When I first read about brushing my skin with a dry brush, the idea was incredibly bizarre. I always heard of exfoliating the skin in the shower, when the skin is wet. But to be honest, that wasn’t working too great so I was up for the challenge. If you experience dry skin in the winter – or any time of the year – you must give dry brushing a try. Not only can dry brushing help with dry skin, but dry brushing for lymphatic health is important too.
Today I’m sharing what dry brushing is, how I got started with it and how dry brushing has helped my overall health. I should also mention that getting started with dry brushing is also affordable and the process of actually doing the brushing is really quick. Dry brushing for lymphatic can easily become part of your daily routine. It’s as simple as brushing your teeth.
Dry Brushing for Lymphatic Health
How I Learned About Dry Brushing
I first heard about dry brushing about six years ago, and I’ll be the first to admit, the idea of using a dry brush on my body seemed very bizarre at first. I read about it, I believe, on another blog. I also had a friend who had tried it so between the two resources it sounded like a legitimate practice. Of course, it wasn’t until I put the practice into play that I could truly vouch for the results.
When I first learned about dry brushing for lymphatic health, it was toward the end of winter so it did not become a part of my whole seasonal routine. Where I live winter lasts from about November through end of March, give or take. In other regions the winter season may be longer or shorter.
Depending on your own personal skin type, dry brushing could benefit you year-round, so this isn’t necessarily a winter only practice. For most dry brush users, winter is the ideal time for dry brushing because that is when they experience the most amount of dry skin on their body. This has been the same experience for me.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing involves using a soft-bristle brush to gently massage and brush the skin, namely on the legs, arms and torso. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and renews the skin, leaving the body with fewer scales of dry or loose skin over the winter months. It can also reduce the need for using body lotion, or as much lotion.
I encourage you to watch the video I linked to above, as the video was really helpful to me in seeing how to dry brush. As the woman in the video points out, dry brushing can be as complicated or as simple as you want. I prefer simple and when I dry brush I use a routine similar to hers. It only takes a minute or two to dry brush the entire body.
Dry Brushing for Lymphatic Health
Why Dry Brush?
As mentioned in that video I linked to, dry brushing is helpful for many reasons. For one it can reduce or eliminate dry skin by removing dead skin cells that are already loose or ready to fall off. This can reduce the need for using lotion or reduce how much lotion is needed after bathing.
Overall dry brushing is said to:
- Remove toxins from the body
- Reduce cellulite
- Remove dead skills cells
- Improve circulation
- Improve lymphatic health
- Be calming and soothing
Dry brushing is also said to help improve circulation and blood flow to the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body. I don’t have a lot of medical background on this information but when I dry brush for lymphatic health I look at it as a massage for the skin and I don’t see how it could be detrimental in any way.
As long as you are using the proper type of dry brush it should feel like a massage. The bristles should not be overly coarse or leave the skin sensitive or damaged. In addition to increased blood flow, dry brushing for lymphatic health is said to help the lymphatic system in the body. Lymphatic massage is another popular health practice. The lymphatic system is a fluid system throughout the body to remove and distribute fluids (including white blood cells) throughout the tissues and helps in removing toxins from the body.
What Kind of Brush?
One of the biggest questions associated with dry brushing for lymphatic health is: What kind of brush should be used? I have found two types of brushes that work well for dry brushing. The first is the type of brush shown in the video, which is a palm body brush.
The second is a body brush with a handle, which is what I have. You can also buy a body brush with a removable handle or buy a handheld brush. There are truly a lot of options so you can try several or simply try the one that sounds like it would best fit your lifestyle. I have found the dry brush with a handle to have good reach for the back.
The bristles on the body brush are soft and it does not leave my skin sore or irritated in any way. You can also buy entire brush kits with accessories online. I have not personally tried this but there are a lot dry brushing options out there. I purchased my body brush at T.J. Maxx. You can find dry brushes at any health or beauty store or order online via Amazon.
Tips for Dry Brushing
There are a few things you can implement to make dry brushing for lymphatic health easy. First, commit to dry brushing and make it part of your daily routine. I found it works best to dry brush before my shower. Depending on your routine this may be first thing in the morning, or in the evening, before bedtime.
Find a location to store your dry brush. It should be easy to access. Some people store their brush in the shower. Others may store it in a bathroom cupboard. Because dry brushing removes dead skin cells from the body, I prefer not to have skin cells flying all over my bathroom.
For this reason I do my dry brushing in the shower, before I turn the water on. I spend a minute or two doing my brushing. Then I shower as usual. When I am in the routine of dry brushing for lymphatic health, I don’t find myself needing to exfoliate heavily in the shower. If you dry brush regularly you will probably find less of a need for a loofah, exfoliating wash cloth, exfoliating gloves or body scrubs.
After I shower I apply my lotion as usual. My favorite lotion is Burt’s Bees Body Lotion with Aloe and Buttermilk. I like the convenience of the pump bottle, the lotion does not leave an oily residue on the skin and like all Burt’s Bees products it is 99 percent natural.
I found I still like to use lotion even when I am in the routine of dry brushing for lymphatic health. Others may find they do not need lotion at all. As you begin the dry brushing for lymphatic health practice, you will find what works best for you.
As I mentioned earlier, dry brushing can be done any time of the year or year-round. If you are interested more in the increased blood flow and lymphatic benefits, I would suggest dry brushing every day. If you are more interested in using less lotion and combatting dry skin – then dry brushing for lymphatic health only in the winter – may be best for you.
Dry Brushing for Lymphatic Health
Dry brushing is a beneficial practice, for overall health and to reduce dry skin when done regularly. Personally I’m not convinced it reduces cellulite (or that anything does) but I will vouch for the other benefits of dry brushing – namely improved overall well-being and less dry skin.
There are many celebrities who swear by dry brushing, including supermodel Molly Sims as told to Glamour magazine. I would refer back to the video I linked to again on directions on how to dry brush and where. My personal goal is to dry brush before every shower. You can periodically clean your brush in the shower too.
Do you dry brush? What benefits have you experienced?
*This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.