Do you have dry winter skin? Me too! A few weeks ago I started dry body brushing and it has dramatically helped improve my skin. And here’s the best news. You can do it in your very own bathroom and a good quality dry brush costs less than $15 on Amazon.
What Is Dry Brushing?
For those who aren’t familiar with the technique, dry brushing involves daily body massage with a dry, stiff-bristled brush. It’s been said to help flaky winter skin, increase circulation, detoxify, and even improve the appearance of cellulite. But are these claims true? Some, but definitely not all.
Benefits of Dry Brushing:
- The mechanical action of dry brushing is wonderful for exfoliating dry winter skin (and encourages new cell renewal). Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process, which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs and it helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
- Some people claim that dry brushing reduces the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. However, according to The Cleveland Clinic, there is absolutely no evidence in the literature to confirm that dry brushing aids in the appearance of cellulite. It’s likely that what people interpret as cellulite reduction is really just a temporary “plumping up of the skin” from increased blood circulation.
- It also helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
- Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!)
Buying a Dry Body Brush:
All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). One with a long handle is also a plus, as it means you can reach all areas of the body. I purchased this dry brush on Amazon for less than $15 (but there are TONS of available options.)
How To Dry Brush:
- Start on dry skin before bathing.
- Start slow and BE GENTLE. Be cautious on softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer. If you go over one area too long, you can actually break the integrity of the skin and cause irritation or bleeding. So less is more until you see how your skin responds.
- Begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
- After you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms.
- Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back. This is where a longer-handled brush comes in handy. Or you can always ask your significant other to help you out.
- After dry brushing, take a bath or a shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
- After bathing, slather on a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin. I’m a big fan of Primally Pure Body Butter, Euforia Shea Butter from Pure Romance (use my discount code DISH10 to save 10%) or even plain old organic coconut oil (which we buy at Costco.)
I was immediately hooked because I saw and felt a difference after the very first time I tried dry brushing. My skin felt smoother and seemed to absorb my moisturizer better. After a week or so, I definitely noticed that my skin was less dry and more elastic.
Lots of people dry brush in the mornings but I prefer to do it in the evening. When you do it makes no difference, but you do need to bathe afterwards.
My routine is that I do it after dinner a few times a week (but not every single day) followed by a lovely soak in the tub. My other bath must-haves are this bamboo tray and these very inexpensive Dr. Teals epsom salts.