Dry Skin Brushing

Some facts about our skin..

Our skin is much more than a wrapper - it is the body's largest organ! Some people refer to it as our third kidney. It is waterproof and also protects us from the heat and the cold by keeping our body temperatures constant. Our skin has two main parts. The outermost part is the epidermis. The epidermis consists of several layers of cells. These cells constantly divide and move from the inside to the surface where they flatten, die, transform into a material call keratin, and finally shed as tiny barely visible scales. It take 3-4 weeks for a cell in the lowest layer to reach the surface.

The second part to our skin is the dermis. The dermis is the underlying layer of the epidermis. It has tiny finger like bulges that fit into the epidermis sometimes creating bulges like the bulges in our fingertips giving us our fingerprints. The dermis is made up of sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerves. The dermis is held together with the protein collagen and elastin fibres. The nerves, sweat glands, and hair follicles in our dermis can penetrate the epidermis but the blood vessels are confined to the dermis. Boy that's a mouthful for two paragraphs!

Some facts about Dry Skin Brushing...

Our skin is partially responsible for the body's detoxification process each day. This makes our skin one of the most IMPORTANT organs for elimination! Removing the top layer of dead skin and stimulating the circulation of blood feeding the skin are essential for maintaining youthful, glowing and supple skin.

Skin Brushing has been used throughout the world for centuries, and is making its way back into popularity. Dry skin brushing is one of the best ways to cleanse the skin without removing the protective mantle of acid and oils. It gently and effectively removes the top layer of dead skin cells with its build-up of dirt, and deeply cleanses the pores.

Skin brushing is one of the most powerful ways to cleanse the lymphatic system. Waste material is carried away from the cells by the blood and the lymph. Skin brushing stimulates the release of this material from the cells near the surface of the body. Eventually, most of the toxins along with their carrier cells, primarily lymphocytes, find their way to the colon for elimination.

Skin brushing is also used by beauty salons as part of a program for removing cellulite. It is recommended in areas of cellulite to do the dry skin brushing with circular movements.

How to Suggestions for dry skin brushing..

There are different theories about the most effective method for brushing the skin. Here is a simple method that works well and that I use myself

The best time to skin brush is right before your shower or bath when your skin is dry. If you have poison ivy, skin rashes, infections or inflammatory problems such as psoriasis, do not brush that part of the skin. Begin with very gentle strokes and adapt the intensity of the brushing to match the sensitivity of your skin.

The basic principle is to brush from the outermost points of the body (hands and feet) towards the center (your heart).

Start by brushing your feet and up your legs with smooth gentle strokes. Brush your hands and up your arms. Brush across your upper back and down the front and back of the torso. Cover the entire surface of the skin except for the more tender skin of the face and breasts. A slight flush due to increased blood circulation is normal, and shows that your skin brushing is working. Be careful not to brush so hard that your skin turns bright red. The total process takes only two or three minutes. When you are finished, step into your bath or shower. You will feel an invigorating, tingling sensation over your entire body.

What type of brush should you use...

Skin brushing is most effective with an all-natural vegetable fiber brush, such as the Tampico Skin Brush. pictured below. Make sure the brush isn’t made of synthetic fiber since this can irritate the skin. A long handle is also helpful for reaching the back and entire body.

Written by Mara Gerke, CA, CNHP, All Rights Reserved.

References: Know your Body by Emmet B. Keefe, MD; James Jenks, HMD;
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies by C. Norman Shealy, MD.