If you have never tried dry brushing… then you are in for a treat! I’m absolutely in love with this simple yet amazing little process I’ve added to my day.
My number 1 priority when it comes to my skin – is treating my stretch marks. This is how I got into doing this funky action in the first place.
However dry brushing has a whole host of other health benefits in addition to skin care. Adding this to your daily regime can help improve:
- Lymphatic System Drainage
- Vascular Blood Circulation
- Nerve Ending Stimulation
- Digestion (Crazy right!)
What Is Dry Brushing?
Its a fairly simple one in truth. You take a brush & rub or massage the skin in long strokes or circular motions. As the name suggests, both the brush & your skin need to be dry when you do this.
I will explain the main considerations for dry brushing when attempting to reduce your stretch marks later on. But for now, here is a quick video which shows you how its done & some of the main benefits.
3 Major Skin Benefits When Using This Method
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It’s the last place to receive nutrients from the digestive system & diet – but the first place to show signs of deficiency & toxicity in the body.
This is why it is so important to help the detoxification process of the body however you can. This will in turn greatly aid with improving skin quality in the following 3 ways:
1. Exfoliation of the Skin
I have explained the benefits to skin exfoliation in previous articles. The main aim is to clear the top epidermis layer of dead skin cells, which also encourages renewal cells to grow in their place.
Exfoliating the skin regularly, also helps improve capillary circulation in the localized area, which further improves general skin quality. This will help fade any stretch mark lines from purple to white over time, much like the natural sugar scrubs.
2. Ayurvedic Cleansing
Dry brushing is a great compliment to an existing Ayurvedic Cleansing regime. When done correctly, the bristles should penetrate deep into the pores of the skin, helping to clear out dirt, grime & toxins.
3. Improve Connective Tissue
A brushing motion on the skin can also help strengthen the pores, as well as connective tissue in the area being worked on.
This works wonders in preserving the skins natural elasticity & vibrant/youthful state. It does this by stimulating the production of fresh collagen & elstain fibers within the dermis layer.
The Best Dry Brushing Technique
Use A Dry Brush! The first rule for this technique is to ensure that everything is dry. This includes both the brush & yourself. Most folks will use a plant bristle body brush (commonly known as Tampico, Jute or Sisal bristle).
I like to stick with a moderate bristle strength or rigidity (I think that’s the correct term), to ensure that I am getting the full benefit of the brushing, but not causing any excessive abrasion or irritation. You will soon come to know what you like & can tolerate. These brushes can be picked up from any health store or Target in your local area. That’s where I got mine & it works just fine!
Do It In the Morning (before a shower) – If your schedule allows it, I would do this everyday before jumping in the shower. It will only take 5-10 mins (20 mins better) but will really ensure you feel great & set you up for the day. But whatever you can manage – remember 2-3 times a week is still better than nothing!
Also ensure that you are following up with the application of a high quality oil (Coconut Oil) or lotion (Cocoa Butter etc) whilst in the warm shower. The brushing will have helped exfoliate the skin first, which will greatly improve the absorption & efficiency of the moisturizer or cream you are using.
Brush Your Entire Body – I know most of you will be looking to treat skin conditions such as stretch marks, so will want to focus on those areas. This is totally understandable. However do spend a few minutes working your way around the body before getting to the affected areas.
This will ensure you feel amazing, as well as provide the additional health benefits I have already mention that go above & beyond simply stretch marks treatment. Start at the soles of the feet, then work your way up from the legs, arms, chest, back then stomach.
Some people also like to brush the face. I’ll admit this does feel nice, but will often require a different brush. A smaller one which is a little softer & forgiving on sensitive skin. It’s also wise to not brush your face with the same thing which has been rubbing your feet & butt!
Always Brush Towards the Heart – It is recommend to always brush upwards and towards the heart. Not only does this improve vascular circulation (in the direction the blood is travelling), but also the major lymph nodes in the body, such as the groin, armpits and base of the neck.
There isn’t a specific mechanism in the body which aids the lymphatic flow naturally. Only exercise. movement, gravity or messaging/brushing will help the fluid in these channels move along, preventing any blockages which may occur.
Keep on Top of Hygiene – One of the main reasons for dry brushing in the first place is to help cleanse the skin and unclog the pores. This means you need to clean your brush regularly to prevent from continually rubbing these toxins back into your skin.
You don’t have to do this everyday, but at least once a week is advisable. Simply spray your brush bristles with an Organic Tea Tree Hydrosol. This will help prolong the brush life, optimize it’s performance and most importantly, reduce the risk of bacterial infection on the skin.
Whilst you should try to follow these guidelines as best you can. Honestly, the world will not fall apart if you don’t get it completely right from the get-go. The main thing is you are giving it a go. It may seem weird at first, but just go with it.
Over time you will work out what feels best for you & what is producing the best results. So just do that!
Does Dry Brushing Really Work For Reducing Stretch Marks?
The short answer to this is YES.
However there is one major caveat. Brushing your skin as a standalone treatment certainly won’t completely remove the lines on your body. But used in conjunction with a number of other treatments in a holistic style manner, you can definitely expect a noticeable reduction in the appearance of your stretch marks.
When done correctly, each procedure should compliment the next one. The end result will be greater than the sum of the parts. Dry brushing plus Derma Rolling, followed by a high grade topical lotion will work wonders. Add in a potent natural moisturizer (Cocoa butter etc) & Vitamin A,C,E & Zinc supplementation & it’s impossible not to see results.
Dry Brushing Before and After Pictures
Are There Any Skin Brushing Side Effects?
I personally have’t encountered any negative side effects from using this method myself. You do have to ensure you are taking extra care when brushing sensitive areas for the first time. Area’s such as the face, breasts & armpits which are more prone to irritation.
Simply brush these areas at around 50% of your normal pressure to begin with – until you figure out what you can tolerate. Following up with your favorite cream or lotion in a warm shower is obviously crucial for avoiding dry skin too.
I have heard of some cases where people have become slightly light headed or dizzy when brushing for the first few times. This is also nothing to be worried about & is just a consequence of getting the lymphatic system moving, which subsides after a couple of weeks. It’s reported that 1 in 5 people will experience this to some degree.
The side effects have only been positive benefits for me, such as a reduction in my stretch marks & cellulite. But also an improvement in general skin smoothness & quality, as well as blood flow & digestion. Of course there is no hard & fast scientific evidence to back this up, just personal observations. It’s something you have to just try out for yourself.
There really is a lot to love about dry brushing your body. Yes it can add an extra 5-10 mins to your morning routine, But it will be so worth it!
For me it’s not just about the skin care & health benefits. It also feels great & serves as my stress reliever, as brushing usually puts me into somewhat of a meditative state whilst I do it.
It’s also totally safe for pregnant women. I used this method extensively during my second pregnancy (I didn’t know about it for the first one).
It not only helped with general circulation, it greatly reduced the water retention I had around my ankles. Not to mention aid in tightening the skin around my tummy after the birth!
The best advice is to just enjoy it & give it a go 🙂