What if we told you we knew the secret to banishing dry skin, to sending cellulite far, far away and to creating a firmer, tighter tush, without a workout? Now that we’ve got your attention, it’s time to share a not-so-secret spa technique called dry brushing that is the perfect solution for healthy soft skin, 365 days a year. While many of you have probably already heard of this service, here’s the low-down for those that haven’t.
Dry skin brushing involves taking a natural bristle brush (look for boar bristles or a dry loofah) and starting from the feet and moving up to the chest, gently brushing dry skin in circular motions towards the heart. When done properly this seemingly painful process is quite the opposite and has a ton of healthy skin benefits.
- Increased circulation – Your skin eliminates toxins from the body; when the skin isn’t clear (from dirt, products and dead skin cells), it’s unable to adequately release these toxins. Dry brushing helps stimulate your lymphatic system, which increases circulation and helps the body rid itself of toxins.
- Reduced stress – Dry brushing increases blood flow and stimulates nerve endings, which in turn reduces stress in the body.
- Smoother skin – Dry brushing inherently sloughs off dead skin cells from the body, boosting overall cell renewal, exfoliating the skin and improving its health, texture and tone.
- Decreased appearance of cellulite – By increasing circulation, the body is able to reduce the look of cellulite (especially when you follow the shower with an anti-cellulite cream!).
- Before you shower, move your brush in short, gentle, circular motions, always towards the heart in order for the lymph to flow naturally. Your path should go from the bottom of your feet, to the legs, to the arms and shoulders, to the back, finishing with the stomach and chest.
- You should steer clear of any delicate areas such as the inner thighs and do not brush your neck or face.
- Once complete, shower as usual and then be sure to drink a lot of water (to flush toxins!) and to moisturize.
We caught up with Cornelia Zicu, global chief creative officer for Red Door Spas and go-to skincare expert, who gave us three tips for dry brushing:
- If you use a brush, make sure to keep it clean; while spas have the ability to use a new brush each time, you need to make sure to keep your brush clean. Any dirt into a seemingly small abrasion can and will cause an infection. “Wash the brushes before use with soap and water and light liquid peroxide,” Zicu says, and be sure it’s dry before you use it on the skin. If all else fails, Zicu recommends using a dry loofah to do the trick!
- “Don’t be too intense and don’t rush,” she says. “Do it enough to feel it relaxing your nerves.”
- It’s perfect pre-body wrap. Dry brushing “builds up the dry layers of the skin, allowing wraps to be doubly beneficial and truly penetrate the skin,” says Zicu.
As well, where “the blood system has an engine to move it around the body, the heart, the lymphatic system doesn’t. The lymph can be activated by deeply breathing, by exercise and by massage. With dry brushing you activate the lymph system from the surface.”
If you have psoriasis, eczema or any abrasions, dry brushing may not be for you since it can add irritation to a pre-existing condition.
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