We all want to look great and feel great, and many of us are willing to accept any skincare trend that comes our way. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve spent the whole of 2018 rolling jade over my face. In 2019 – my obsession was sheet masks. And now, the latest skincare trend we’re bombarded with seems to be dry brushing. But does it really work or is it just one of those fads we’ll quickly forget about? Here’s what you need to know to help you decide if dry brushing is worth a try.
What Is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is a practice that combines exfoliation and massage. It’s performed on dry skin, prior to bathing and with the use use of a special dry body brush. Even though it’s a fresh trend in skincare, dry brushing isn’t anything new. It has been around since ancient times and spanning different cultures – from ancient Greeks to ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Romans, Turks and Native Americans.
Throughout the centuries, different civilizations used dry brushing for different purposes. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, this method was used to stimulate blood flow. On the other hand, the ancient Greeks and Romans would use a strigil (an instrument with a curved blade) to remove dirt, sweat and oil before they bathed, believing that this helped to detoxify the body better.
How to Dry Brush?
To properly dry brush, you need to use a dry body brush that has natural bristles. The firm yet gentle natural bristles help remove dead skin with minimal effort, ensuring silky smooth skin. For more convenience, it’s recommended to get a brush with a removable handle and a hand strap. This way, you can use the handleless brush for easy to reach areas and attach the long handle so you can scrub hard to reach areas, like your back for instance.
When dry brushing, you need to gently but firmly brush your skin in long, circular strokes toward the heart, usually going over the same area of skin twice or thrice. When brushing your belly, you need to move the brush in a clockwise motion. Dry brushing involves these specific motions to help stimulate blood circulation and lymph flow. If you have areas on your skin with wounds, rashes or other sensitivities, it’s better to avoid them.
The best time to dry brush is before bathing and should be followed with an oil or a vitamin-rich moisturizer. It’s also been found to deliver a boost of energy when performed in the morning.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is one of the best physical exfoliators for the body. Opposed to exfoliating gels which are used on wet skin, when you exfoliate dry skin, the friction is increased. And the more friction, the more effective the exfoliation.
However, a natural bristle body brush is gentle enough as not to scrape or irritate the skin. As a result, exfoliating this way leaves the skin smoother. Plus, dry brushing has been found to enhance the skin’s radiance and light reflection, allowing the skin to appear brighter. And better light reflection can help diminish the appearance of cellulite. So, while scientific studies have found that there really is no clear evidence of the efficacy of cellulite reduction treatments, using this kind of trick can be a great way to make cellulite less noticeable.
2. Toning & Tightening
The massaging motion of dry brushing helps to redistribute fatty deposits. And in combination with resistance exercise, this contributes toning up the muscles and tissues below the skin’s surface. With regular application, dry brushing can help you achieve tighter and more toned up muscles.
3. Increased Circulation and Lymph Flow
Many of the blood vessels and lymphatic nodes and glands are located just below the skin’s surface. The regular dry brushing helps to stimulate these components that help keep different body parts fed with oxygen and eliminate toxins. As a result, dry brushing can help improve various body functions from cardiovascular health to immune function.
4. Reducing Breakouts
Because the dead skin comes off, it won’t be clogging up pores. As a result, toxins can be excreted better from the pores, instead of being blocked inside and causing pimples. Additionally, dry brushing distributes the skin’s natural oils evenly, from oilier parts to drier areas, preventing oilier areas from breaking out.
5. Invigorating Feel
Dry brushing increases the blood flow and stimulates the nervous system. As a result, the increased blood flow to tissues and activated nervous system help to make you feel invigorated. For that reason, it’s better to dry brush your body in the morning when you need a boost of energy the most, instead of in the evening when you might have trouble falling asleep.