Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Detox: Dry skin brushing

Of all the things I'm doing for my month long detox (and what you should be doing for the Detox Challenge), I have to say that I like doing the dry skin brushing a lot and will continue doing it daily even after the month ends. What the heck is dry skin brushing? Well, you basically take a skin brush, like the kind you use for scrubbing in the shower, and brush your dry skin with it.

There are several benefits of doing this. The first and most obvious is that it removes dead skin cells and makes your skin softer. The second benefit, and the reason why I'm doing it for my detox, is that dry skin brushing helps detox your body by stimulating the lymphatic system in your body. Which is why it is also called lymphatic skin brushing.

Basically, your lymph vessels collect waste materials all through your skin. Your skin is your largest organ and is a runner up for clearing out waste in your body which is why it is sometimes called your third kidney. The lymph vessels are essentially little one way valves distributed throughout your skin. By brushing your skin, always in the direction towards your heart, you help circulate those toxins being collected for faster disposal. Since your lymphatic system relies on a pump with limited feedback, brushing gives it a helping hand.

There are a number of different methods for how to brush your skin. I received a three page handout for my detox from my doctor, but you can follow whatever method you like. If you are visually oriented there are YouTube videos or you can search The Google for detailed written instructions, like this one.

The easy explanation is, before you take a shower, take a natural bristled brush and lightly brush, starting at your feet and working your way upwards, in long strokes along your body always in the direction towards your heart to speed the movement of lymph.

I started out with a softer brush that we've had for years to do the brushing, like the one pictured above. I was finding that it's too soft, so I switched to a stiffer brush (pictured at left). You shouldn't brush so hard that it's painful, but hard enough that it leaves your skin somewhat pink and stimulated. It should be a pleasurable sensation, although it can be uncomfortable at first until your skin gets used to it. It's almost like getting a whole body scratch.

So, in addition to being one of the easiest and cheapest methods to helping detox your body, it's also very invigorating!


Hazel said...

I used to do this, but had got out of the habit.

Reading about your detox prompted me to retrieve the brush from the back of the cupboard and put it by the shower where I'll see it and remember. Hopefully. My skin feels softer already if nothing else which is some motivation.

Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

I've been dry brushing for 2 years and LOVE it!

Greenpa said...

Or, maybe you should recycle this very ancient practice - the strigil.

Apparently gladiators found a market for the byproduct- hm; something else you could investigate?


Dmarie said...

never heard of this but willing to try it. thx!

Su said...

I'm with Hazel-- I used to do this, but one day I forgot and it was all downhill from there. Thanks for such an informative post-- I'll definitely get back into this habit!

fragmentaerie said...

It also helps with the horrible itchiness that comes with frequenting chlorinated pools.

Melinda said...

That's the exact brush I'm using! I really love the way it makes my skin feel, and it is definitely helping me shed a layer of dry skin - after just a few days, my skin is returning to pre-cleanse normal.

fragmentaerie said...

I have the ET brush as well.

Tricia said...

Thanks for the reminder. I used to dry brush daily. I sort of lost the habit. I'm looking forward to starting again.

Thanks for motivating me to do a detox. I'm SO ready!

Chile said...

Maybe it's time to dig out my dry brush and try this out again.

Paula said...

I am DEFINITELY going to do this. A beauty treatment and health treatment in one. How can I not try this.

Melissa said...

I have never heard of this before but am going to give it a try. Thank you for sharing. ;)

Terri P said...

Do you moisturize after brushing?

Mia said...

Great post. I agree above soft brushes - I need a tough one! Skin brushing changed my life. The benefits start immediately and just get better. Plus they make you want to take up other healthy habits.