The Facts About Dry Brushing

The Facts About Dry Brushing

Dry brushing, in one form or another, has been around for thousands of years.  It stems all the way back to a 5000-year-old holistic health care system in India known as Ayurveda.  Dry Brushing in this era was called Garshana and was known to stimulate circulation and blood flow.  This technique was also known to be practiced amongst the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and in traditional Chinese practice.  While the method and tools used in dry brushing differed from one timeframe and part of the world to another, the purpose and benefits remain the same.  (Source: Province Apothecary & Angela Palmer) 


So, what is dry brushing exactly?  This technique is pretty straightforward.  Just as its name suggests, typically you will use a dry wood handled body brush with firm natural bristles on dry skin.  Start from your feet and ankles, brushing your skin gently, upwards towards your heart, in a long, broad circular motion.  Both the bristles, pressure and upward motion on the skin will bring forth this technique’s beneficial results.  It is also suggested that you complete your dry brushing routine just before you intend on showering, allowing any dead skin cells to be washed off immediately following the exfoliation.  Once the skin has been exfoliated and rinsed, it should then be moisturized.  If you are planning on heading outside after dry brushing, your moisturizer should have SPF, as this technique may make your skin more sensitive to the sun.  (Source: Allie Flinn & Angela Palmer)


What are the benefits of dry brushing?  Regular dry brushing exfoliates the skin and encourages cell turnover.  This regular skin renewal process leaves the skin looking healthier and more radiant.  Regular exfoliation and stimulation at the cellular level has also shown to ward off breakouts.  Dry Brushing also provides blood circulation benefits that have shown to positively affect one’s mood, leaving individuals feeling invigorated and energized.  It has also been theorized to help boost the lymphatic system.  The lymphatic system helps rid the body of toxins and waste and resides just under the skin.  (You can learn more about the lymphatic system’s role here: Basics & Structures of the Lymphatic System - YouTube)  It has been said that moving your dry brush upwards towards the heart in long sweeping strokes works with the body’s lymph flow and increases the release of unwanted toxins.  (Source: Province Apothecary, Allie Flinn & Angela Palmer)


Despite the benefits listed above, there are some precautionary facts that should be taken into consideration when thinking about adding dry brushing to your skin care routine.  You should always pay attention to and or know your skin sensitivity level.  It has been recommended that you do not use the dry brushing technique more than once to twice a week, regardless of how “tough” your skin is, as it is possible to over-exfoliate and cause unwanted irritation.  Time in between exfoliation is needed for proper cell turnover and will allow for the best overall results.  If you have any skin irritation, serious skin conditions or open abrasions, dry brushing should be avoided all together.  (Source: Allie Flinn & Angela Palmer)


Overall, when using the proper dry brushing techniques, tools, and aftercare this practice can be very beneficial for the skin.  For more information on Dry Brushing, proper techniques, benefits, aftercare and proper dry brush cleaning, please visit the following links and articles:   

Check out some great tools for dry brushing below!


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