Full disclaimer: I am by no means a wellness expert/blogger/coach/know-it-all, etc., but over the last decade, I have done my fair of share of trial and error and have finally started to figure out what works best for me. One thing that I’ve tried to incorporate into my life more intentionally this year is finding balance in my wellness journey, and since I’ve been backlogged on posts, I’ll be sharing a couple of things over the next few weeks that I’ve recently (or not-so-recently, since I’m the the most untimely blogger of all time) made room in my everyday life for. First up: dry brushing!
I sound crazy. Bare with me.
It’s 2017 and honestly, you just can’t get on Instagram without being inundated with pretty photos of smoothie bowls or yoga outfits or sunrise trail views. Yes, guilty of saving matcha recipes. Guilty of being convinced to rekindle my love for hot yoga based on what I saw online. Guilty of taking my own pretty food photos. But with that said, while it’s so easy to fall into the trap of the relatively new wellness trend, it’s actually much harder to maintain and make realistic in your everyday life when you’re a working woman. And that’s ok! One of the best things I’ve done for myself this year was attending a Nourish workshop in February, which was actually a birthday gift to myself of some sort, to become educated the proper way instead of being misled on the internet. It was here that I was officially introduced to the wonderful world of adaptogenic herbs, essential oils, and, you guessed it: dry brushing. I’d never heard of this term before this year, but now it’s basically a little spa treatment to myself every morning and I can’t imagine not doing it. In case I left some of my friends living under the same rock I was under for 29 years, here’s my story of adding dry brushing into my daily routine.
I really should use “routine” fairly loosely, because for the longest time, I didn’t have one. I didn’t wear any makeup (and still rarely do), I can’t even tell you what happens during a facial at the spa, I rarely wash my face before bed, etc. There was that one time when I started my new job, surrounded by fashionable women with perfect makeup, so I attempted to buy $40 tinted moisturizer and even tried a nightly moisturizer before bed, which resulted in horrible night terrors. A for effort, but I was done.
I received a dry brush as part of my workshop, but you can find them easily at your nearest wellness apothecary (my favorite, here), health foods store, or, amazon, of course. The best time to dry brush is in the morning, either completely dry before your shower (which is what I do), or after, if you plan to use a body oil afterwards. In gentle, upward strokes, I start at my feet and brush upwards towards my heart. There’s no hard rules about it, as you do what feels most comfortable, so I try to do this for about 3-5 minutes before hopping in the shower. Dry brushing wakes up your lymphatic system and helps your body to naturally exfoliate and detoxify. I’d say the most noticeable effect is that I get a natural boost of energy. It acts as an immediate wakeup call, and I’m no longer struggling to wake up or wishing I had a cup of coffee just to get moving in the morning. On the surface, I also suffered from a pretty strange/annoying rough and sensitive skin issue, and I’m no doctor, but it ironically stopped once I fell into a regular dry brushing routine. Science!
It certainly may not be for everyone (I’m looking at you, Michael), but it’s just been one of those things that I felt the pros certainly outweigh the cons, and it seemed like a no-brainer for me to incorporate it, and I’m so glad it helped me fall into a skincare routine that works for me. It’s 5 minutes (or less!) that are well-spent each day and actually does make a difference in whether I feel rushed in the morning or if I can just take a few minutes to start my day slowly. Try it!
Have you ever tried dry brushing?