If you researched different ways (or the single best way) to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin (or get rid of the most stubborn cellulite!), you most certainly encountered the way with the dry brush. But what is it, actually?
Dry brushing has gained an amazing amount of popularity as a skincare and wellness practice, touted for its potential benefits to exfoliate the skin, boost circulation, and promote lymphatic drainage. All these have extraordinary effects on your skin and offer so many benefits. However…
Before you even think about it or grab a dry brush, it’s essential for you to know exactly how and when to do a face or body brush in order to do it correctly.
Plus, you should avoid some areas and consider some other things before start to practice dry brushing, but keep reading to find this all out!
What Is Dry Brushing?Dry brushing is basically a daily body massage that involves a dry, natural-bristled brush on your dry skin, in specific motions. This is supposed to help get rid of flaky skin and exfoliate your skin’s surface, removing dead skin cells. Dry brushing may also (potentially) stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage. Yes, you’ve read that right. But what are its benefits?
Benefits Of Dry Brushing
The biggest benefit of dry brushing is – exfoliation. It can help exfoliate the skin by gently sloughing off dead skin cells. The brushing motion over the skin’s surface aids in loosening and removing the top layer of dead cells, promoting smoother and softer skin texture1.
This also encourages cell turnover and can unclog pores, potentially preventing acne and allowing skincare products to penetrate more effectively into your skin. Sounds amazing, right?
The brushing movements and pressure of the dry brush on your skin may potentially stimulate blood circulation2.
This can aid in delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s surface, promoting a healthy glow.
Improved circulation may also support the body’s natural healing processes and contribute to overall skin health – while making skin appear glowing.
No More Ingrown Hairs
Dry brushing is like physical exfoliation which means it loosens up dead skin cells, that clog hair follicles and cause those painful bumps.
If you’re struggling with ingrown hairs you may be also wondering which scrub is best to deal with them: salt or sugar scrubs. Find out in this article!
Appearance Of Cellulite
Apparently, dry brushing may reduce the appearance of cellulite by distributing fat deposits in it more evenly and breaking up the fascia beneath your skin.
While there are some results, yes, note that there’s limited scientific backing regarding the brush’s ability to significantly improve the appearance of cellulite. But still, worth trying!
Dry brushing is also believed to help in the stimulation of the lymphatic system by encouraging lymph flow.
The gentle pressure applied during brushing may help move lymph fluid through the body’s vessels, aiding in the removal of waste, toxins, and excess fluids – this could potentially aid detox!
However, there is no scientific proof to this benefit and some experts argue that wellness practices and products can’t detox your body from inside out3.
Well, the act of dry brushing can provide an energizing sensation, similar to a massage.
The brushing circular motion and pressure on the skin may stimulate nerve endings, promoting a refreshing feeling and help you feel more relaxed, awake, and revitalized.
Does Dry Brushing Help Cellulite?
The potential of dry brushing technique to reduce your cellulite appearance is definitely a hot topic- although with limited scientific evidence.
Advocates of dry brushing claim that it may improve your body figure and really reduce cellulite by stimulating blood flow, lymph system, and breaking up the fascia beneath your skin.
In fact, some experts recommend dry brushing regularly, to help distribute fat deposits more evenly and minimize the dimpled appearance of cellulite. This sounds unreal, right?
And yes, scientific research validating its effectiveness in significantly reducing cellulite is lacking, that’s right.
However, it is definitely worth trying, but managing expectations is crucial. Dry brushing alone will surely not be a definitive solution for cellulite reduction.
Rather combine it with other lifestyle changes like a balanced diet, regular exercise, and professional treatments recommended by dermatologists or other health professionals.
Does Dry Brushing Help Keratosis Pilaris?
Apparently, dry brushing can help you with several skin conditions – including keratosis pilaris.
And yes, it may offer benefits for those of you annoyed by the small skin bumps – however, its effectiveness in managing keratosis pilaris is not definitive and varies from person to person. So it may help, but don’t expect too much.
Some individuals with keratosis pilaris report temporary improvement in skin texture and smoother appearance after incorporating dry brushing into their skincare routine.
However, note that dry brushing might not eliminate keratosis pilaris completely or provide a permanent solution.
Dry Brushing Risks & Precautions
Dry brushing is generally considered safe. However, there are some potential risks and maybe dry brushing isn’t the right for you. What are those drawbacks?
Over-vigorously brushing your skin or applying excessive pressure can cause skin irritation, redness, or abrasions.
Using a brush with stiff bristles or brushing too frequently, more than suggested times per week, may exacerbate these issues.
Aggressive or improper brushing techniques might lead to microtears in the skin, making it more susceptible to infections or further irritation.
Those of you with sensitive skin may experience some discomfort, itching, or adverse reactions with stiff-bristled brush.
Sharing dry brushes or using dirty brushes (even during shower routine) can introduce bacteria, leading to skin infections or breakouts.
Exacerbation Of Some Skin Conditions
Dry brushing can potentially worsen your existing skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or active acne, causing increased irritation or flare-ups.
To avoid these, make sure you perform dry brushing correctly, gently, with the right brush.
Also, avoid dry brushing on areas with cuts, sunburns, rashes, or any skin irritation to prevent further damage or discomfort.
Who Should Avoid Dry Brushing?
Some of you should probably avoid dry brushing.
For example, if you have highly sensitive skin, active inflammatory skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, severe acne), sunburn, cuts, abrasions, wounds, or skin injuries, or you simply have fragile or thin skin prone to bruising or tearing – you should probably avoid dry brushing.
Of course, if you are allergic to materials used in dry brushes – absolutely avoid them.
Furthermore, it’s not recommended if you’re undergoing certain dermatological treatments or using topical medications.
How To Dry Brush My Skin – Step-By-Step Guide To Dry Brushing
1. Choose the right brush
Among all, select a bristled brush specifically designed for dry brushing – with natural bristles.
Look for a soft- or stiff-bristled brush (I recommend to start with a soft one).
Choose one with a long handle to easily reach all areas of your body. It’ll make things easier!
2. Determine timing and frequency
Dry brushing is often done before showering. Aim to dry brush a few times a week, typically in the morning, to invigorate your skin. It’s ayurveda, after all!
3. Have your skin dry
Before dry brushing, make sure that your skin is clean and – dry! Dry brushing is exactly one of the ways to exfoliate the skin. So, avoid applying any lotions or oils beforehand.
4. Brushing technique
According to ayurvedic medicine, you should start with your feet and brush towards your heart.
Yes! Use gentle, upward strokes and apply light pressure, especially on sensitive areas. However, the pressure should still be firm enough to feel stimulation4.
Also, you should brush each area multiple times, overlapping strokes slightly.
While performing the brushing, use long, sweeping motions. Brush the legs in an upward direction, the arms towards the armpits, and the stomach in a circular clockwise motion.
Note that you should avoid sensitive areas like the face, breasts, or any areas with skin irritation.
6. Finish with shower & moisturizer
Once you’ve brushed your entire body (and exfoliation happened, of course), it’s best take a shower to wash away the exfoliated skin cells from your freshly exfoliated skin, and follow up with a gentle moisturizer if desired.
7. Clean and store the brush
After each use, rinse the dry brush with water and mild soap regularly to remove dead skin cells and bacteria. And – also very important – ensure it dries completely between uses.
Anyways, consistency is key, but avoid excessive or aggressive brushing. Be attentive to your skin’s response and adjust your technique if you experience any discomfort or irritation, and make your skin glow!
How Often Should You Dry Brush?
The frequency of dry brushing skin can vary based on individual preferences, skin type, and tolerance.
Generally, it is recommended a few times a week for most people to reap its potential benefits without overstimulating or irritating the skin.
In case it happens, you can consult your dermatologist or general MD for an advice.
When Should You Dry Brush?
Dry brushing is typically performed before taking a shower or bath, 2-4 times a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity.
Many prefer dry brushing in the morning for an energizing effect – but the choice is up to you.
Where Should You Not Dry Brush?
There are some parts of your body you shouldn’t brush. Avoid dry brushing the delicate facial skin, genital sensitive area, area on or around the breasts.
Definitely, you should skip areas with cuts, wounds, rashes, or sunburns and areas with varicose veins or broken skin, to prevent discomfort or damage.
How Long Does It Take To See Results From Dry Brushing?
Results can, like in most other cases, vary among individuals, and the timeline to notice any visible changes or benefits may differ.
Some people may report feeling invigorated or experiencing smoother skin and temporary plumping right after their first dry brushing session(s) due to increased circulation and exfoliation.
However, some improvements in skin texture and softness are noticeable within a few weeks of CONSISTENT dry brushing.
For some more significant changes, such as potential improvements in skin appearance, cellulite reduction, or better lymphatic circulation, it may take several weeks to a few months of regular practice. Consistency is the key – in any case.
How To Take Care Of Your Skin Properly After Dry Brushing?
As previously noted, after brushing and exfoliating your body, it’s best take a shower or bath to wash away the exfoliated skin cells.
And don’t forget to rinse the brush with water and mild soap after each use, and let it dry out.
Use gentle cleansers and moisturize your skin after the shower – of course, using mild, natural formulas. If dry brushing in the morning, follow up with sunscreen if heading outdoors to protect the newly exposed skin.
And yes, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – to maintain your fluid levels, supporting overall skin health from within.
Dry Brushing – FAQ
If you still have some doubts, or you are unsure about introducing this technique into your skincare routine, check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Are Skin Brushing Benefits Scientifically Proven?
Well, scientific evidence validating the exclusive benefits of skin brushing is limited and inconclusive.
Although some of the immediate effects like exfoliation are evident, more comprehensive research supporting long-term benefits is still lacking. Personal experiences are another story, however.
Can You Dry Brush Wrong?
Unfortunately, yes. Starting from using excessive pressure, harsh bristles, or brushing too frequently can potentially irritate or damage your skin. Rather learn how to do it correctly.
Will Dry Brushing Tighten Skin?
While some women actually noticed temporary skin smoothing due to exfoliation, the idea that it significantly tightens or firms skin lacks scientific backing. So, I would say that this effect rather varies between individuals.
Does Dry Brushing Help Belly Fat?
Due to its effects on blood flow, and appearance of the skin, and potential benefit to reduce the appearance of cellulite – there might be a chance it may help with belly fat, too.
However, belly fat reduction is more effectively achieved through a combination of healthy diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes rather than dry brushing alone. Sorry.
Can I Dry Brush If I Have Sensitive Skin?
Those of you with highly sensitive skin should be cautious. The brushing practice may potentially cause irritation or discomfort for sensitive skin types.
However, using a softer brush with gentle strokes and lighter pressure can help minimize the risk of irritation5.
In any case, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist before dry brushing if you have sensitive skin to ensure it’s suitable for your skin type.
Why Do I Feel Weird After Dry Brushing?
It’s difficult to say. This feeling may be due to several reasons.
Feeling strange or unusual after dry brushing could be due to various reasons – due to increased blood flow, causing a tingling sensation or feeling of warmth on the skin, due to skin irritation – or due to relaxation response.
Should I Moisturize After Dry Brushing?
Yes. Use a gentle moisturizer, avoiding harsh chemicals, however.
Do You Wash Brush After Dry Brushing?
As previously explained, please do wash your brush after each session of brushing, to get rid of skin flakes and bacteria. It’s for health reasons.
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.