A few years ago, my aunt gave me a body moisturiser set as a present, which included a body brush. I of course didn't touch it for months, until one day when I noticed a dry patch on my forearm near my elbow. I then started to scatch at it with my fingers before remembering the forgotten body brush shoved to the back of my bathroom cabinet. Since that day, I have been using a body brush almost daily!
What is a body brush?
A body brush, on first glance, looks like a typical floor scrubbing brush! It is literally a brush for your skin and is typically made from natural bristles (goat, boar or plant). The brushes are usually handheld although you can purchase ones with long handles to allow you to brush your back or other hard to reach areas.
Why body brush?
Body brushing is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of benefitting your skin. Our outter most skin is covered with a layer of cells which are 'damaged' by the weather and our daily activities and die. These dead cells remain on the surface of our skin until the newer cells below basically push them out of the way and replace them! These dead cells on the surface of our skin is what causes dullness and dryness.
Body brushing helps to speed up this natural process, exfoliating your skin to get rid of the dead cell, stimulating
circulation and your lymphatic system which helps to eliminate toxins. The elimination of toxins also helps to breakdown fatty desposits, responsible for cellulite. By body brushing, you're not only benefitting from an improved appearance of your skin but
also an improved level of your health - such as better blood circulation.
When and how to body brush?
I aim to dry body brush every day, in the morning before I shower. I start at my feet, making short upward sweeping movements (upward movments is important for encouraging blood circulation). I go all the way up my legs to my stomach. I personally find that I can be quite 'rough' on my legs, but have to be more gentle on my thighs and stomach as this area seems more sensitive. I carry on to do my arms, concentrating on my elbows. After I have finished brushing, I shower as normal and apply a good moisturiser.
For me, this is not painful at all, however I know that when you first start dry body brushing some people find it a little painful, especially if you have sensitive skin. In this case, you can use the brush in the shower, as water and soap will reduce the friction (this of course will also reduce the results you get). Remember, if you wet the brush you need to ensure it dried thoroughly after. If you start body brushing and really do not enjoy it, you can also use a firm loofah or scrubbing mitt in the shower.
For some people, body brushing daily can be too harsh on the skin. If you notice that your skin is actually becoming drier from body brushing, this means that you are losing too many skin cells daily and so you should reduce to only a couple of times a week.
I know this may sound quite laborious to do daily (i found it such a chore when i first started!), but it soons becomes like a second nature and will fit easily into your daily routine. You can buy body brushes almost everywhere now, from supermarkets (e.g. ASDA) to specialist stores such as the body shop.