or something similar. This will get the skin accustomed to the feeling of dry brushing. After you feel acclimated to a dry brushing routine, go ahead and purchase a skin brush.
Skin brushes are usually made with bristles crafted from natural vegetable fibers. Thankfully, skin brushing has become so popular that you can pick up a skin brush at almost any drug store.
Dry Brushing with Essential Oils
Make your dry brushing even more effective by adding some essential oils to the mix. To add essential oils to your dry brushing routine, simply choose oil and place a few drops right in your hand after diluting it with a carrier oil like almond, coconut, or jojoba oil. Then pass the bristles over your hand and make sure they absorb the oil. Once the oil has been absorbed, dry brush like normal. Before you choose your essential oil, you may want to decide what you hope to achieve out of dry brushing with essential oils.
If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of cellulite try fennel, juniper berry, rosemary, or grapefruit essential oils.
Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel is a great essential oil for reducing water retention, as well as flushing the body of toxins. Additionally, fennel has been shown to have the ability to help break up fatty deposits that can be found under your skin. These deposits increase the appearance of cellulite. By adding fennel to your dry brushing routine, you can potentially greatly reduce the appearance of cellulite.3
Juniper Berry Essential Oil
This essential oil is an excellent diuretic that can also remove harmful toxins from the body. These toxins have the ability to get trapped in fat cells that cause cellulite. Another unique characteristic of juniper berry oil is its ability to maintain healthy blood circulation, which can promote tightening of the skin and pores to make them look smoother and firmer.4
If you are looking to tone your skin or improve overall skin health try rosemary or grapefruit essential oils.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is a pleasant-smelling oil that contains astringent properties. This potent oil also has the ability to clear up breakouts. After the skin is clear, it can improve the appearance of skin by toning it and tightening it.5
Grapefruit Essential Oil
There is perhaps no smell more invigorating than grapefruit essential oil. Its citrus scent not only provides a boost of energy, but the properties of the oil itself are a great addition to any dry brush routine.6
Grapefruit essential oil contains potent anti-inflammatory properties due to an enzyme called bromelain. These properties can reduce redness or puffiness on the skin.
If you’re looking for a boost of energy during your dry brushing routine, try lemongrass or coffee essential oils.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass has long been known as an uplifting scent, shown to boost mood and promote healthy circulation. It is unique not only because it stimulates the lymphatic system, but it also promotes muscle relaxation. The combination is powerful when dry brushing.7
Coffee Essential Oil
Most people drink coffee in the morning to help feel more awake and alert. By using coffee essential oil, you can experience this jolt of energy aromatically. Not only does it smell like your favorite beverage, but the small amount of caffeine in the oil can boost energy.8
Dry brushing is a great addition to your daily skin routine, purifying both the skin and the lymphatic system. Additionally, it provides a range of health benefits, from stimulating oil production, to reducing the appearance of cellulite, to protecting overall skin health.
Adding essential oils to dry brushing can make the process all the more worthwhile and double the benefits this practice provides.