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What is Dry Skin Brushing?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dry skin brushing is a health and beauty technique that has generally been most popular in Europe. The technique involves using a rough implement, such as a natural fiber brush or loofah pad, to detoxify the skin. This procedure is done while a person is dry and naked. It is believed to have many benefits, which include fighting cellulite, improving circulation, and renewing skin.

Advocates of dry skin brushing believe that it is a simple way to encourage the lymphatic system to dispose of toxins in the body. The skin normally plays an important role in helping the body to eliminate unsavory and unuseful contents by way of the pores. It is believed that blocked pores force the body’s natural detoxification process off balance. This may contribute to a variety of conditions such as cellulite, eczema, and high blood pressure.

Dry skin brushing aims to keep the pores free of blockage. Using a rough material to brush the body helps to eliminate dry, dead, and unhealthy skin on the surface. Since skin regenerates quickly, the old layers of skin are typically replaced with fresh, new layers that improve body texture and appearance. It also opens the path for waste materials to be properly released through the skin again.

This process of dry skin brushing is also believed to help guide impurities through the lymphatic system so that they can be disposed of through other organs. For this to work properly, brushing movements should generally be toward the heart. If a person is dry skin brushing her back for example, she would want to start near the buttocks and brush up toward the shoulders. The same is true when performing this procedure on the arms and legs.

Different areas of the body will require different amounts of pressure. In some cases, a person may want to use different materials. Hard, rough materials may be used on a thick skinned area such as the feet. A semi-soft natural fiber brush may be used on more delicate areas, such as under the arms or around the breasts.

For the best results, people are encouraged to brush the whole body daily. It is also typically recommended that dry skin brushing be done before bathing. Washing will help to eliminate impurities that are pulled up during brushing. After dry skin brushing and bathing, it is recommended that natural moisturizers such as almond oil or cocoa butter are used.

Some people may notice that they feel healthier or they may notice differences in their bodies fairly quickly. Naturopaths do not, however, promote dry skin brushing as a miracle process. Cleaning the lymphatic system in this way takes time and requires that a person be committed to the routine. It is typically suggested that skin brushing be performed every day and that the regime be continued for at least one month, if not for a lifetime.

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