Body brushing is an age-old health and beauty practice passed down from the Russians, Turks and Scandinavians. The practice is said to stimulate lymph nodes and get your blood flowing, helping to move toxins out of the body and keep skin clear and smooth. Over time it can even help lessen the appearance of cellulite. And if you have dry skin, body brushing helps remove flakes and promotes healthier skin growth.
Given all the attention body brushing has attracted over the past few years, I’ve had customers ask if it’s something they should be doing. Personally, my skin is definitely softer when I body brush 2-3 times per week before showering, but I don’t do it more often than that. Though the skin on your body is thicker and more resilient, exfoliating it daily (which is essentially what body brushing does) isn’t a good idea. Too much exfoliation or brushing thins the skin over time, can cause broken blood vessels, and doesn’t let your cells perform their normal growth and turnover cycle. For people with sensitive skin, this can be especially irritating and unhealthy for the body.
So how can you incorporate this healing ritual into your beauty routine without going overboard? Try body brushing a few times a week and see how your skin responds. The main rule of thumb to remember is always stroke the brush up towards your heart. You want blood pumping towards your heart, not away from it, which is stressful and unhealthy for the organ. Start at your feet, go up to your knees, and then proceed to your legs, stomach and chest. When working on your arms, start at the hands and sweep the brush towards your shoulders. Soft fluid motions are best – don’t rub or scrub your skin! Five minutes is typically all you need for a good body brushing session.
Lastly, it’s very important to invest in a good quality brush that has soft bristles. Hard or synthetic bristles will tear at the skin and cause unwanted inflammation. I love the Hydrea London brush, which is made from 100 percent natural bristle and FSC certified Beechwood.
Hope you give body brushing a go and experience glowing results!