To make lymphatic dry brushing a part of your pre-shower ritual, follow these tips for a soothing, invigorating dry-brush massage. You may wish to stand in the shower as you dry brush so that you can easily wash any dead skin cells down the drain.
What tools to use for dry brushing at home
It’s helpful to have a few different tools on hand for lymphatic dry brushing different areas on your body. Whereas some areas have more resilient skin, others require a gentler touch and therefore a different kind of dry brush.
Inotka’s Vegan Dry Brush Set for Lymphatic Drainage comes with everything you need for a complete dry-brushing experience from head to toe — or actually, toe to head! We recommend working from the bottom up, starting with your feet and working your way up to the face. If you're new to dry brushing, start out with very light strokes until your body adjusts to this new sensation.
Dry brushing your body
Attach your desired brush head to the handle included in your Inotka Dry Brush Set. Select the firm brush to focus on your legs, thighs, upper arms, and other areas with firmer skin.
With your skin still dry, work from the feet up, followed by the legs, torso, arms, and back. Use long, sweeping strokes in the direction of your heart, brushing gently but firmly, especially over any areas where you tend to store fat, such as the thighs and buttocks.
After that, attach the soft brush to target more sensitive areas, such as the backside, chest, abdomen, and forearms. You can also simply hold the soft brush in your hand, using the strap to hold it in place as you dry brush. Use circular strokes on the joints, including your shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, hips, and ankles.
How to dry brush your face
Use the face brush included in your Inotka Dry Brush Set to gently massage and exfoliate the face and neck in circular, upward and outward motions. Facial lymphatic drainage massage is ideal for reducing puffiness around the eyes and making your face look less tired. Dry brushing also removes dead skin cells from your pores, preventing breakouts and making your skin look bright and refreshed.
When you're ready to begin, the first step is to wash your face and dry it thoroughly. Don't apply any moisturizer or other products yet. Starting at the bridge of your nose, move the brush from your nose to your hairline. Repeat this process on the opposite side of your face. Next, brush your cheekbones. Apply gentle pressure while making short strokes toward your chin.
After dry brushing, face skin should be rinsed thoroughly with warm water. This washes away any remaining skin cells, preventing them from clogging your pores and causing acne breakouts.
Rinse and wash in the shower or bath, and pat your skin dry. Now you’re ready to nourish your skin! We recommend creating a moisturizing ritual using Bakuchiol Serum for the face and neck, massaged in gently in upward motions; Bakuchiol Probiotic Eye Serum for the delicate area around your eyes; and the Bakuchiol Neck Cream for visible tightening and firming of the oft-neglected neck and décolletage.
Using the Gua Sha Tool
If you decide to use a gua sha tool, the process is a little different. The first step is to wash your face and then apply a moisturizer or serum. With traditional dry brushing, you start out with a dry face, just as the name of the technique implies. Because gua sha involves scraping the face, you need a little moisture to lubricate the tool and ensure it glides over your skin.
Once you moisturize your skin, start moving the gua sha tool across your skin. Be careful not to press too hard, as too much pressure can damage delicate skin cells. While performing gua sha, keep the flat edge of the tool against your face. Instead of using long strokes, use short ones. You can move from your chin to your jawbone, your mouth to the outside of your ear and under your eyes up to your hairline.
Gua sha stimulates lymphatic drainage, so the final step is to move the tool from your neck toward your collarbone. Repeat this movement three times on each side of the neck. Gliding the gua sha tool downward helps move lymphatic fluid toward your lymph nodes, making it easier for your lymphatic system to remove fluid from the cells and deposit it in the bloodstream for recirculation.
Dry Brushing for Ayurvedic Benefits
There are ways in which dry brushing can benefit the subtle body as well — that is, the energies that cannot be seen in the same way you see yourself in the mirror. In Ayurveda, there are thought to be doshas, which are essentially certain temperaments and tendencies that are individual to each person. This is based on the concept of gunas, or the three fundamental qualities of nature: sattva, rajas, and tamas.
Sattva refers to qualities like goodness, calmness, and purity; rajas refers to passion, activity, and movement; and tamas refers to darkness, inertia, and ignorance. People with an excess of sattva tend to be more calm and relaxed than others; those with an excess of rajas tend to be more energetic and enthusiastic; and those with an excess of tamas tend to be less active than others. Each person has a certain proportion of these qualities in their personality — and each combination creates a different dosha: kapha, pitta, and/or vata. These doshas are also associated with certain times of year when certain energies may be reflected in the seasons.
That might be a lot of information to remember when you’re performing your dry brushing routine, so don’t get too caught up in the details — unless, of course, that’s your jam! The important thing to remember is that dry brushing can be especially beneficial during the kapha time of year, which occurs from late winter into spring, when the lymph system may be more stagnant than usual. So whether your energies lean toward kapha or it happens to be the winter months, dry brushing can help to move along any accumulated waste.
Also, people with mainly a kapha constitution may benefit from daily dry brushing every day all throughout the year, given that dry brushing is a stimulating activity. Those with more predominantly pitta energy might opt for dry brushing four or five times a week. And those with primarily vata energy might choose to do dry brushing two to four times a week. You may wish to experiment with different schedules to see how you feel with fewer or more dry brushing sessions to find what works best for you.
If you’re curious about your own dosha, take the dosha quiz and become informed about your own subtle energies!
Dry Brushing at Home Versus By a Professional
Most people find they are able to incorporate dry brushing at home using simple tools like those included in this article. This makes it a convenient and cost-effective self-care method that you can easily practice daily or whenever you feel is best for your body. Plus, you can complete a dry brushing ritual within minutes, saving you the time of driving to an appointment and having it done by a professional.
At times, however, you may wish to seek out a professional spa treatment if you are looking for more of a contouring effect. Your provider may be able to use deeper strokes and reach parts of your body, such as your back, that are difficult to reach on your own. It can also be quite relaxing to have someone perform lymphatic drainage and massage, promoting myofascial release of connective tissues and encouraging a greater range of motion for your body. Also, you can always bring along your own Dry Brush Set if you would prefer your provider use your personal tools.
Keep in mind that professional treatment will come with a much higher price tag and might not be something you can realistically have done on a regular basis. With at-home dry brushing, you can incorporate it into your self-care regimen, making it a soothing activity that you look forward to each day or every few days. Paired with a relaxing bath, a few candles, soft music, and luxurious moisturizers, dry brushing at home can give you a spa-like experience without the added expense or time commitment.
In essence, it comes down to recognizing that all of our bodily processes are interconnected, and dry brushing can have a synergistic effect on improving many different aspects of our health.
For example, the relaxing effect of dry brushing on your nervous system allows you to let go of any stress or anxiety you may be carrying around with you each day. When we're stressed out, our bodies produce more cortisol than usual — and this hormone slows down digestion, weakens immunity, and causes us to retain water weight (among other things).
The simple act of dry brushing helps dissipate this excess cortisol so that we feel happier and healthier overall. And that’s just one example of the incredible effects of dry brushing!
If you’re ready to get started with dry brushing, you can’t go wrong with Inotka’s Dry Brush Set and complementary products that moisturize your skin and give it a healthy glow. The more you incorporate dry brushing, the more you might start to notice the compounding benefits both externally and internally. In time, you may feel healthier than ever — and all because of a few firm-bristled brushes. It doesn’t get much better than that!