Dry brushing, also known as “body brushing,” may sound harsh at first, but this popular and painless method of body exfoliation has been practiced for centuries in many cultures. The classic ayurvedic ritual is a treatment that can easily be done at home or in a spa. Dry brushing simply involves buffing dry skin with a special exfoliating brush that sloughs off dead skin cells.
Countless wellness-worshiping celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Molly Sims, swear by the benefits of dry brushing which is known to increase blood flow and remove toxins from the body. But, can dry brushing really make your skin glow and improve your overall health?
“The buildup of dead skin cells can make skin look dull and lackluster. Sloughing them off using a brush, which is a physical exfoliator, can reveal softer, smoother, and more luminous skin,” said Shari Marchbein, M.D., Dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine.
HOW TO DO IT
Start by taking a body brush with firm, natural bristles and gently massage your body in an upward motion starting at your feet and working up your body towards your heart. You can brush the body daily, preferably in the morning before showering. Be sure to start with a gentle brush and use soft pressure. You can always work up to a firmer brush and apply more pressure over time.
Use a natural-bristle brush to gently but firmly brush your skin in long strokes toward your heart, usually going over each area two or three times. The technique can be done daily; however, a common recommendation is 1-2 times per week. After dry brushing, be sure to take a shower in order to rinse off all of the dead skin cells. You also want to make sure that you wear sunscreen when going outdoors, as the process can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
THE PRACTICE OF DRY BRUSHING CONTINUES TO GAIN POPULARITY AND IS OFTENTIMES OFFERED ON SPA SERVICE MENUS DUE TO ITS MANY REPORTED BENEFITS:
- Stimulating the lymphatic system
- Exfoliating the skin
- Helping the body detoxify and eliminate toxins
- Increasing blood circulation and energy
- Helping to break down cellulite
- Helping to unclog pores
IS IT SAFE?
Dry brushing is a common practice and relatively harmless for most, but if you have sensitive skin or suffer from eczema or psoriasis, you may want to proceed with caution. Be sure to avoid brushing over an open wound which could cause infection.
At the end of the day, it’s essential that you take the time to research and determine if dry brushing is right for you. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit medical center in Ohio, the method stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward. Many people claim that dry brushing is better than wet exfoliation because water can cause the skin to plump up and make it difficult to shed as many dead skin cells. If you’re looking for a new way to slough off that dead skin, why not give dry brushing a try?