Why You Should Try Dry Brushing

   Hey everyone, in my last post I wrote about exfoliating with the Kessa glove. Today I want to talk about a completely different approach to exfoliating: dry brushing. Dry brushing doesn't just result in smooth skin, it has a lot of health benefits as well, mainly stimulating the lymph system and the blood circulation. The lymphatic system is responsible for delivering the toxins out of the body, and it's role in beauty is still very underrated. It also relaxes the muscles and tightens the skin. When combined with proper moisturising it lessens chicken skin. It also helps to make cellulite less visible -- it doesn't make the cellulite go away, but it helps the skin look much smoother over time.
   Dry brushing is the perfect morning wake-up ritual, it stimulates the blood flow which makes you feel energised -- especially if you tend towards low blood pressure (many women do). It is a really nice easy self-massage. I really enjoy dry brushing, it is the perfect combination of massage and scratching, and it's really invigorating! My little trick is to first warm up the floor of the shower or bathtub with hot water, so that I'm not standing on a cold surface. You could also stand on your bath rug or towel, if you don't mind dead skin flakes getting on it.

   The best time to dry brush is the in the morning, but any other time is ok too. The dry skin should be brushed in long strokes, and the joints and the belly are brushed in circles. Apply more pressure where the skin is thick, and less pressure on the breasts, armpits and spider veins. Avoid the nipples and skin that is broken or inflamed as well as varicose veins.
   Here is a chart on dry brushing:

via flowingfree

 Below the waist level you should brush in the direction of the groin, above the navel you should brush in the direction of the heart and armpits. If you want to do it really correctly, here is a very detailed guide.
   You need to take around five minutes time for brushing, then shower as usual.  Dry brush every day!
   Dry body brushing is a Russian and Scandinavian tradition, and has recently been propagated by Paava Airola who praised it for it's cleansing properties. Dry brushing was also practiced by Cherokee Indians (with corn cobs) and Japan. In Ayurveda it is called garshana and is recommended for excess Kapha.

  Choosing the right brush

    Whether you prefer a hard to a soft brush is your personal preference, but the brush should not be too soft. You can always start out by brushing very gently with a stiffer brush and then gradually use more pressure. My favourite brush has a short handle, but I also have another one with a long handle for the back. In Germany the bigger Müller Drogerie stores carry a really nice selection of brushes, with the price for most being around 10€. I recommend brushes made of natural materials. If you don't have a brush you can use an exfoliating glove, however a brush gives the best results.
    Your brush should be washed with gentle soap every few months, and should last you a very long time.

   Have you every tried dry brushing? If not, I strongly recommend you give it a go. It's really addictive!

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