If you scan the menu at pretty much any spa, you’ll find services that mention dry brushing. If you think about it, the practice of scrubbing away your dry skin with a scratchy brush sounds anything but pampering. But spa pros and enthusiasts alike can’t stop singing its praises for the effect it has on our skin.
Not only can this practice give your skin a good detox and leave you with a glowing complexion, but it can also drain out your lymphatic system, which is super sluggish for most of us.
Sounds too good to be true? Here’s the scoop on dry brushing, its benefits, and the right technique to follow.
What Is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is pretty much exactly what the name suggests – brushing your skin with a dry brush before showering. Keep in mind though, you can’t just pick up a brush and start scrubbing mindlessly. You have to typically brush your skin by starting at your feet and hands, and then towards the chest.
The better the brush and the more accurate the technique, the more visible are the benefits of dry brushing.
Benefits Of Dry Brushing
1. Lymphatic Support And Skin Detox
The lymphatic system plays a huge role in maintaining your body’s immune health. Many of the vessels that transport lymph run just below the layers of your skin and this occurs at a fairly slow rate.
The extra pressure applied on your skin through dry brushing and the direction helps speed up the process of moving the lymph fluid into the lymph nodes. Not only does this help eliminate waste faster but also boosts circulation. This way, your skin and other organs receive more oxygen-rich blood which helps them function much better.
Running a firm, natural bristled brush in gentle strokes on your skin helps unbind and remove dead and dry skin cells, thus naturally exfoliating your skin. If you dry brush regularly, you will soon notice smoother, softer skin that’s oh-so-touchable!
3. Clean Pores
This is an added benefit that comes hand in hand with exfoliation. Dry brushing will help clear out your pores and get rid of all the dirt, oil, and grime that collects in them over time. This will help your facial skin feel much softer and your pores a lot less noticeable as well.
4. Cellulite Help
While this evidence is anecdotal and more research is needed to confirm this fact, many people claim that regular dry brushing greatly helped them combat their cellulite. While we’re still waiting on more concrete evidence to back this claim, there doesn’t seem any harm in trying it anyway since there are no side effects to dry brushing – only softer, glowing skin!
5. Natural Energy Boost
Dry brushing requires a certain amount of effort. Repeatedly running a brush across your skin using firm, controlled strokes is bound to be a great pick-me-up because it gives your overall blood circulation a powerful boost. And we all know how that directly translates to more energy.
For this reason, it is usually recommended that people brush their skin in the mornings, instead of doing it during an evening bath. This way, you’ll feel fresh and rejuvenated to tackle your busy day!
Choosing The Right Brush For Dry Brushing
Always choose a firm brush with natural bristles and a handle of decent length. This will allow you to get to the areas of your body that are harder to reach such as your back and behind your legs.
Also, note that different parts of your body will need a different pressure. For instance, you can afford to go a little tough on your back when brushing, but you will have to go much gentler on your face for the skin will be much more sensitive. Besides, it will take a while for your skin to get used to the rough texture of your bristles, so you may need a gentler brush. However, as you proceed, you can use a firmer pressure, and therefore, a firmer brush. For this reason, try to opt for a set of dry brushes that come in varying ranges of firmness.
The Right Technique To Follow When Dry Brushing
Start your dry brushing routine with a gentle brush and a fairly soft pressure. You can gradually shift to a firmer brush and use more pressure over time when your skin gets used to the bristles.
As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the center of the body, where your lymph system drains out all the waste.
- Start with your feet. Brush the bottom of both your feet and work your way up your legs using long, continuous strokes. It is recommended to brush each part of your skin about 8 to 10 times.
- Repeat this process with your arms. Start with the palms of your hands and brush up your arms, once again, towards your heart or your chest.
- When you get to your stomach and armpits, brush your skin using circular clockwise movements. Repeat this process on your abdomen, your back, and your face as well.
Things To Avoid Doing When Dry Brushing
- Never brush your skin too hard. This may damage the delicate upper layers of your skin and you may even end up grazing yourself. Always use gentle, but firm strokes when brushing. Your skin should be slightly pink after you’re done, but if it turns red or starts stinging, you’re not doing it right. Reduce the pressure right away if you feel any pain.
- Apply a moisturizing lotion or some aloe vera gel after you’re done showering to help soothe your freshly scrubbed skin.
- Replace your brush every 6 to 12 months, because those bristles will eventually wear out.
- Do not dry brush every day. Over exfoliation will only damage your skin. Instead, do it once in two weeks to remove and avoid any buildup of dead skin cells.