Dry Brushing: Why Do It, When Do It and How To Do It?
Dry brushing is a bit like brushing your teeth: you need to do it daily in order to keep your body healthy. If you can make it a regular habit, you can expect remarkable results, including improved circulation and smoother skin to name a few. However, there is a right way to dry brush skin. Certain techniques and the right kind of bristles are key in mastering skin brushing.
This guide should help you get started with body brushing and point you in the right direction so you can get the most benefits from this ancient ritual.
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is the process of massaging your body with a natural-bristle brush using upward strokes and a small amount of pressure to eliminate toxins and boost blood flow. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr swear by it.
Make it part of your morning routine and you'll definitely reap the benefits of dry brushing. In fact, results are said to be immediate, although it's important that you dry brush skin daily to truly experience its positive results.
Scrubbing the skin with micro-beads is no longer allowed, owing to the ban on this environmentally-damaging material. And if you have sensitive skin, conventional body scrubs can just cause irritation. Dry brushing is a much gentler approach to skin exfoliation and yet, it works much better in detoxing your body and softening your skin. The strangest thing? It's one of the most underrated beauty treatments out there today! Only a couple of minutes per day is required and that alone can produce some incredible effects on the body. If kept up, these results are known to be lasting.
Why do it?
Just two minutes of dry skin brushing a day is all it takes to promote lymphatic flow, lessen fluid retention and discourage cellulite. On top of all that, it's a great exfoliator, which will leave you with silky, smooth skin.
Take a look at these benefits of dry brushing.
Boost your immune system
Dry skin brushing is an excellent detox practice that stimulates the lymphatic system and aids lymphatic drainage, helping to remove pathogens from the blood and strengthen your immune system.
Skyrocket your energy levels
This zealous brushing action also promotes blood flow and circulation, which will give you a great energy boost. For that reason, many people dry brush in the mornings, so they can feel energized from their dry brushing session.
Sweep away cellulite
Precisely because it does stimulate blood flow, this results in a plumping effect on the skin which reduces the appearance of cellulite. While it won't completely remove orange-peel skin, it will even out fat deposits underneath the skin which, in time, with regular dry brush sessions, give you firmer, smoother limbs. Even very gentle strokes can help bring oxygenated blood to the skin's surface, boosting elasticity. It's a superb ritual to add to your skincare regimen.
Do you experience regular swelling of the feet or freezing cold hands? The explanation could be poor circulation. Dry skin brushing can reduce these symptoms over time.
Smooth out skin
Through exfoliation, brushing helps remove dead skin cells, improving the appearance and texture of your skin. It also makes topical treatments more effective. So if you're using a body scrub or moisturizer straight after, your skin will absorb it better. It's also excellent to do before applying sunscreen so it can function optimally when your skin is exposed to UV rays, which can be extremely harmful to the skin.
When do it?
Skin brushing is best done in the morning right before hopping into the shower. It only takes a few minutes and is best performed on a dry body. You can brush wet or dry skin, but experts say dry brushing is more effective. You can of course also dry brush in the evening before you go to bed, which is highly detoxifying for the body before sleeping. However, if you're looking to reap its invigorating effects, it's probably a wise idea to do it in the morning.
How to do it?
Dry brushing is generally very simple and fast. There are, however, a few steps you can take to simplify the process and make it more effective, such as using the right brushing techniques and doing it at the optimum time of day.
1. Get the right brush
Choose a body brush with a long handle to target hard to reach areas and soft but firm bristles to stimulate the skin without damaging it. You'll want to choose a natural-bristle brush that's not too cheap. Remember, this is your skin and your skin is delicate. For that reason, it's best to avoid too cheap brands or hard bristles which may cause irritation. If you have particularly sensitive skin, opt for softer bristles that are less harsh on your skin.
2. Get prepared
It's best to be completely naked to get the most benefits from skin brushing and do it prior to showering so you can wash away any dead skin cells. Because the regimen is so invigorating, it's a good idea to make it part of your morning routine to help you feel energized for the day ahead.
3. Start from bottom to top
Before starting the process, you should make sure you're adopting the right dry brushing techniques, which are actually quite simple to master. Starting at your feet, use gentle strokes up your body towards your heart to push up lymph fluid and cleanse the body. When you get to your stomach, use circular motions. From there, move to your hands and go across towards the heart, not forgetting your underarms - the home of many lymph nodes. Once you get to your neck, brush downward toward the heart. Brush strokes should always be towards your heart. You can also apply a body oil to the brush if you're struggling to master the strokes. This will make it easier to move around the limbs, but won't slough away old skin cells as efficiently as brushing without oil.
4. Shower and moisturize
Now you can wash away those dead skin cells that came loose during your brushing session. Don't forget to use lotion straight after your shower to lock in the moisture. It's best to apply lotion to damp skin so it absorbs better.
5. Do it again tomorrow
... and the next day and the day after that. No, but seriously, you really need to stick to it if you want to see long term results. While the benefits of dry brushing are pretty much instant, you will need to stick to it if you want to see a big difference. If you dry brush skin regularly, you will definitely notice an increase in your energy levels and a gradual lessening of your cellulite. Not only that, dry skin brushing offers you a moment of self-care. That in itself will certainly make you feel better.
If you suffer from any current skin conditions, make sure you check with your dermatologist before starting the procedure to ensure you don't cause any further irritation to the skin. Generally, it is a skin-friendly ritual provided that you use high quality, gentle bristles. Nonetheless, it is still worth running it past your dermatologist beforehand if you do have existing skin issues.