Dry Brushing 101

After all the foaming washes and perfumed scrubs that we’ve used, dry brushing may seem a bit ascetic. But this popular spa technique is an effective way to get your body looking svelte and smooth – no gym required. Spa expert Ronel Corbin, Senior Vice President for ESPA, gave us a quick rundown.

How Does it Work?

Dry brushing stimulates the body’s circulation and lymphatic systems. Corbin says that many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.

Brush Basics

You can pick up a dry brush at most health food stores or at Whole Foods. Make sure to get a brush made with natural, not synthetic, bristles says Corbin and pick one that is fairly stiff. The best time to dry brush is first thing in the morning, before you shower, but you can also do it before bed.

Brushing Technique

Begin at the ankles and brush upward using light but firm strokes. You always want to brush toward the heart because that is the way the lymph flows naturally. After you finish your legs, brush your stomach, arms, and shoulders. Your skin may be a little pink afterward, but it shouldn’t hurt – if it does, you need to lay off the pressure! Corbin advises to avoid sensitive areas such as open cuts, abrasions and any patches of eczema or psoriasis.

Hot Tip

After dry brushing, drink a glass of hot water and lemon to help jumpstart your digestive system. Even if your next move is toward the doughnut tray, at least you’ll have started the day off on the right foot.

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