I have been dry body brushing and dry face brushing on and off for almost 20 years. For the most part I never knew the health benefits of dry body brushing, I only knew that it left my skin feeling soft and left me with a sense of invigoration and well-being. It is a ritual that I will never give up!
You may be thinking, why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.
It is crucial to look after our skin because it is:
- The largest organ in the body
- One of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification
- Receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body
- The first to reflect toxicity in the body through acne, rashes, break-outs, blemishes and a dull grey complexion.
- The last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency
Body brushing the skin is an ancient therapeutic practice, and over the years I have discovered that it comes with some great health benefits.
The benefits of body brushing
- Exfoliates and tones the skin, keeping the skin looking fresh. Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells and encourages new cell renewal, which results in smoother and brighter skin
- Increases blood flow and improves circulation, which in turn helps nourish the skin and remove toxins
- Prevents and reduces the formation of cellulite in the thighs and bottom area, the brushing stimulates the circulation and helps break down lipids (fats), proteins, and waste products
- Removes toxins, again the brushing stimulates circulation and helps the lymphatic system remove toxins
- By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively
- It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits
- Dry skin brushing helps unclog pores which then helps nourish your skin when you apply all those beautiful vitamin enriched green body products.
What are the benefits of dry face brushing?
Daily dry face brushing rejuvenates and energises your skin. It does this by gently exfoliating the dead surface skin, stimulating circulation in your face and draining away any congestion around the eyes, nose and neck, leaving your skin looking smooth and vibrant.
Forget those expensive and toxic facial exfoliating scrubs, micro dermabrasion treatments and AHA peels. Daily dry face brushing will exfoliate and shed dead skin cells, brushing will speed up cell turnover, strengthen the skin’s inner structure and reverse the effects of aging. I like to think of it as a natural buff and polish to the face. The best part is that it is works equally as good (if not better) and is a much cheaper natural alternative to those exfoliating scrubs, peels and treatments.
Daily face brushing also increases circulation which aids in draining away any lymph congestion around the nose and eyes, relieving stress around your temples.
Not all brushes are created equal
You have probably seen those wooden brushes at the grocery store – many of you have probably even purchased them – I know I have in the past. Since I investing in a good quality natural body brush those other cheap brushes do not even come close to comparison.
Make sure the brush ticks all the eco requirements from being made out of FSC certified timber to not being sprayed with all those toxic chemicals. Instead of using chemicals to treat the wood opt for something that has instead been heat treated.
The bristles on natural brushes are made from a natural plant like either Jute or Tampico, a natural vegetable fibre derived from the Agave plant
Choosing a face brush: Not all face brushes are created equal, you need something that is soft and can be used around the delicate area of the eye. Synthetic brushes are scratchy and harsh and choosing body brushes made of soft plant bristle are best. My favourite is the Jute bristle which is especially designed for delicate skin. Jute is a very fine plant bristle that is delicate enough for the skin around the eyes but still very stimulating to drain away puffiness.
As the timber used in these premium brushes are in their natural state, it is crucial to ensure that the brush is well looked after – but don’t worry it is super simple.
- Wash the brush in tea tree soap, taking care to keep the water on just the bristles.
- Then pad the bristles into a towel to remove as much excess water as possible, this will speed up drying time and reduce any chance of the brush developing mildew.
- Once the bristles are towel dried, leave to hang in a well -ventilated area or lay with bristles facing down so it can dry naturally and the water can run away from the brush head.
- It is recommended to spray the brush with a Tea Tree spray after each body brush to kill any bacteria which will prolong the life of the brush.
- Ensure the entire brush head is dry before using again, any water residue left in the brush will cause mildew.
- Every now and then let the brush sit next to your bathroom window so it can sterilise with a little natural sunlight.
How to body brush
It is recommended to dry body brush first thing in the morning before you step into the shower or bath. A thorough skin brushing takes between five and seven minutes.
- Start on dry skin before jumping in the shower
- Work in gentle circular, upward motions towards the heart, then switch it up to longer, smoother strokes.
- Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart - the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it's important that you brush in the same direction.
- Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- Slowly make your way up your body from the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
After dry brushing your entire body, take a warm shower. Wash yourself as usual, and then slowly increase the temperature of the water to very warm or hot. Maintain the heat for several minutes. Next, turn the water to freezing cold and twist your body around slowly under the shower head. Try and stay under the water for around 30 seconds until you’re almost gasping for air.
Dry off with a towel, preferably in an open area with direct natural light. This is called air bathing! Apply a natural moisturizer or your favourite natural plant oil such as our No monkey Business Coconut Oil.
How to dry face brush
Dry face brushing is suitable for normal to dry skin, mature skin, topical eczema, psoriasis and those who suffer from open pores. It is also suitable for those with mild breakout and congestion, to help open pores and allow excess sebum to flow naturally from the skin pores, activate blood flow to enhance collagen production to heal skin. However, it is not suitable for skin that has severe pustular activity, cystic acne, significant active lesions, and lots of red inflamed skin. It is best to wait until the skin has healed before trying to dry face brush.
If you are not used to exfoliating the skin on your face you may want to start with dry brushing the face 1-2 per week and build up as your skin gets use to it.
Step 1: Wash your face first: Start with squeaky clean skin, that way you're not opening up all your pores only to clog them with makeup or other irritants.
Step 2: Start at the chin and work your way up: Like with body dry brushing, you should always brush with gentle upward motions. Brush from your chin to your hairline on one side of the face, and then move to the other side. Light, gentle strokes will do the trick. This should not hurt.
Step 3: Finish with a nutrient-rich oil or serum: Feed your skin with a nourishing plant oil like our no monkey business coconut oil. The nutrients will absorb deep into those newly opened pores and lock in all the moisture and nutrients.
Dry body brushing will make you feel radiant, energised and ready to start your day! You’ll notice a difference the first time you incorporate this gorgeous wellness ritual into your morning routine. Give it a couple of weeks and your friends and family will notice the difference, too.