Dry-brushing is the latest wellness trend of 2017 – right along with “nature baths” and bulletproof coffee.
I first heard about dry-brushing during a trip to a skincare store and thought it was another experiment that was a little too crunchy for me. But, partially out of curiosity, partially out of sheer confusion, I decided to see what this whole thing was all about.
For those of you who don’t know your hair-brush from your “dry” brush, I’ll give a little background on why I even started brushing my skin in the first place.
What is dry-brushing?
Dry-brushing, like many new wellness trends, comes from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and is said to cure many of our modern issues (everything from cellulite to digestion). But, the most interesting aspect of it for me was the ability to drain your lymphatic system – a part of our bodies we don’t talk much about.
Think of your lymphatic system like the opposite of your circulatory system; it’s the liquid in your body that removes toxins and fat. You may have heard of your lymphatic system in relation to sickness – it’s often your lymph nodes that get enlarged when you have a cold or even cancer.
Here I was – a 25-year old woman who had never thought about my lymphatic system – let alone cared for it. If it was going to be as easy as massaging my skin every morning, I figured that was the least I could do.
How to dry-brush
The concept of dry-brushing is really simple (and intuitive). Each morning before you shower, you brush your skin in a circular motion with a hard-thistle brush. This process removes dead skin cells and jump-starts your lymphatic organs. Also, if you do it before you shower, you can wash off the dead skin cells that dry-brushing helps to remove.
I also read that you’re always supposed to brush towards your heart – so if you’re brushing your legs, circle up, and chest, circle downwards. I’m not exactly sure how much of a difference that makes, but in theory it’s a rule that feels good to follow.
Throughout my dry-brushing experiment, I used this facial dry brush. This one was quite small and mainly used for the face though it worked all over. I’ve also heard great things about this long dry-brush.
Just remember – you’re literally brushing your skin, just like you may your hair. It can’t be too difficult!
What dry-brushing did for me
As much as I thought this crunchy tradition was a step too deep into the wellness world, I began to notice results immediately. Literally – as soon as I finished brushing one area, I visibly saw a difference in my skin.
During the first week of my experiment, it looked like my face had more color and overall, looked clearer. The rest of my skin had somewhat of a glow, although the difference in my face was most visible.
One weird thing I noticed was that my veins began to get less visible on my legs. After graduating college and entering jobs that had little to no movement from my desk chair, I noticed a crazy amount of veins popping up on my legs. My daily dry-brushing techniques definitely made them less apparent.
Other than that, I can’t say that there was much of a difference in my life (cellulite is not magically, completely gone). But, how would one know if you improved your lymphatic system? I’m no expert, so I think I’ll keep my dry-brush out for the next few months to make sure.
Have you ever tried dry-brushing? What other wellness techniques do you use every day?
Photography by Kendall McLeod