Everything You Need to Know About Dry Brushing, According to an Expert
If you've never heard of the term "dry brushing," fear not, because you are not alone.
It wasn't until recently that we learned what it was—and let us tell you—it's fascinating. There are numerous proven benefits to the body, and we simply knew we needed to learn all about it. We were lucky enough to speak with Lisa Brill, founder of Qēt Botanicals, all about it. On their site, they have a best-selling body brush that we were able to try out for ourselves, and now we can't imagine our daily routines without it!
Keep scrolling for our full interview with Lisa Brill, where she gives us all the tips and tricks when it comes to dry brushing.
Sweety High: What is dry brushing?
Lisa Brill: Dry brushing is an ancient and simple task of brushing the skin with a body brush. It's a gentle massage on the skin with benefits.
SH: What are the benefits of dry brushing?
LB: Gently brushing the skin's surface boosts energy and stimulates the lymphatic system to rid itself of toxins and waste. The benefit of increased circulation can be felt immediately. When we increase circulation, it can help to break down fatty deposits and the appearance of cellulite over time. Additionally, dry brushing the skin sweeps away dead skin cells at the surface. This exfoliation helps to eliminate toxins and promotes healthy cellular renewal, which gives skin its youthful, healthy and radiant feeling and appearance.
After taking medications, with compromised health, with time or even with allergies, the body's lymphatic system can become sluggish. Various veins, lymph nodes and open channels are just below the skin's surface. Keeping these stimulated and moving helps our system to naturally rid our bodies of excess toxins through our largest organ, our skin. When the lymphatic system isn't flowing like it should, fatty deposits, cellulite and inconsistent bumps or bulging can happen in the upper arms, legs, thighs and ankles. With regular, even daily brushing, the benefits continue.
SH: Are there any cons to dry brushing?
LB: Of course, there are things to remember when dry brushing. Too much of a good thing can be too much. Severely dry skin can become aggravated and the surface of the skin can actually be harmed if dry brushing is overdone. Allow any open wounds or sensitive areas to heal and calm before dry brushing them. Just like with your toothbrush, if you see your bristles change, or your brush is starting to look less fresh, it's time to replace it. Brushing the skin with a dirty body brush can spread bacteria.
SH: What parts of your body should you brush? What parts of your body should you avoid brushing?
LB: A gentle massage on the skin with a natural fiber brush working towards your heart helps to wake up that sluggish lymphatic system. Starting at the feet, from top and bottom, work upwards on your lower and upper legs toward your heart. The arms and then torso can be brushed. Feel free to brush your arms, shoulders, torso, midsection and thighs. Remember to work on the back of the thighs and buttocks where natural fatty deposits often appear. Circling the breasts gently is recommended rather than brushing directly on these areas.
SH: What is the best method for using a dry brush?
LB: Apply a light amount of pressure that feels just right for you. It should be stimulating and energizing—not painful. Work in small circles starting at the outermost part of the body and work towards the heart. There's no need to be critical or overly analytical about your dry brushing—just do what feels good and remember to work from the outside in toward the heart. It will never work if you don't do it.
SH: How often should you dry brush?
LB: It's perfectly alright, even beneficial, to dry brush the skin every day. Be your own personal caregiver—if you think it's too much, then it probably is. Some like to brush their skin every day, some make it a special self-care ritual once or twice a week. No more than once a day is wonderful, and the rest is up to you.
SH: Do you have a favorite dry brush?
LB: Qēt Botanicals' Body Brush for Dry Brushing is my favorite. The brushes we use are completely natural with a wooden handle and a bristle with plant-based fibers. It's not too firm, and it's not too soft. We avoid all synthetic materials as they can have a tendency to irritate the skin. Many also believe that the natural bristles are friendlier for the surface and will distribute the natural oils on the skin better than a synthetic or plastic material, which can cause skin reactions because of the synthetic polymers in the bristles. Overall, our skin tends to be much happier with these types of brushes.
SH: Is there anything else we should know?
LB: After dry brushing, your body will have increased microcirculation and often a wonderful energy boost. Afterward, showering or soaking in a bath, with or without Epsom salt and a few drops of organic lavender essential oil helps to remove shedding dry skin from skin brushing and cleanse the newly exfoliated surface. Finish with a moisturizer and you're ready to go.
Morning or night, there are benefits to dry brushing, or oil brushing, on a regular basis. Have trouble sleeping? Increasing the circulation, and then following with a warm shower or bath helps to raise our resting pulse. Once relaxed and ready for bed, as the heart rate and natural body temperature returns to normal, it helps rest and relaxation happen for a peaceful night's sleep.
In the morning, beginning with a dry or oil brushing routine before or while in the shower sets the tone for the day. When finished, you're on the move, you're remaining energized and you're ready to take on the day. As with all of our ingredients, we prefer natural solutions rather than synthetic options, and it's evident that our bodies and skin would agree. Dry brushing is an ancient way of caring for the body by helping the skin to eliminate toxins. This type of brush has been used in a similar form for generations. When something works, there's just no need to waiver from it.
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