The sensation of firm, dry, bristles gently gliding across your skin is an exfoliating delight. Skin dry brushing has been around for ages and is especially popular in Ayurveda techniques and medicine. There are so many benefits to this ancient practice that you’ll be running out the door to purchase the perfect dry brushing brush in no time.
What Exactly Is Dry Brushing for Skin?
It isn’t some fancy name; it is exactly what it sounds like. Dry brushing involves taking a firm, bristled brush and gliding it against dry skin all over your body. That’s right, your skin and the brush are completely dry. However, if this feels too abrasive, you can dab a drop or two of body oil onto your skin. Dry brushing can be done daily or weekly. Sometimes, it is offered as part of a wellness treatment at spas.
It sounds so… simple, right? How could this practice boost so many positive benefits? Let’s take a closer look.
Benefits of Skin Dry Brushing
Your skin requires exfoliation. Our skin cells are constantly regenerating. As they do this, skin cells reach our skin’s surfaces, but they are flat and scaly. This is completely normal, as fresh, plump skin cells are right under the skin’s surface. But on top of the surface, you have dead cells that naturally come off when your skin comes in contact with other surfaces.
When you bump into a doorframe, slide into your sheets, and even put your clothes on or take them off, you are shedding dead skin cells. You just don’t realize it. Exfoliation is a great way to speed up that process and keep your skin’s outermost layer looking bright.
If you have oily skin, it may saturate those dead skin cells on the surface, making them almost “sticky” because they won’t fall off naturally. In other words, they may need a little help. Skin dry brushing is a perfect solution to enhance your natural exfoliation processes. This vigorous type of manual exfoliation will improve the look and feel of your skin. You can expect brighter, younger, and smoother-looking skin after a good dry brushing session.
Since skin dry brushing buffs the skin, it also makes topical treatments more effective. Serums, moisturizers, toners, and other treatments can access the healthy cells easily since the dead skin cells have been literally brushed off.
Dry Brushing Improves Circulation and Immune Response
The benefits of dry brushing go deeper than the skin’s surface. Your skin has tons of blood vessels nestled beneath it. When stimulated, you can increase the blood flow to various parts of your body. The gentle brushing of your skin applies pressure to these blood vessels, improving circulation.
Our lymphatic system is essential when it comes to fighting off infections and keeping us healthy. Have you ever had a cold or flu? You probably noticed your lymph nodes were a little enlarged. That is because the lymph nodes can become blocked with toxins when we’re not feeling well. Dry brushing not only increases circulation, but also helps the body release toxins by opening our pores. When we sweat, we release toxins. That means less toxin buildup in our pores and our lymphatic system.
It Also Has Emotional Benefits
Similar to how a weighted blanket provides comfort, dry brushing for the skin can stimulate your nervous system in a beneficial way. The bristles against your skin offer a calming and peaceful sensation. If you’re feeling stressed, dry brushing can help alleviate your stressors. You can make dry brushing a part of your self-care routine and choose a dark and quiet space for a restorative experience.
Dry brushing is also invigorating and can give you bursts of energy. It feels good and can leave you feeling not only calm but also awake and energized.
Dry Brushing Can Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
The improved circulation your skin experiences after a good skin dry brushing session can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Your skin will be smoother and plumper thanks to the gentle agitation, and thus appear less dimpled. Dry brushing has a similar effect on the skin and body like a massage.
Choosing the Right Dry Brush for Your Skin
If you are ready to try dry brushing for yourself, the first thing you will need to do is select the perfect brush. By perfect, it should be perfect for you and your needs. After all, everyone’s skin is different and has different ranges of sensitivity.
Choose a brush that has natural bristles. There are a few types of bristles on the market. For example, there are synthetic bristles, boar bristles, and vegetable fiber bristles. You want a natural bristle brush, like a vegetable fiber bristle brush. Now, there are also different types of bristle strengths available, ranging from extra soft to extra firm. And of course, brushes come in different sizes as well. You probably want to start out with a medium bristle brush that comes with a long handle so you can reach all the different areas of your body.
How to Dry Brush Your Skin
Once you have selected the perfect brush for you, you can begin your dry brushing routine. Experts say the best time to dry brush is in the morning right before you shower. This will provide you with the energizing, yet peaceful benefits dry brushing offers while setting your skin up for a successful day.
Using a clean, dry brush, start at your feet and brush upward toward your hips using firm and long strokes. Remember, you’re not scrubbing your skin, you’re just firmly brushing it in a long fluid motion. Continue upward to your stomach and stop at your chest. Dry brush your arms from your fingers to your shoulders.
For areas such as the stomach, elbows, wrists, and ankles, you can shorten your strokes and use a light circular motion. Be sure to use lighter pressure over sensitive areas where your skin is naturally thinner. You don’t want dry brushing to hurt.
Ayurvedic practice suggests long sweeping brushstrokes toward your heart’s center. The entire practice should take about 3-5 minutes. It is recommended you shower afterward to wash off any loose dead skin cells and reap the invigorating dry brushing benefits. After your shower, moisturize your freshly brushed skin to hydrate it properly.
You can dry brush once a day for 30 days to see if the practice is right for you. Take note of any changes to your skin that you experience.
Dry Brush Aftercare
Your dry brush needs to remain clean to avoid the risk of infection. Never share your dry brush with others. You will want to wash the bristles with soap and water and let your brush dry before use. You can also dab a little rubbing alcohol on a washcloth and gently rub it across the bristles to clean them. When you resume dry brushing, make sure your brush is completely dry. It is recommended to clean your dry brush at least once a week.
Is Skin Dry Brushing for Everyone?
The short answer is no. If you have very sensitive skin or just brush too hard, you may cause skin irritation. Dry brushing can also cause the skin to dry out. This is why it is essential to apply moisturizer after your post-dry brushing shower.
Individuals with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, skin wounds, sunburn, or rashes may want to forgo dry brushing as it could do more harm than good in these cases. Also, if you have any serious health conditions such as diabetes or are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, you probably should not dry brush your skin.
Try it Out
By now, hopefully, you are curious about the potential benefits of dry brushing for your skin. Head onto your favorite bath and body site and purchase a natural bristle brush to get started. It may take a little trial and error to determine the best brush and pressure for your needs.
If you enjoy the experience, you can also take advantage of premier skin treatments that will work even better with your freshly exfoliated skin.
For More Information
If you have questions about dry brushing on the best treatment options for your skin care goals, consider booking a consultation with First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The team at First Impressions is always eager to answer any questions you may have, suggest potential skin care treatments and services to fit your needs, and walk you through our treatment options step by step. Indulge in self-care and put your best face forward. You are worth it!