How to body brush and why you should be doing it

Sisters Claire and Bec Jakstas are the founders behind Stass & Co, the plastic-free beauty brand committed to creating reusable products and to doing their part to heal the planet.

Both sisters are big on daily rituals, self-care and connection and their first product out of the traps is the all-natural, vegan-friendly, plastic-free and luxurious Stass & Co The Body Brush, €31, which looks like it should be hanging virtuously in a Nordic spa or sauna.

So why a body brush? According to co-founder Bec Jakstas, "dry body brushing is an ancient beauty technique that promotes healthy, glowing skin." Body brushing is known for its benefits, such as stimulating the normal lymph flow - more on that below - and increases blood circulation within the body. While being vaguely aware that body brushing was full of benefits that I wasn't really certain of, the reason I enjoyed doing it anyway - aside for the soft skin - was that it not only feels really good, but it wakes your body up, invigorating every nerve ending while giving you a moment to check in with yourself. And in Bec Jakstas' words, "dry body brushing provides a daily opportunity for self-care, healing and meditation and results in spending a few moments every day to ground your intention back into your body, dramatically increasing your mind-body connection."

Body brushing is also often credited with effective reduction of cellulite. In the BBC's documentary from earlier this year, The Truth About Looking Good, they partnered with the University of Sunderland to test the efficacy of three cellulite treatments - a daily toning exercise, caffeine cream and body brushing. After five weeks, body brushing provided the most effective improvement, with those who did it daily seeing an improvement of 26% and one woman seeing an improvement of 35%.

Convinced yet that you need body brushing in your life? Here, Stass & Co co-founder Bec Jakstas breaks down the benefits of body brushing and how to do it.

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What are the benefits of body brushing?

Dry body brushing has so many incredible benefits; it will stimulate lymphatic drainage, increase bloody circulation, help to reduce cellulite, improve digestion, increase energy and firm the skin.

"Stimulates the lymphatic system" is the phrase you always hear when it comes to body brushing - could you break down for me what that means?

The lymphatic system is responsible for carrying toxins out of the body, and it requires regular stimulation in order to keep things moving freely. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and the practice of dry body brushing a few minutes every day, is a very effective and loving way to move your own lymph. It will increase blood flow and circulation, which will help your body and lymphatic system clear away toxins.

Should I body brush in the mornings or evenings?

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Both! In the morning, dry body brushing energises you, especially if you haven’t had a chance to exercise. This practice can really invigorate you. In the evenings, you can use slow mindful strokes to connect with your body and yourself before a bath with essential oils.

Do I use it in the shower or before I get in?

To receive the best results, always before a shower or bath. The Body Brush is used on dry skin only.

How do I do it?

Begin brushing by starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart as this moves with the flow o the  lymphatic system. Use firm, small strokes upwards, several times in each area. Begin sweeping your feet, starting with the soles of your feet as this area has many little nerve endings that need to be stimulated. Continue brushing up your legs and groin area and proceed to your hands moving up your arms. Move to your armpits as there are many lymph nodes here and it will get any toxins and stagnant energy moving. From your neck, stroke down towards your heart. Use circular clockwise strokes on your abdomen - this follows the path of your colon and helps stimulate elimination. Brush upwards from your buttocks, lower back and down from your neck.

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How long should I spend dry brushing?

I spend around three to five minutes. This practice allows you to connect back with yourself and your body. It is the perfect daily ritual for self-care.

How often do I need to do it?

Daily for the best results. You will notice a difference in your skin tone and your energy within a week.

Does it really reduce cellulite?

Cellulite can be frustrating for individuals who attempt to remove it. Waking up the lymphatic system by dry body brushing will help reduce excess fluid, bacteria, and cell waste which results in smoother, brighter skin. Used regularly, dry body brushing can be used as a natural cellulite treatment. This along with a healthy, well-balanced diet and moving your body daily through exercise and yoga is an ideal match to reduce cellulite.

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Stass & Co The Body Brush, €31 offers free shipping to Ireland and Australia.

For more beauty features, check out the June issue of IMAGE Magazine, on shelves nationwide now.

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