Everything You Need To Know About Dry Brushing Your Skin

Written by Shiboli Chakraborti

The roots of dry brushing go back to the ancient days. If you are unsure what dry brushing is all about, it is exactly as the name suggests – running a dry but soft-bristled brush over your bare skin.

Dry brushing your skin helps stimulate blood flow, which can help your lymph nodes and clear toxins from the body. What has made it a popular beauty routine? This article explains everything you need to know about dry brushing and what it does to your skin. Scroll down for more information.

What Is Dry Brushing?

Brushing the skin with a dry brush in a particular pattern is known as dry brushing. In this process, your skin is brushed towards the heart and chest, starting from the feet and hands.

Although not backed by scientific evidence, dry brushing your body may offer many potential health benefits like:

  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • Exfoliation of the skin.
  • Elimination of dead cells, ingrown hairs, and dullness
  • Removal of toxins from the body
  • Enhanced circulation in the body
  • Breaking down cellulite

Dry brushing is performed in a specific pattern to help exfoliate the surface and clear pores, making your skin healthy. Although there are no scientific findings to back the results of dry brushing the skin, the practice may potentially yield some benefits. Here are a few you should know about.

Benefits Of Dry Brushing Your Skin

  • Helps Exfoliate The Skin

The dead skin cells on the body are manually swept away while dry brushing. This exfoliating action is quite similar to the action of a physical scrub, which can make your skin smooth and radiant. Massaging your body with a dry brush also helps get rid of flaky skin during winter. It removes ingrown hairs and rejuvenates dull skin.

  • Increases Circulation In The Body

The soft bristles of a dry brush may help enhance blood circulation in the body. This is directly linked to detoxification and the possible stimulation of lymphatic drainage.

  • Boosts Mood And Promotes Relaxation

Among the other benefits of dry brushing is the stimulation of the nervous system, which can pump a feeling of ecstasy. The feel-good sensation can boost your mood make you feel relaxed and comfortable.

To find out what makes dry brushing good for your skin, it is necessary to understand the type of brush you should use for this practice.

What Brush Should I Use To Dry Brush?

Pick a brush made of natural fibers to dry brush your face and body. Most experts recommend using brushes with jute, sisal, and cactus fibers as they are soft, will not hurt your skin, and help exfoliate it gently.

Ensure the dry brush has a long handle, firm grip, and non-slip body. This will enable you to reach all the parts of the body with ease. To dry brush your neck and face, opt for a smaller brush.

Investing in a good dry brush may be of no use unless you know the right techniques to use it.

How To Practice Dry Brushing

  • Stand upright in your bathroom or room and remove your clothes.
  • Start from your feet – use upward strokes to brush the skin on your legs. Continue to move up towards the upper thighs and buttocks.
  • Brush your arms and stroke in upward movements towards the shoulders.
  • Brush in upward strokes or circular motions over the stomach, moving up towards the neck. Avoid brushing over the breasts and nipples.
  • Move in upward strokes from the base of the neck to the forehead.
  • Take a shower and apply a moisturizer, lotion, or body oil to your damp skin.

Note: As your skin is already exfoliated, be careful about the products you use while bathing – avoid scrubs and abrasive loofahs.

Can dry brushing help reduce the appearance of cellulite? Check out our next section for the answer.

Can Dry Brushing Get Rid Of Cellulite?

Yes. Although no firm studies substantiate the idea that dry brushing can reduce or eliminate cellulite, anecdotal evidence suggests reduction of cellulite and a plumper appearance of the skin. This can be possibly a result of improved blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Skin care experts state that dry brushing twice or thrice a week the right way can visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, it might take time to show results.

Although dry brushing is good for your skin, it may have side effects in certain situations.

What Are The Risks Of Dry Brushing?

  • Dry brushing your skin harshly can possibly irritate it, turn reddish, and lead to abrasions. If your skin stings or gets inflamed after dry brushing, it can mean that you were too rough.
  • Your skin can feel parched and dry if you do not moisturize it after dry brushing.
  • It may also worsen existing skin conditions, such as eczema, acne, rashes, and psoriasis.
  • Dry brushing your face frequently may cause dryness, scratches, skin irritation, and injuries. Limit it to once or twice a month. Instead, use a chemical exfoliant or mild scrub for face exfoliation.

To avoid these risks, do not attempt dry brushing if you have dry and/or sensitive skin.

Who Should Not Try Dry Brushing?

If you have eczema, psoriasis, rashes, sunburns, inflammation, or skin irritation, dry brushing is not for you.

If your skin reacts or feels stingy, burning, or red after dry brushing, it is not wise to continue it. This is because your skin may not be able to tolerate the impact of dry brushing.

Dry brushing is also not recommended when there is an active skin infection, or you might risk spreading the germs.

Follow these aftercare tips to prevent any damage and keep your skin smooth and glowing.

The Aftercare

  • Take a cool shower after dry brushing to rinse off dead, flaky skin. Do not use physical or chemical exfoliants or loofahs as your skin is already exfoliated and tender.
  • Moisturize your skin with a hydrating and soothing lotion post brushing. You can also use aloe vera gel or baby oil to minimize the risk of irritation and redness.
  • Clean your brush in soap water solution once a week. Dry it in an open, sunny area to prevent mold formation and infection.
  • Do not use the same brush on your face and body.

Conclusion

Dry brushing your face and body offers numerous benefits. It helps exfoliate your skin gently and get rid of toxins. This ancient Ayurvedic practice enhances blood circulation, removes dead skin cells, and unclogs your pores.

However, keep in mind not to overdo it as it may cause micro-abrasions, flare-ups, and chapped skin. Choose a soft-bristled brush and use smooth and gentle strokes during the process. Always follow up with a moisturizer. Consult a doctor if it results in severe inflammation and irritation or excessive redness.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

When should I dry brush my skin?

Dry brushing can be practiced at any time of the day or night according to your convenience.

Is dry brushing recommended by dermatologists?

No, it is not recommended by dermatologists. However, it is easy to incorporate into your skin care routine and makes your skin look smooth and clear.

Is it compulsory to take a shower after dry brushing?

No, it is not compulsory to shower after dry brushing your skin. You need to take a bath only if you feel like it.

Does dry brushing lead to weight loss?

No, there is not enough evidence to support weight loss by dry brushing.

How long should I spend on dry brushing every day?

Do not dry brush your skin daily. Once or twice a week for not more than 3-5 minutes is enough to reap its benefits. Do not feel the need to linger in the bath with your brush.

Can I use a toothbrush to dry brush my skin?

No, a dry brush with soft, natural bristles is best for this purpose. Toothbrushes are made of nylon bristles that might scratch or tug your skin.

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Shiboli has a Master’s degree in English Literature and is proficient in French. She believes that words have a healing power and considers poetry her lifeline. Her writing background and editorial dexterity help her guide her team members to create crisp and authentic content. Shiboli is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and has a fascination for traveling. She is passionate about cooking and dreams of opening a restaurant of her own.