Dry Skin Brushing Guide: Fight Cellulite and Promote Detox!
Did you know we release up to a pound of toxins through our skin, our largest eliminative organ, each day? That’s about a quarter of the total waste excreted from our body on a daily basis. Though we can’t see what’s going on inside our body, our skin usually tells us. Skin abnormalities, such as acne, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis are signs that we’re in need of some toxic dumping, but when our skin is clogged full of dead cells, our toxins get stuck in a traffic jam and have nowhere to go. Instead, they get reabsorbed into the body, taxing our kidneys and liver, or stored in fat cells, which can contribute to cellulite.
A Simple Approach
Dry brushing is a simple and inexpensive way to keep our skin clear of clogging debris, which can significantly assist in our body’s natural detoxification process. This is especially important if you are recently incorporating more nutritive foods into your diet - specifically fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, such as green smoothies.
When you start to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal organ and systemic functioning, your body will start expelling toxins at an increased rate. Your body can use all the help it can get during this process, especially considering detoxification symptoms often include skin eruptions. When I first started drinking green juice (which aids in detoxification much more intensely than smoothies), I began getting eczema on my legs for the first time in my life. Once I started dry brushing before my morning shower, and moisturizing with coconut oil, the condition eventually subsided.
- Dry brushing helps loosen and shed dead skin cells, which will rejuvenate and soften the skin, improve texture, and promote cell renewal.
- Dry brushing improves circulation, which allows the body to expel more toxins and helps eliminate cellulite.
- Dry brushing stimulates lymph flow, which allows for drainage of toxins into the colon. Through this process, blood and tissues experience a deeper level of cleansing, which also strengthens the immune system.
- Dry brushing contributes in a more even distribution of fat deposits, which reduces and prevents cellulite.
Starting a Regimen
When starting a dry brushing regimen, select a natural-bristle brush (vegetable bristle brushes are typically preferred, rather than synthetic fiber brushes). They can usually be found at a health food store or online. Look for a brush with a long handle so you can get to your back and other hard-to-reach areas with minimal difficulty.
- The best time to dry brush is before a shower or bath, preferably in the morning.
- Experts say it’s best to start at your feet, using long, even, upward strokes, always moving toward your heart. Brushing towards your heart is very important, as it stimulates your circulation and prevents blood vessel rupture. Circular motions are OK too, especially on isolated areas that have, or are prone to, cellulite.
- Brush up your legs, over your abdomen, then your buttocks and your back, always using upward strokes toward your heart.
- Brush up along the outside of your arms. Then lift your arms up, stroking downward over your armpits and the insides of your arms, always towards your heart.
- Brush your shoulders and chest using downward strokes, again, towards your heart. Are you getting the idea?
- Brush with caution over sensitive areas like your breasts, avoiding your nipples.
- Do not brush over broken skin, infections, or inflamed areas.
- Be gentle! If your skin is turning red, you are brushing too hard and causing irritation. Over time, your skin will be able to tolerate more stimulating brushing, but it’s best to start with light, single strokes.
- Do not use a dry brush on your face. If you insist on including your face in this regimen, use a soft, dry washcloth instead.
- Take a shower to further eliminate metabolic wastes.
- Moisturize with an all natural lotion or oil. I prefer coconut oil, but use what you like, as long as it’s free of chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and parabens.
- After several days of regular skin brushing, it is not uncommon to see lymphatic mucus in your stool. Don’t worry, this is a good sign that detoxification is occurring.
- Don’t forget to clean your brush with warm water and a mild soap once a week to prevent mildew. Let it air dry in a sunny area before you use it again.
Keep It Up!
Once you start incorporating dry brushing into your skincare routine, it’s important to be consistent. After about a month, you will start to notice some of the benefits outlined above, with significant results after 90 days of regular brushing. Just like any good habit, it takes commitment before it becomes part of your routine. Your body will certainly thank you for it with glowing skin, less ingrown hairs, less cellulite, and a deeper level of detoxification.
Lastly, always remember that the key to beautiful skin is internal balance. Our skin can only be as healthy as the food and lifestyle choices we make. This means a diet rich in health-promoting foods, drinking lots of water, regular exercise, and getting adequate, restful sleep. Your skin is truly a reflection of your health, so be good to yourself - inside and out.