Why I’ve Started Dry Brushing My Skin

by Gio

guide to dry brushing

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.

Related: How To Choose The Right Exfoliator For Your Skin Type

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

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Exfoliate Skin

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.

Related: Does Sweat Detoxify The Body?

2. It won’t help with cellulite either

Cellulite happens because of the way fat cells arrange themselves under the skin. Usually, it is arranged in large chambers that are separated from each other by columns of connective tissues.

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?

Easy peasy:

  1. Pick a brush with natural bristles (synthetic ones won’t do here)
  2. Get in the shower – it’ll be easier to catch the falling skin there (dry brushing can be a bit messy and gross)
  3. Begin brushing at your feet
  4. Using gentle circular motions, move the brush towards your heart (always brush towards your heart)
  5. When you reach the upper body, use a gentler touch
  6. Brush over the same area a few times if you feel you need to
  7. Wash the loosened skin off
  8. Pat skin dry
  9. 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): available at Feel UniqueNet A Porter and SpaceNK
  • Earth Therapeutics Far-Reaching Body Brush ($8.99): available at Ulta
  • The Body Shop Long-Handled Body Brush ($15.00): 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.

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9 comments

MARA January 3, 2017 - 4:12 pm

YOUR BLOG IS ONE OF THE BEST. I FIND ALL THE TOPICS VERY INTERESTING, STATED IN A VERY UNDERSTANDABLE YET SCIENTIFIC WAY, FOR EVERY ONE OF US. I LIVE IN GREECE AND MOST OF THE PRODUCTS YOU PRESENT CANNOT BE FOUND HERE, BUT YOUR ADVICE IS REALLY EVERYTHING! IT HAS HELPED A LOT.
P.S.
A VERY INTERESTING TOPIC THAT WOULD HELP MANY WOMEN, IS WHAT SKINCARE ROUTINE AND WHICH PRODUCTS SHOULD WE USE DURING PREGNANCY. NOONE, NOT EVEN DOCTORS, CAN REALLY HELP YOU OR GIVE A REALLY CORRECT ADVICE ABOUT WHAT TO DO DURING THAT PEROOD OF YOUR LIFE.
THANK YOU.

Reply
Gio January 3, 2017 - 10:31 pm

Mara, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad to hear my blog has helped you. And thanks so much for the suggestion. I’ll write a post about it soon. Stay tuned!

Reply
Charlotte January 13, 2017 - 8:33 pm

Hi Gio! im looking for a skin care routine to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. I couldn’t find a search engine on your blog. Any advice on routine and products would be really beneficial to many women. Thank you!

Reply
Gio January 14, 2017 - 9:38 pm

Charlotte, thanks for your comment. This is a topic I haven’t tackled yet because there really aren’t any creams that can get rid of stretch marks. Emollient creams and oils may work to prevent them or when they’re really, really new, but once you have them, they’re very difficult to get rid of. One of my favourite skincare gurus, Paula Begoun, has written an article about all the different treatments for stretch marks here: http://cosmeticscop.com/2016/08/22/is-it-possible-to-get-rid-of-stretch-marks/

Sorry you couldn’t find the search function. It’s in the footer. 🙂

Reply
audrey March 8, 2017 - 6:56 am

Have you tried body oils? I love rosehip seed oil for cell rejuvenation and regeneration. It’s very popular for wound scars healing too, especially among the post-mastectomy women. I heard some use it for their stretch marks too and although not completely diminished but at least reduced 🙂

Reply
audrey March 8, 2017 - 6:48 am

I have heard a lot of bloggers and beauty gurus talking about this dry brushing method. But i’m afraid it will aggravate my eczema-prone skin. I even avoid tap water, i don’t wash my body with tap water everyday, and even when I do I limit it to 5 minutes only, with moisturizer and emollient occlusive right after (immidiately) to avoid angry skin (eczema flare-up). Do you think I should try this dry brushing? I’m basically afraid of anything that has the word “exfoliating” because my flaky skin doesn’t agree with it.

Reply
Gio March 15, 2017 - 1:43 pm

Audrey, I wouldn’t recommend it eczema prone skin. Dry brushing is quite gentle if done right, but why risk it?

Reply
Ashley July 16, 2017 - 10:53 pm

I have been curious about dry brushing for some time and recently decided to give it a try. I did however buy a brush made with synthetic bristles. Every blog or tutorial I’ve come across, stresses natural fibers. Is there any particular reason why?? They all say this is an important factor, but I haven’t found any explanation as to why it is so vital.

Reply
Gio July 21, 2017 - 12:27 pm

Ashley, synthetic bristles are often too harsh and tend to scratch the skin. That’s why it’s best to go natural if you can.

Reply

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