So, on the DailyHIIT blog, I just happened to see this:
The skin plays a vital role in ridding the body of toxins and impurities. The body has five major routes of elimination: colon, kidneys, liver, lungs, and the skin. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination covering your whole body. Up to a third of all body impurities are excreted through the skin, which is sometimes referred to as the “third kidney”. Did you know 15% of body elimination occurs through the skin. More than 2 lb of waste products is released through your skin daily.
Dry skin brushing is one of the best techniques to open up the pores of the skin and to stimulate and detoxify the lymphatic system.
Ten Reasons why you should do “Dry Skin Brushing”
1) It stimulates all organs of detoxification (liver, kidney, colon, heart, and skin)
2) It removes cellulite by evening out the fat deposit distribution more evenly and softening the hard fat deposits [source]
You know what else “stimulates all organs of detoxification?” Exercise. And it does it for the same reasons people presume dry brushing might – any time blood flow is increased in a healthy fashion, it stimulates the flow of oxygen and other necessary nutrients throughout organs and keeps them healthy.
A sugar scrub is more successful at “stimulating all organs of detoxification” than dry brushing, and has the added benefit of exfoliation and moisturizing your skin.
As far as dry brushing actually helping with cellulite?
Unfortunately, there’s not much research to back up these health claims. “I know dry brushing is popular, but the actual benefits are unclear,” says Dr. Tina Alster, director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and a clinical professor at Georgetown University.
Alster says that rubbing the skin—with a brush, your hand or anything else—will increase blood flow and circulation, giving your skin a flushed, youthful and “slightly swollen” appearance. (The same thing happens if you pinch your cheeks.) But your skin will return to normal very quickly after you’ve stopped brushing it, Alster says. There’s no evidence this temporary surge in blood flow will help your body remove waste or toxins, she adds.
Dry brushing will clear away dead skin cells. But exfoliating isn’t necessary for those in their teens and twenties. “When you’re young, your skin’s outermost layer will automatically turn over without any mechanical help,” Alster explains. Beginning in your thirties and increasing as you age, Alster says your skin’s cells can grow “stickier,” which can lead to accumulation and a dull appearance. “Exfoliation can help remove those stuck-together cells,” she says. “But you want to do it very gently and infrequently, or you may do more harm than good.” [source]
The emboldened part is important – a temporary surge in blood flow can’t get the job done when it comes to removing “waste or toxins,” but exercise can. Unsurprisingly, exercise – more specifically, reducing your body fat percentage – is also the only reliable way to reduce cellulite, too.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no such thing as a healthy non-surgical re-distribution of fat. Fat cells are where they are, they will always go where they “belong,” and there is no non-surgical means of getting rid of them. There is only shrinking them through fat loss.
Is there an actual down side to dry brushing?
Brushing too frequently or vigorously—or using a brush with rough bristles—could cause “micro-cuts” in your skin that may lead to infection, Alster says. Exfoliating more than once a week could also break down your skin’s protective barriers, leaving your hide less hydrated and prone to irritation, says Dr. Marc Glashofer, a New York-based dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology. For that reason, Glashofer says people with eczema or dry skin should avoid dry brushing altogether. [source]
So, go to DailyHIIT for the great quick exercise routines…. but skip the dry brushing recommendation. There are too many healthy ways to take care of cellulite for us to be wishing, hoping, thinking, and praying for this one in particular to see us through. This one’s got a big ol’ false stamped across it.