We are all about routines + rituals.
The lighting of the candle. The setting of the table. The morning meditation. We also (especially?) love self-care routines. The steaming bath. The cozy cup of delightfully spicy tea (perhaps with a splash of fire cider). The occasional face mask. What we don't particularly like: multi-step, product-intensive, "beauty"-type routines that are so involved and arduous even reading through them feels exhausting and not particularly restorative. Integrating self-care into our lives shouldn't itself feel like a major "to-do". Perhaps this is why we love dry brushing so much.
Dry-brushing is exactly what it sounds like: brush your skin when it's not wet. Simple. BUT. The pure simplicity of the action is what makes it so brilliant. It's easy to do yourself. There's not a complicated buy in. It doesn't take a long time. All it takes is a few minutes and a brush. Skin feels smooth and renewed, body feels invigorated and energized, mind feels calmed and at rest. Boom.
Devotees to the practice claim that dry brushing stimulates circulation and encourages lymph movement, optimizing the body to detoxify itself. This may be true. But it also feels incredible and, as far as we're concerned that is reason enough to start.
THE BRUSH ITSELF
Dry brushing can be done over the whole body, including the face (which requires a smaller, gentler brush). If we were to put together a "dry brushing starter pack" we'd go with the above: a long handled horse hair bath brush for all those hard to reach places, a hand-held horse hair bath brush for doing justice to your arms, legs, front, and chest, and a small, round facial brush (which is like one of those fancy sonic spinner brushes, sans plastic plus the power of the human hand).
Bristles should be firm but not so firm that brushing hurts! Post-brushing, skin will be rosy—like children's cheeks post snow romp—but should not red like a cartoon tea kettle. We often have people start out with horsehair or goat hair bristle brushes and then graduate to a firmer bristle brush when they become addicted accustomed to the vigor of brushing.
HOW TO DRY BRUSH
- Starting at your feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up your legs in long, smooth strokes, applying even pressure. Brush over each section 5-10 times, keeping this number the same over every area for symmetry.
- Repeat the process with your arms, starting on the palms of your hands and brushing up each arm.
- Brush the stomach and armpits in a circular, clockwise motion.
- Brush your back and bottom, brush your chest and shoulders. Lavish love on yourself.
- Switch to a softer brush and brush your sweet face.
- Always brush towards the center of the body and upwards toward the chest area where the lymph system drains, and where your precious beating genius machine of a heart resides.
Experts recommend dry brushing in the morning to capitalize on the energizing qualities but, if you're an evening bather, it also makes a restorative pre-bedtime ritual. Some people use the brush alone and others like to integrate a favorite body oil into their brushing (we'd recommend an oil over a lotion to extend the life of your brush—our wooden brushes with their natural bristles can handle a little oil, in fact we recommend oiling them occasionally to nourish the fibers and hydrate the wood, but lotion can gum up the bristles). If you want to use oil on your brush, bathe before brushing, if you want to brush truly dry, bathe after brushing and apply oil or lotion to seal in moisture (did we mention that this all feels fantastic?!).
Can't talk now, gotta glow.