Dry skin brushing may benefit people who experience edema, pronounced water retention, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s website. The website suggests brushing the entire body, beginning at the feet, stroking in the direction of the heart.
Dry brushing may help with cellulite, advises Alexa Fleckenstein, M.D., in her book, “Own Your Health: Healthy to 100.”
Dry brushing the armpits with a washcloth opens blocked pores and helps glands to function after quitting antiperspirant products in favor of a safer product, advises the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Environmental Medicine website.
Advocates of detoxification methods often recommend dry skin brushing as a means to assist the body in removing toxins and assist the lymphatic and immune systems.
Claims for the health benefits of dry brushing may lack any scientific evidence. Consult with your doctor about health and medical concerns before attempting any form of self-treatment.
Loofahs, natural sponges with a textured surface, work well for dry brush massage. They come in a wide range of sizes.
Body brushes come in styles with a strap to hold it on your hand or a long handle. Some models convert — allowing you to slide the brush head off the handle to use as a hand brush.
A regular or textured dry washcloth will work for dry brush massage. This may be the safest method for someone with sensitive or fragile skin.
Begin your dry skin brushing at your feet and legs, one at a time, from the soles of your feet up the back of your legs and then from the tops of your feet up the fronts of your thighs. Brush your back and buttocks. Stroke the loofah or brush up each hand and brush toward your shoulder in small, circular strokes, as though polishing your skin. Brush your shoulders, chest and sides in a circular motion, working toward your heart.
Don’t use a loofah or dry brush in the sensitive eye area. Rubbing this skin can increase wrinkles or break capillaries, the small blood vessel in your face.
Dispose of a loofah if it develops a sour smell or mold.
A new loofah may feel stiff and rough. Squeeze and massage the loofah in warm water to help soften it, and then allow it to air dry. Wash your dry brush or loofah with soap and water weekly.
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences: Living Naturopatically
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Edema
- “Own Your Health: Healthy to 100″; Alexa Fleckenstein, M.D. and Roanne Weisman; 2006
- State University of New York at Buffalo: Environmental Medicine
- Bouquet of Life: The Dry Brushing Technique