The Benefits of Dry Brushing and How To Get Started

In the ever-evolving world of skin care, beauty trends are constantly emerging with new and improved ideas for healthier, more radiant skin.

Dry brushing, while not a new concept, has continued to gain popularity each year due to its numerous health benefits. This 3,000-year-old beauty ritual has its roots in Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine system. In this article, we’ll explore dry brushing, including its many health benefits, a step-by-step guide on how to get started, and tips for finding the perfect brush.

What is dry brushing?

“Dry brushing is a daily Ayurvedic practice that helps detoxify the body,” he explains. Rebecca Lansky, M.S., Licensed esthetician and Ayurvedic specialist. “It involves using a natural bristle brush on dry skin to massage and exfoliate the body, effectively removing dead skin before bathing.” Natural bristle brushes are typically made from boar or fiber bristles, which are firm enough to exfoliate and massage the body, but not rough enough to cause skin abrasions. “This is a great way to stimulate blood flow and exfoliate the skin,” adds Lansky.

Benefits of dry brushing

  1. Exfoliation and Cellular Renewal:

A cosmetic benefit of dry brushing is the rejuvenated glow it gives your skin. Over time, dead skin and other buildup can build up (even with a regular shower), leaving skin rough and dull. Dry brushing can naturally remove dead skin cells, promoting cell renewal and resulting in smooth, radiant skin.

2. Stimulates (and releases toxins through) the Lymphatic System:

The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system that includes organs, lymph nodes, lymphatic ducts, and lymphatic vessels, which produce and transport lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is crucial for maintaining healthy fluid levels, protecting the body against bacteria or viruses, and removing waste.

During the dry brushing process, the brushing motion stimulates and drains the lymphatic system, detoxifying the body. This can reduce toxin buildup and promote a healthier, more vibrant complexion. “Dry brushing is great for your entire body and especially your lymphatic system,” says Lansky. “By removing dead skin, pores open to detoxify and eliminate toxins more effectively. It is also an invigorating practice that helps relieve anxiety, create active blood flow and exercise the skin.”

4. Improved blood circulation:

When you dry brush your skin with firm but gentle circular motions, the brush’s natural bristles apply pressure, stimulating the skin’s nerve endings and triggering a nervous system response. This stimulation allows the blood vessels in the area to dilate, increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin. This also increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, contributing to a healthier, smoother appearance.

*It is important to note that while dry brushing does not directly lead to a reduction in cellulite (due to lack of evidence), the increased blood circulation due to dry brushing may temporarily mimic the appearance of a cellulite reduction.

5. Prevents ingrown hairs:

Ingrown hairs are caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, oils, and clogged hairs in the pores. The natural exfoliation of the brush can help remove ingrown hairs and other buildup that may have built up in the follicles, while preventing new ingrown hairs from appearing. This technique is very beneficial for those people prone to having ingrown hairs both for shaving and waxing.

Are there any risks with dry brushing?

While dry brushing is naturally safe and has numerous benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks, especially for those with sensitive skin or certain medical conditions. Some risks include:

skin irritation-Brushing too vigorously, brushing too frequently, or using a brush with too firm bristles (such as synthetic or plastic ones) can cause irritation, redness, or even micro-tears in the skin.

Risk of infection-If the brush is not cleaned regularly with soap and water or is left outside where bacteria can accumulate, there is a risk of introducing bacteria into micro-tears in the skin, which could lead to infections. It is essential to avoid dry brushing on any part of the body where there are cuts, scrapes, burns/sunburns or any type of open wound or inflamed skin.

Aggravation of skin conditions-People with certain skin conditions may find that dry brushing exacerbates their symptoms. Some of these conditions include:

If you have any of these skin conditions or have “overly sensitive” skin, it is recommended that you first consult with a dermatologist to see if it is safe to use dry brushing on your skin.

Your step-by-step guide to dry brushing

If you’re looking to upgrade your pre-shower skincare routine, this guide will teach you how to properly (and safely) use a dry brush.

Step 1: Choose the right brush

Before starting the brushing process, you need to buy a brush that is comfortable for you and your skin. Natural bristle brushes with a strap or handle (for hard-to-reach areas) are the most useful.

Step 2: Choose the right time

The best time to dry your brush is usually before you shower, so you can remove all the dead skin cells afterwards. Whether that fits into your morning or evening routine is your choice.

Step 3: brushing technique

Starting with your feet, use firm but gentle movements and slowly work your way up. You can use stroking or circular motions, but always make sure to brush towards the heart so as not to block any natural flow of fluid (e.g. lymphatic drainage). Pay special attention and be gentle around areas where lymph nodes are located (e.g., armpits, groin, neck, chest, and stomach).

Stage 4: Shower

After your dry brushing session, take a shower, preferably with warm water, so as not to further irritate your skin. This will give you a chance to rinse away all the exfoliated skin cells and wash your body clean. In addition to cleaning your body after dry brushing, be sure to also wash the brush to remove any dead skin or dirt before your next use.

Step 5: Hydrate

After you shower, your cleansed, exfoliated skin needs to be rehydrated, so applying a nourishing moisturizer or even a light layer of body oil to lock in hydration can further enhance the benefits of dry brushing.

Step 6: Maintenance

Once you have a comfortable routine, you should maintain a consistent schedule for best results. Start by dry brushing two to three times a week for about five minutes per session. Pay close attention to any irritation or sensitivity you may have. If your skin has any sensitivity or reaction, stop dry brushing immediately. With consistency, you should start seeing results in two to four weeks (depending on how often you brush).

Tips for finding the best dry brush

Consider the following tips when selecting a dry brush:

  1. Don’t skimp on quality material

When it comes to material, quality is everything. It is essential to opt for a brush with natural bristles, such as boar or fiber, instead of synthetic or plastic bristles. The natural bristles provide gentle exfoliation of the skin, unlike the latter (which can cause irritation).

2. Invest in a brush with a strap or handle

Investing in a dry brush with a strap or long handle can be extremely beneficial for hard-to-reach areas like your back and lower legs. The extra length or strap provides greater reach, making it easier to maneuver, resulting in better exfoliation and blood flow.

3. Cleaning instructions

Always refer to the cleaning instructions provided with the brush. Regular cleaning is important to prevent bacteria buildup on the bristles, which could cause infection.

Here are some high-quality dry brushes we recommend, made with eco-friendly materials and natural bristles:

The Skinny Confidential Butter Brush

Lansky recommends using any natural bristle brush for the process, finding the product you are most comfortable with for your own use. He loves using The Skinny Confidential butter brush for its naturally soft boar bristles and long silicone handle for a comfortable grip (especially in hard-to-reach areas).

Buy now The Skinny Confidential, $79

De La Heart Face and Body Pack

De La Heart offers several different options and designs for all your dry brushing needs. If you are looking to exfoliate your face and body, the Face and body pack It is an optimal choice. The mini brush has a sustainably sourced wooden handle and uses cruelty-free goat hair bristles for a softer feel. The body brush, on the other hand, has a natural canvas strap and uses cruelty-free boar hair.

Buy now From The Heart, $56

Goop Ultimate Dry Brush

One dry brush that consumers can’t stop raving about is the Goop. Ultimate dry brush. Goop founder Gwenyth Paltrow is a big fan of adding dry brushing to her own skincare routine, so creating a high-quality dry brush for consumers was a no-brainer. The dry brush has a long curved FSC-certified wooden handle and uses natural and biodegradable sisal fibers, resulting in soft, luminous skin for its consumers.

Buy nowGoop, $25

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