My New Year’s skincare resolution?
Exfoliating my body. Regularly.
I know, I say that every year. But this year I’ll actually do it.
Cos I’ve discovered a clever technique that should make it faster and easier (and I’m all for making anything faster and easier). It’s called dry brushing.
What’s Dry Brushing?
I’m sure you’ve heard about dry brushing. It’s an old spa treatment that uses a natural bristles brush to slough off dead and dry skin cells in circular motions.
It’s usually done in the morning right before you shower. But, if you like to spend a few more minutes in bed or like to shower at the end of the day, you can do it at night too.
What Are The Pros Of Dry Brushing?
The same as exfoliation, obvs. Dry brushing:
- Makes skin softer and smoother
- Gives skin a radiant glow
- Enhances the penetration of body lotions
- Gives you a gentle massage
What Are The Cons Of Dry Brushing?
There are a few (nothing’s perfect, right?):
1. It can’t remove toxins from the body
Lots of people are convinced that your skin helps you get rid of the toxins in your body. I wish! Yes, there’s the tiniest trace amount of toxins in sweat, but not enough to rid your body of all that bad stuff. It’s your liver and kidneys that get rid of harmful toxins. Dry brushing won’t affect those.
2. It won’t help with cellulite either
Cellulite happens because of the way fat cells arrange themselves under the skin
If the connective tissue slackens with age (and, of course, it will) or the fat overflows these chambers (usually happens when you’re overweight), you end up with the familiar dimpled skin.
No amount of dry brushing can get rid of that. It just doesn’t work that way.
3. It can be irritating
I’m not a huge fan of physical exfoliation. Do it too often or apply a bit too much pressure and you end up with red and irritated skin. That’s why I never dry brush more than twice a week. And try to be as gentle as possible with that brush. But if you have sensitive skin, you may want to stick to a loofah or washcloth instead.No, dry brushing doesn't work on cellulite. But you should still do it. Here's why.Click To Tweet
How Do You Dry Brush Skin?
- Pick a brush with natural bristles (synthetic ones won’t do here)
- Get in the shower – it’ll be easier to catch the falling skin there (dry brushing can be a bit messy and gross)
- Begin brushing at your feet
- Using gentle circular motions, move the brush towards your heart (always brush towards your heart)
- When you reach the upper body, use a gentler touch
- Brush over the same area a few times if you feel you need to
- Wash the loosened skin off
- Pat skin dry
- Apply your fave body lotion
What Else Do I Need To Know?
You need to clean that brush regularly, gorgeous. Soap and water once a week will do. Afterwards, leave it to dry in a sunny spot. And don’t use it when it’s damp. Wet bristles are a playing ground for bacteria, so let them dry!
One more thing. It goes without saying, I know, but if your skin is peeling or irritated, lay off dry brushing for a few days until it all goes back to normal.
What Are The Best Body Brushes For Dry Brushing?
Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush ($32.00)
This one is expensive but I like it because it has a hand strap that makes it easier to use. The bristles are made out of Cactus Sisal and are very soft. Available at Net A Porter.
Earth Therapeutics Far-Reaching Body Brush ($8.99)
What the name says. You can easily reach any body part with this easily. The handle is made of durable hardwood and the bristles are natural, obvs. Available at Ulta.
The Body Shop Long-Handled Body Brush ($15.00)
Its stiff but gentle bristles are made out of Maguey Cactus Fibers. I like it because the long handle makes it so easy to dry brush the back and feet. Plus, you can use it alone or in the shower with your fave shower gel. Available at The Body Shop.
The Bottom Line
Dry brushing is a fast and effective way to exfoliate your body. But, that’s all it does. And trust me, it’s a lot.