Dry Brushing: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started
This year, it feels like all the health and beauty magazines and websites are talking about dry skin brushing. It’s actually something that has been around for a while and something I’ve been practicing relatively faithfully for some time now. It’s a pretty unique type of practice that has a lot of interesting claims about it from improving lymph drainage to even enhancing weight loss. Some people think it boosts their immune systems. Others just feel it’s great for their skin.
I’m pretty much a believer to some degree or another for all those categories. I think it’s a beautiful, calming and healthy practice that gives your skin lymphatic system and even circulation a bit of added love. I don’t think that dry skin brushing will make me lose ten pounds in a week, nor do I think it will stop me from getting a cold if I’m exposed to one. But I think that it helps to support all the efforts I’m making to be fit and healthy overall. Plus, it feels great!
That said, when I first started doing it, I really didn’t look into it too much. I just grabbed one of the brushes and started winging it. I feel like I held myself back by not better informing myself. If I’d just taken the time to learn about what it’s all about, I could have benefitted from it a lot more, a lot earlier.
Here’s what I wish I’d known right from the start. I hope this helps you to skip some of the mistakes I made along the way:
• Not all dry skin brushes are the same – I started off with a brush that was way too stiff. That brush was the cheapest one I could find, so I thought I got a great deal. The thing is, it’s usually recommended that you start with a softer brush and build up to a stiffer one as your skin becomes accustomed to the practice. I still don’t use a super-stiff one yet, but I’ve progressed since the beginning. I’d recommend getting a dry brush kit with several options that let you work your way from soft to stiffer natural bristles. Make sure the brush is one that fits nicely in your hand and that will allow you a lot of reach.
• Dry skin brushing has a pattern to follow – When I first started the practice, I pretty much did the opposite of what is recommended by most practitioners. It felt most natural for me to start at my shoulders and brush my way down to my feet. As it turns out, it’s better to start at your feet and work your way up your body, always brushing toward the direction of your heart. So on your legs, you’re brushing up, but on your shoulders, you’re brushing down.
• Dry brushing is best done in the bath tub – I first started doing this in the winter with really dry skin. After a week, I realized that my bathroom floor and counter were absolutely coated in dust. Ew! After that, I started doing it in the bathtub where the skin cells I brush away will be rinsed down the drain.
My skin care needs changed – After dry brushing for a while, my skin has become much softer, more comfortable and healthier overall. I found that I needed to change the moisturizer I was using because my skin was absorbing it better and wasn’t as flaky as it used to be.