Do you want soft, firm and glowing skin? Of course, you do! What if I told you can get it in only a few minutes a day without spending hundreds of dollars on pricey spa treatments? If it sounds too good to be true, let me explain. You can enjoy glowing and beautiful skin by brushing it 2-3 days per week.
Just like brushing your hair or teeth is necessary to maintain a healthy smile and pretty hair, dry brushing your skin will keep it healthy. It will open your pores, detoxify, exfoliate, and improve your skin’s appearance.
I first heard of dry brushing about 5 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Today I want to share with you some of the benefits of dry brushing. And we’ll bust some of the myths about it as well.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like, brushing your skin with a dry brush.
Dry brushing has recently gained more popularity in the media as the beauty secret of many celebrities, but it’s actually a technique that has been used for centuries. Cultures such as the Scandinavians, Turks, and Russians have all used it to eliminate impurities and toxins and maintain healthy skin.
The technique is incredibly simple. You use a natural bristled dry brush and brush your whole body gently in large strokes towards the heart.
In essence, dry brushing is a combination of exfoliation and massage. This involves taking a dry brush and moving it over your body in slow, circular motions two to three times a week. The firm bristles of the brush give your skin a thorough exfoliation while the pressure helps to stimulate your circulation and lymphatic drainage. This in turn is supposed to help the body eliminate toxins.
As is the case with many supposed cure-alls, a lot of claims have been made about dry brushing that are at best unstudied and at worst flat-out untrue. Such as the claims that it will reduce the appearance of cellulite. While you may experience a temporary effect, I haven’t really experienced any long lasting cellulite reduction.
There is some basis for some of the claims—when it comes to softer, more even skin, exfoliation is your friend. And a boost in circulation from the brushing can definitely leave skin more plumped and radiant in the short term.
If you’re still wondering how something so simple could give you better results than more complicated products, let’s take a look at the benefits of dry brushing.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
- Improves Circulation – The gentle strokes of your brush stimulate the blood vessels under your skin, which improves blood flow towards different areas of your body. This is extremely beneficial if you spend many hours at your desk. The long strokes of the brush directed toward the heart promote better circulation.
- Gives You More Energy – The circulation-boosting effects of dry brushing will make you feel alert and more energetic. The feeling of the bristles against your skin will also feel invigorating and energizing. In fact, the brushing may feel a bit tingly the first time you do it, but your skin will get used to it the more you do it. This is a good reason to do it in the morning so you can start your day fully awake and vibrant.
- Exfoliates the skin – The bristles will gently remove dead cells, dirt, and other impurities stuck in your pores, leaving you with renewed, silky skin. Dead cells and dirt can make your skin feel dull, tired, and rough. Dry brushing will bring back the glow and smoothness to your skin.
- Aids in Detoxification – Dry brushing improves your body’s detoxification process by supporting your lymphatic system. Dry brushing stimulates the contraction of the lymphatic vessels underneath the skin to move lymph quicker toward your bloodstream. This helps your body get rid of toxins faster and more effectively.
- Clears Build-Up from the Pores – Dry brushing gets rid of excess oil and sebum in your pores. This helps to prevent acne, blackheads, and ingrown hairs. Clearing your pores also allows your skin to breathe properly. It’s recommended to use a softer brush on your face, different than the one you use for the rest of your body because the skin on your face is more delicate.
Picking the Right Brush
When choosing a brush, it’s important to use only a natural bristle brush and skip the ones with synthetic bristles. They can be too harsh on your skin. I recommend getting a vegetable fiber bristle brush such as the one shown above. This one has a strap for your hand or the one I personally use has a little bit longer handle like this:
Or you could get a full set like this one, which even includes a facial brush.
How to Dry Brush
The best time to dry brush is before your shower or bath. Remember, you want to be DRY.
Step 1: Begin to brush your feet in long overlapping strokes towards the heart, about 10 times over each skin section. Avoid a circular or back and forth motion. You want to brush in a way that moves the lymph upwards toward your chest.
Step 2: Brush your legs in the same motion, long strokes upwards.
Step 3: Brush the palms of your hands and arms in the same motion.
Step 4: If you have sensitive skin in your abdomen and back, switch to a soft bristle brush. Brush your abdomen and chest in the same motion, long strokes towards the heart.
Step 5: Brush your back in the same motion.
Step 6: Switch to a soft-bristle face brush if you haven’t already. Repeat the same motion over your face and neck.
Step 7: Shower normally and moisturize your whole body afterward.
Try dry brushing for a month to see the incredible results on your skin.
A few more brushing tips:
- Always brush in long strokes, never back and forth.
- Always brush towards the heart. This way you’re helping your lymphatic vessels move the lymph towards the drainage area.
- Brush about 10 times over each skin section.
- Use a softer brush for your chest, abdomen, and back if you need it.
- Always use a soft brush over your face and neck.
- Your skin might look slightly pink afterward because of the exfoliation, but it should never be red.
- Use your brush gently. You want soft strokes over your skin, don’t over brush.
- Don’t wet your brush or your body.
Dry brushing seems to have a multitude of wellness benefits. I personally just enjoy how it feels and can definitely tell my skin looks healthier when I’m consistently doing it.
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