Skin Series: Body Brushing
Body brushing? Dry brushing? There's been a lot of talk about this lately that has it trending, but what if I told you its been around as early as the ancient civilizations. Cultures like the Chinese, Japanese and Native Americans used it to keep skin smooth and clean.
If you've gone to the spa recently and had a body treatment, maybe a wrap or scrub, you may have noticed a tool that looks like it should be used to brush a horse's mane and not a human body. That my dear is called a body brush. So what are the benefits? Why should you be using a body brush? Let's explore body care and the healthy benefits that come along with it.
Exfoliation is most obvious benefit of body brushing. Skin that is smooth and free of dead skin cells will have better penetration from creams and lotions. What does that mean? Well sis, your body's moisture barrier will strengthen, making the skin on the rest of the body more hydrated.
Detox, detox, detox!!!
Lymphatic drainage or detoxing is another great benefit. Getting rid of harmful toxins in the body is a great way to stay healthy. Gentle strokes encourage the discharge of metabolic waste and promotes healthy skin.
Remember that detoxing we just talked about? Would you believe that body brushing helps break down stored up fat, known as cellulite, in the body! Who knew?!? Will it rid the body of cellulite completely or for good? No. There's no way to stop the body from storing fat but you can reduce the amount stored with continued body brushing.
So now that you've heard some benefits, I bet your're all ready to start body brushing, right? Lets start by choosing the right body brush for you.
Natural vs. Synthetic bristles
Honestly, its to your preference. Natural bristles tend to be on the stiffer side. If you have dry, coarse, rough skin, like myself, then a natural bristle body brush may benefit you better. Synthetic bristles are a lot softer than natural bristles so if you have more sensitive skin or broken veins anywhere on the body, you may want to go with a synthetic body brush. They can be found at most beauty supply stores, natural food stores (Whole Foods is the BOMB!) and beauty retail stores, like ULTA Beauty.
Starting at the feet, or ankles if you're ticklish, use medium pressure stroking upward. If you notice your skin starts burn or tear, you may need to lay off the pressure sis...just saying. We want smooth skin, not bruised skin. All strokes should be upward, going towards the heart because that's the natural flow of the lymphatic system. It drains in the heart so going opposite of the lymph flow could cause some swelling. You should be working your way up the body in the natural order of the way limbs appear. Think of head, shoulders knees and toes, but in reverse. Feet, legs, thighs, stomach, arms, and finally shoulders. If your body brush has a handle, then you may tackle the backside of the body last. Its pretty simple, I promise. Once you're done, if you notice that your skin is a little red, don't worry, unless of course you're bleeding, then you should be very worried because you went too hard girl. Your skin should be a little red though, all jokes aside.
Body brushing is safe for everyday use, but beware, if your skin gets a little sensitive from it, dial it back girl. I'd recommend once a week just to be absolutely safe. You'll also a boost of energy after the first couple of days of using a body brush.I want to hear from you. Have you tried body brushing? What were your results? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time...