Every once in a while I come across a practice so obviously valuable it seems crazy that I could have gone so long without learning about and incorporating it.
Intermittent fasting was a good example of this, as were barefoot/minimal shoes. Both of these changed my body and brain so profoundly for the better it was almost frustrating that I didn’t learn of them earlier.
In the past few months I’ve found a new body-optimization revelation that I’m excited to share with you.
What Is Dry Skin Brushing?
Fundamentally, dry skin brushing is an extremely simple practice. Take a brush like the one pictured below and brush your skin with it for about 5 minutes a day. That’s it.
Of course there’s some technique and strategy in it (we’ll cover in a bit) - but not that much, honestly.
Why Dry Skin Brushing?
For such a simple practice, the benefits are pretty profound.
- Remove Dead Skin Cells - An essential for truly healthy skin. Your skin is a dynamic organ, constantly adapting to it’s environment. Dead skin cells block pores and impair your skin’s ability to breathe and react to the environment.
- Stimulate Bloodflow + Lymphatic Fluid - From a health-optimization perspective, this is THE reason to start this practice. Dry brushing stimulates blood and lymph to move through the layers of the skin, facilitating the removal of toxins from the skin.
Remove Toxins From The Skin - Every day, UV radiation (from the sun) hits our skin and damages fats and proteins in the skin, creating oxidative toxins as a byproduct.
These oxidative toxins are the #1 driver of skin aging and potentially, skin cancer. Oxidative toxins are created in everyone’s skin every single day (more so with prolonged sun exposure, of course), and removing these toxins on a daily basis is essential. There’s no easier way to remove these toxins than dry skin brushing.
- Your Skin Will Look Awesome - While the somewhat abstract ideas about the health of my skin and body are the reasons I initially became interested in dry skin brushing, I’ll freely admit that vanity is a big part of what keeps me doing the practice each day. The exfoliation, stimulation of blood flow, and clearing of toxins will make your skin glow after only a few days of regular brushing.
Dry Brushing Techniques
- Get A Good Brush - Getting a quality brush that has bristles of the right stiffness is critical. I’ve tried a few, and this one is my favorite.
- Long Strokes, Towards Your Heart - Starting with your hands and feet, brush your skin in long stokes towards your heart. Brushing in the direction of your heart will maximize the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid through the skin. You don’t need to go crazy with the intesity, but perfect brush pressure should skirt that line between feeling great and being mildly uncomfortable.
- Shower and/or Towel Off - After brushing you’ll have removed a lot of dead skin cells, and it’s good to make sure they’re actually off your skin altogether and not just moved around. Taking a shower post-brushing does this best, but I often just wipe my skin with a bath towel after brushing to accomplish the same thing.
- Apply Coconut Oil - After brushing and toweling off, apply a light coat of coconut oil to your entire body. Nothing moisturizes skin better, with less clogging of pores, in my opinion.
TV Time, Made Productive
This whole brushing/toweling/moisturizing regimen can be done in less than 10 minutes if you focus, but I’ve found my favorite time to do it is while I’m otherwise just passively watching something on Netflix/Youtube/whatever.
This turns an otherwise non-productive part of my day into a time in which I’m doing something that actually benefits my body and brain. That's the essence of "Being Synchro".
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