Dry brushing is not new news. It has been used for years, originating from ancient times. This classic ritual is what it sounds like– you take a brush and stroke your dry body to exfoliate the skin.
But there’s more to it.
Although dry brushing is often considered a tradition within many cultures, particularly South Asian, it has exploded in popularity worldwide in recent years. So, why is there so much hype surrounding dry skin brushing? It’s said the effects extend well beneath the surface of the skin, and work with your internal systems to improve your overall well-being.
As its fanbase continues to rise and more people become curious about how to incorporate it into their routine, it begs the question: is it all hearsay? Or, is there concrete evidence proving its efficacy?
We break down the basics so that you have a better understanding of what it means to dry brush your skin and decide whether or not you want to kickstart this practice.
What are the benefits and risks of dry skin brushing?
It exfoliates the skin. Dry brushing is known as a physical exfoliator, which means it works to remove dead skin cells through the use of a tool. In this case, it’s a brush. Eliminating the top layers of the skin allows for better product absorption and keeps your skin soft and smooth. Have you ever tried a physical exfoliator for your face? (Hint: they usually contain small beads or circular granules). It’s the same concept.
It may support the lymphatic system. For anyone unsure, the lymphatic system works hard to eliminate toxins and waste from your body. In some instances, like when you’re sick, fluid may not flow as freely, causing the system to become blocked from doing its job. Through the use of dry brushing, this mechanical action stimulates the pores on your skin to open up, encourage the body to sweat, and release toxins. Although some people swear by its effects, there is little scientific evidence to back up this claim.
It provides an opportunity to relax. Just like other self-care rituals, this one is no different. By taking some time, even if only for a few minutes, caring for our bodies can positively impact our mental and emotional well-being. Try to find a quiet space at home or listen to some soothing music while dry brushing. It can instantly sink you into a state of tranquility.
Not suitable for everyone. Depending on your skin type and other health conditions, dry brushing may not be an appropriate exfoliator for some people. In particular, if you’re someone who suffers from psoriasis or eczema, dry brushing will only aggravate your skin – if this is you, it’s just best to avoid this altogether.
It can irritate the skin. If you aren’t careful, aggressive dry brushing can cause adverse skin reactions, like redness. While it’s important to maintain firm strokes, any added pressure going above a well-tolerated level is a big no. Take your time to go through this process. When in doubt, always stick to a gentler approach.
How to use
1. Start at your feet. Apply strokes at the bottom of your feet and work your way up your legs towards your stomach.
2. Move the brush in upward strokes across the stomach and lower back.
3. Proceed to your arms, upper back, and neck.
4. Hop in the shower to rinse off the dead skin but avoid using a hot temperature setting.
5. Because this is an exfoliation treatment, it’s essential to moisturize your body afterward. Select one of your favorite natural oils, like jojoba, or body lotion with clean ingredients, and massage it into your skin. If you opt to use an oil, you can even apply this to your scalp for full head-to-body hydration.
And remember this golden rule: always move the brush towards your heart. For instance, if you’re dry brushing your arms, apply upward strokes, whereas if you were focusing on your neck, downward strokes are the correct technique.
How to select the right brush
Selecting the right brush is purely based on personal preference. You may be inclined to purchase one that has a long handle to tackle those hard-to-reach areas on your back. Or, you might find it easier to use one without a handle for a more targeted approach.
There’s also the debate on synthetic vs. natural bristles. Synthetic bristles may cause more irritation to the skin, unlike naturally derived ones, which tend to be on the softer side. But again, it’s up to you. Other personal factors might influence your decision as well, such as if you’re vegan.
Is dry brushing worth a shot? Perhaps. While anecdotal evidence remains strong, science has yet to deliver proper claims backing up some of the benefits people swear by. Regardless, it does invigorate the skin through its exfoliation abilities, keeping keep your body smooth. Plus, it might be a pleasant addition to your self-care regimen, something to incorporate into your morning to help set the tone for the rest of the day.
The content provided in this article is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor used as a medical diagnosis or treatment protocol. PREIM BEAUTY INC. (“PREIM”) is not involved in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. As health and wellness research continues to advance, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on PREIM. You understand and agree that PREIM will not be held liable for any claim, loss, or damage connected with the use of our website and its contents.