13 03 dry skin brushing exfoliate anti agingFor beautiful, healthy skin, try an unconventional exfoliating trick.

Many toxins leave our skin when we sweat, but piling on makeup and exposing our skin to pollutants on a daily basis causes clogs pores and traps toxins. Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Joy McCarthy says dry skin brushing is fun ad invigorating, and also the best way to help your skin release toxins and get glowing again.

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

“The pores get clogged when you don’t regularly slough off dead skin cells, so when you sweat, if they’re clogged with dead skin cells this will make it more difficult for waste products to be eliminated,” says McCarthy. Skin brushing is an effective way to remove dead skin cells and smooth rough patches. It also helps to remove dirt and oil from clogged pores and like many other exfoliation techniques, results in healthier looking skin.

Dry skin brushing can also boost your immune system health by stimulating the lymphatic system. As our body’s largest organ, skin is responsible for 25 per cent of the body’s detoxification. “The lymph system is a network of vessels that are constantly exchanging nutrients with the blood and picking up waste products for elimination,” says McCarthy. If the lymph system isn’t flowing effectively, the immune system is hindered from killing invading foreign particles. “Unlike the heart for the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to induce the flow of lymph fluid. The flow of lymph is fairly slow, driven by the slight contraction of muscles around the skeleton,” says McCarthy. Dry skin brushing helps to stimulate the flow of lymph fluid manually and enhance lymphatic drainage.

How to Dry Skin Brush Properly

Dry skin brushing should be done three to four times per week before showering. McCarthy recommends using a natural fibre brush with a wood or bamboo handle. “The bristles should be comfortably uncomfortable,” says McCarthy, meaning stimulating on the skin, but not too hard that they scratch the skin. Apply just enough pressure that it feels stimulating, but not enough that it hurts or scratches the skin. “Your skin should feel a little tingly, but it shouldn’t be scratched or sensitive after you’ve had a shower,” says McCarthy.

Start with the bottom of your feet, and work up your body, moving the brush in a circular motion towards your heart. “Make sure you spend more time where you have lymph nodes such as the back of your knees, inside the elbows and your armpits,” says McCarthy. Don’t dry brush your face unless you have a special brush that has much softer bristles because the skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than on the rest of the body.