What is ‘Dry Brushing’? In art, it is the sophisticated painting technique that creates a ‘atmospheric effect.’ However, the dry brushing we are about to explore is far more invigorating. The newly trending Ancient Egyptian technique used by health and wellness professionals around the globe has the body benefits we have always been dreaming of. If it is good enough for Cleopatra, the Queen of Beauty, then it is good enough for us, right?
The benefits of dry brushing come from the perfect brush, the right stroke motion, and the proper starting point. A stiff but not too abrasive boar bristle is highly recommended for the body, while a softer, ultra-fine synthetic bristle brush is recommended when working with the face and neck areas. No matter the type of brush, medium pressure should be applied with long, rhythmic strokes. The trick is to irritate the skin enough without causing damage. The only areas that short or circular strokes are more beneficial are around joints and the abdominal area. The perfect starting point is still up for debate. However, many professionals use the top of the feet as the starting point and work their way up the body. No matter where you start, each long rhythmic stroke should promote lymphatic flow toward the torso, where stagnant lymph toxins get a chance to join the circulatory system and flush out of the body through the kidneys.
The benefits of dry brushing do not stop at lymphatic drainage. Exfoliation of dead skin cells, rejuvenation of skin, and cellulite prevention are the most loved benefits of this ancient technique. Many wonder how dry brushing prevents cellulite. The answer to their question is found in the large amount of blood circulation that dry brushing brings to the surface of the skin. When blood flow increases in an area of the body, with it travels amino acids in the blood. These amino acids, such as glutamine and proline, promote collagen production. Collagen, the most abundant protein in your body, supports elasticity and strengthens the skin, which helps prevent the formation of skin dimpling, or cellulite.
Last, but not least, what should we treat our skin with before and after we dry brush? Before dry brushing, no serums or oils are needed. However, check your body for sensitive areas, such as skin abrasions, cuts, sores, and dry, cracked, or sun burnt skin. Dry brushing these sensitive areas should be avoided. After dry brushing, showering washes away the dead skin cells. Though, Cleopatra luxuriously bathed in wine and goat’s milk after dry brushing, today skin serums and coconut oil are recommended. Dermatologists suggest skin serums that contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, green tea polyphenols, and hyaluronic acid to help reduce any inflammation, redness, and defend your skin from antimicrobial invaders. If your newly dry brushed bare skin is going to be exposed to the sun shortly after, a chemical-free SPF is highly recommended.
From skin exfoliation to increasing lymphatic drainage, dry brushing delivers incredibly healing results. Pairing body work treatments with dry brushing adds even more benefits. The most suggested body work treatments to pair with dry brushing are lymphatic drainage massages, clinical skincare treatments, and far infrared sauna therapy. All listed treatments are available at the OMNI Balanced Life Center.
Murakami, H., Shimbo, K., Inoue, Y., Takino, Y., & Kobayashi, H. (2012). Importance of amino acid composition to improve skin collagen protein synthesis rates in UV-irradiated mice. Amino acids, 42(6), 2481–2489. Retrieved March 15, 2021 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351609/