We’ve all tried the myriad of exfoliating scrubs on the market that promise beautiful, younger looking skin. I’ve tried more than I care to count myself. Once I heard about dry brushing, I knew I had to give it a try. The dry-brush detox is a technique many spas use. It goes beyond exfoliating and that’s why I love it. The problem is you have to learn to do it the right way or the results might not be quite as wonderful as you’d expect. Don’t worry. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of it. Why Try It? Dry brushing helps your body inside and out. The technique is used to stimulate both the lymphatic and circulatory systems. To put it simply, it helps improve circulation and aids your body in expelling toxins and excess water. Some practitioners even use it to help bloated patients and suggest trying it to improve digestion. A couple of other benefits include clearing away dead skin cells and improving the appearance of cellulite. I know I’m a little skeptical about the cellulite part, but many people have said they’ve noticed a difference. By scrubbing, your outer layer of dead skin cells and debris are removed. Other toxins are pushed through your system faster due to improved circulation. When you think about it, it actually makes sense. I’m not saying dry brushing is a miracle cure. I am saying it’s a simple way to improve the look of your skin while getting a few added benefits. What Do You Need? This is my favorite part. It’s really inexpensive to try this detox method yourself. Pick up an a soft bristle brush. Many health and natural related stores sell these brushes. You’ll need one with slightly stiff bristles, but nothing too hard. The bristles should feel good against your skin. If a gentle stroke scratches you, the bristles are too stiff. I recommend buying a brush in person versus online so you can feel the bristles yourself. Another thing to keep in mind is to buy a brush with a longer handle so you get to those hard to reach areas. How to Get Started? You’ll find numerous techniques, but there’s not one single right way to do it. The one major rule is to always brush towards your heart. I had a hard time with that at first, but you get used to it quickly. I had to break myself from the usual circular motions I’d make with my loofah while washing. Pick a time that works well for you. Most people do it before getting in the shower. This lets you wash away any dead skin flakes left behind. You just need to be completely dry before doing it. My favorite technique is to start with my feet and work my way up. Some start with their necks and work their way down. Use sweeping strokes from the top of your feet, up your legs, over your midsection (including your back, stomach and glutes), up your arms, and down your shoulders. Remember, always brush towards your heart. This follows the natural flow of the lymphatic system. Doing this once or twice a day gives you optimal benefits. If you have sensitive skin, once a day or once every other day might be best. What Should You Avoid? It’s easy to get carried away at first. I brushed a little too hard my first few times and ended up with red skin and even some stinging micro-cuts. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Your skin should only be a light pink if you do it right. This just means you’re stimulating circulation. This also helps you avoid any tiny cuts. The dry-brush detox is great for your body, but not your face. Stick to gentler exfoliants for the sensitive skin on your face. I’ve fallen for dry brushing. Give it a try and see how much of a difference it makes for you.
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