The benefits of body brushing on your mind, body and skin
Sorry to break it to you, but the rumours of body brushing ‘eliminating cellulite’ and ‘detoxing’ the skin are just that – rumours. Cellulite is not only natural, but down to genetics. As for ‘detoxing, your skin naturally replenishes itself every 28 days, and any so-called toxins are taken care of by the circulatory system and your liver.
Whilst body brushing won’t work miracles, there are still many benefits of doing so for your mind, body and skin. If at first a body brush is too rough (you don’t, after all, want to damage the skin’s surface), start with an exfoliating mitt and some dry oil and work up. For sensitive skin we recommend our Cleanse & Glow Konjac Sponge which gently exfoliates the skin whilst preserving the skin’s natural oils.
The best way to dry brush is to give your body a buff a few times a week with a bristled brush – the stiffer the bristles, the better – massaging in circular motions towards the heart. You can include a dry oil for ease, and finish by locking in hydration with a moisturiser.
Body brushing is a type of massage, and you know what? Massages feel good. Applying pressure and massaging the skin in small, circular motions has a calming, warming effect. It can help to reduce muscle tension in the body resulting from stress.
Massage stimulates the nervous system due to awakening nerve endings in the skin, just like in the act of skin tapping. As the nerves relax, this encourages a feeling of calm and happiness. Brushing the skin encourages taking time to take care of yourself, which is extremely important for your wellbeing. It’s the perfect morning activity to boost your senses and set yourself up for the day.
Brushing the skin is said to naturally stimulate the lymphatic system, removing ‘toxins’ (cellular waste products) and preventing them from entering the bloodstream. However, it’s important to bear in mind your body will do this regardless. As with a massage, however, you may find that you’re thirstier afterwards and need to drink an increased amount of water, said to ‘flush out’ anything released into your system.
So, the cellulite myth. The notion of body brushing reducing cellulite is incorrect, but it is true that immediately afterwards the appearance of cellulite is reduced. This is down to vasodilation – a similar effect to when your cheeks get rosy when you come into a warm room after being outside in the cold. When you brush your body, blood vessels are warmed, causing them to relax and widen, which is why the area you brush looks suddenly plumped and glowing. As the feeling subsides, the blood vessels constrict, and – hello – cellulite returns.
The act of body brushing exfoliates the skin, prevents clogged pores, and makes for a smoother, suppler surface. As we get older the top layer of skin cells can get thicker, so weekly exfoliation keeps the body looking rejuvenated. As mentioned above, do be gentle, otherwise you run the risk of causing damage and infection, for example an inflamed hair follicle. Dry brushing should feel invigorating, not painful.
After body brushing, skin is more susceptible to absorbing hydration due to opened pores, so don’t forget to moisturise! We love coconut oil because it gives the skin a healthy-looking sheen.