Dry brushing is nothing short of an art. Its history goes back to the olden days of Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba. It’s the secret of glowing skin, cheerful mood and it’s been proven to prevent all sorts of ailments on your skin as well as within your body. Dry brushing is actually a part of Ayurvedic massage art – so called garshana. This massage is done with special rough loofa gloves to stimulate as well as exfoliate skin. I tried dry brushing last summer and it’s definitely coming back in 2020. It was one of the best beauty discoveries of last year for me. And why’s that, I hear you ask.
What are the benefits of dry brushing?
Dry brushing might sound a little harsh. It’s basically brushing your skin in a certain way with a large brush (without the use of any cream or oil). Considering that in this day and age we’re told to avoid mechanical exfoliation and stick to chemical peels only, it might even seem counterproductive to you. Yet here we are – obsessed with dry brushes yet again (since the times of Ancient Egypt). Because dry brushing isn’t just a method for skin exfoliation.
- Stimulates lymphatic system & removes toxins: Lymphatic system is a group of bodily organs transporting infection fighting white cells around your body, protecting you from infections and other diseases. Dry brushing improves circulation of lymph in your body rendering it more effective.
- Removes dead skin cells: The most obvious benefit is mechanical dead skin cell removal. You just brush them dead cells away.
- Invigorates: By improving circulation of lymph and also blood (you are giving yourself a good massage after all), you will feel fresh and read to take on the day
- Unclogs pores: I wouldn’t necessarily insist on “unclogging” but dry brushing most definitely removes the top layer of the gunk that’s stuck in your pores. The result is that your pores are appearing smaller, they are a little cleaner and they aren’t topped with blackheads. Which you’ve effectively brushed off.
- Improves skin’s elasticity and stimulates collagen production: Brushing your skin regularly results in better elasticity – your skin is more plump, less wrinkly and overall in better condition. Massaging your skin regularly stimulates collagen production which again means better skin condition and less wrinkles.
- Minimises hyperpigmentation and blemishes: If you’re suffering from light blemishes and spots of hyperpigmentation then dry brushing can help minimise these. It speeds up the process of skin cell renewal which means you’re removing layers of dead skin quickly – and with it you’re also removing your blemishes.
- Improves mood: Dry brushing improves your mood and sets you up for the day ahead like nothing else. It’s relaxing yet it doesn’t make you sleepy!
How to do it correctly?
First of all pick the right brush for you – I like quite a small one that fits securely into my hand. With natural bristles. You can find plenty on Etsy. If your skin is more sensitive then definitely pick one with softer bristles.
When to dry brush? Ideally before shower so either in the morning or in the evening. As I only dry brush in summer (I find in winter I don’t want to fuss about with it and my skin isn’t as dry to start with), I prefer dry brushing in the morning. It starts up my day as well as a cup of good coffee.
Start with your feet and go upwards towards your heart. Each spot gets three strokes of the brush. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube if you’re unsure about how to do it correctly. I do my feet and legs first, then butt, stomach, hands and arms, chest and neck (in an upwards motion). After I’ve done the brushing (takes about 5 minutes of my time), I have a cool-ish shower. When I get out I apply an oil or a good moisturiser – this one’s my favourite, it smells so beautifully!
I dry brush every other or every third day, just because I don’t want to unnecessarily brush off all my tan in summer. My skin already has a of going on in summer with the temperatures, sun exposure and sweat and I feel like brushing it too often could be excessive.
When not to dry brush?
If your skin is sensitive, you have acne, eczema or other skin conditions, most definitely do not dry brush. If you are really keen to give it a go then try dry brushing a tiny bit of your skin to see what the reaction is. It’s about finding what works best for you. For example some people recommend and absolutely love dry brushing every day. Which for me is a little excessive. But you might love it!
It’s also important to keep your dry brush super clean and, well, dry. Wash it out regularly. Leave it dry properly. To prolong its life you can also apply a drop of olive oil on the wooden parts. Store it in a dry place rather than in a steamy bathroom.
Can you dry brush your face?
You absolutely can – just make sure you’re using a very soft brush and you’re brushing in the right direction. It’s important to follow the right direction of your lymphoids but also not to drag your skin in a downwards motion. You always want to go upwards to avoid fine lines, wrinkles and general sagginess. Again – I don’t do this very often because I use chemical peels for exfoliation. So dry brushing my face is mainly for the purpose of massage, lymph stimulation and just chill really.
Dry brushing feels super nice and although I do understand that there are downsides for some people (sensitive skin, when you’re doing it wrong you can create wrinkles, irritation and more), it sits really well with my skin. I’m very intrigued to learn more about it. Especially about all the different brushes you can use (there are even silk brushes and horse mane ones?). And also the use in combination with essential oils. It sounds like the most luxurious at home pamper session to me!