Dry brushing is an ancient Ayurvedic Ritual and has recently been a rising beauty trend. I for one jumped on board about a year ago, and I must admit I have become completely addicted! So, what’ all the fuss really about? Well, dry brushing is, exactly as it sounds, brushing your body with a dry brush, usually before a shower. It is said to have almost unlimited benefits for your skin and overall health, but with all the new beauty trends emerging every day, it’s hard to keep track of what’s worth adding to your routine and what is just a fad. Here are the in and outs of dry brushing – then you can make up your mind about whether or not this one is for you.
The benefits of dry brushing seem to range from reducing cellulite to improving memory, but while no extensive research on dry brushing has been done – it is a beauty trend after all – some of the benefits are more credible than others. So I am not going to get into whether or not dry brushing can help combat cellulite: first of all, because I have no actual facts to back this claim and secondly, because cellulite is great, beautiful and perfectly normal! But here are a few things that are worth dry brushing for.
Combats dry skin:
Dry brushing is, of course, exfoliating the skin but rather than doing it in the shower under hot water, which could strip your skin of its natural moisture, dry brushing is done before or after your shower. This way it more gently removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, unclogs the pores and is perfect to combat that dry winter skin and promote cell regeneration. The natural bristles of a dry brush are perfect for exfoliating without breaking the surface of the skin like some scrubs can do. When you brush, you can adjust the pressure over the body, depending on the sensitivity of the area that you are brushing over.
Improves blood circulation and promotes lymph flow:
Your skin is your largest organ, so taking good care of it can potentially have great benefits for your overall health. We absorb lots of both good and bad things through our skin, and therefore taking care of it is not just about having smooth, soft and good-looking skin on the surface. No, it comes down to detoxifying and stimulating your whole system. Dry brushing is usually done starting from the feet and hands and brushing towards the heart. Stimulating the skin at a surface level in this pattern will drive more blood to the surface of the skin and help improve blood circulation. Your skin will most likely flush a little on the areas where you have just brushed. Having a good blood circulation will help you both feel and look healthier, as more oxygen is carried to your heart and organs, and it can even improve your brain function. Just as with the blood circulation, dry brushing also stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes lymph flow. Our lymphatic system plays a massive role in ridding the body of toxins and transporting white blood cells around the body, which means that having a good functioning lymphatic system is beneficial for our overall health. So, it seems that dry brushing can make us both smarter and healthier – but don’t go expecting anything major changing overnight!
Stimulates the nervous system:
Even though dry brushing is done on the surface of the skin, it stimulates the nervous system, and this, along with good blood circulation, means that your body is functioning at its optimal and your cells are receiving lots of good nutrients and oxygen. All of this can make you feel energised and invigorated. Therefore, many people recommend that you dry brush in the morning before a shower. However, I am a big fan of keeping it part of my night time ritual.
Self-care is self-love:
Even with all the science that supports why dry brushing is beneficial, this right here is my main reason for sticking with it. When I dry brush, I take care of every inch of my body. I usually put on a song that lasts 4-5 minutes instead of a timer. This way I know that I am spending that short time on myself every night, and instead of rushing through it and seeing it as another item on the to-do list, I try to really focus on the task and show myself some love when I do it! It is really the ultimate act of self-love! Afterwards, I hop in the shower, and then I moisturise with almond oil, again taking care to pay attention to my whole body and enjoy this short moment of self-care.
How to Start Dry Brushing
- Choose a dry brush that is right for you. Some are softer than others and which one you choose will depend on the sensitivity of your skin. Here’s our favourite!
- You can dry brush at any time of the day, it really just depends on your routine. I shower at night, so I dry brush at night. It’s a good idea to do it before your shower, so you can wash off dead skin cells in the shower.
- Start at the feet and hands and brush upwards and towards the heart in circular motions, overlapping strokes in one area a few times, but take care to not brush in one place for too long.
- Make the pressure softer around your chest, neck, and abdomen, but keep the circular motions and move towards the heart.
- You can use a softer brush on your face, but I for one, tend to do as little as possible to my face because my skin is very sensitive.
- Once you’ve brushed and showered, make sure you moistrise with your favourite lotion or oil to put moisture back into the skin.