Dry Brushing for Healthy Skin
Dry brushing is a skin care technique for improving skin circulation and detoxification that you may not of heard of. Dry brushing is simply brushing a soft bristled brush across the surface of the skin, dry skin obviously. The recommended method is to brush the skin gently in small circular movements, working from your feet and shins upwards and inwards from your hands toward your heart/chest area. It is an effective way of getting rid of dead skin cells and for smoothing out bumpy skin. Any soft bristled brush will do, I bought mine from a supermarket, just make sure the bristles are not too hard. My brush has a very long neck so I can reach my back and feet easily. It’s main benefit is in improving skin circulation but this in turn can help the appearance of skin tone and even cellulite. Flow of blood and lymph to the skins surface is encouraged which makes the skin appear and feel smoother and more toned. Dry brushing has the additional benefit of providing sensory stimulation to the skin as well, which has a calming effect.
You should never dry brush inflamed or broken skin; only ever relatively healthy (but scaly) skin on your body, and never dry brush the sensitive skin of the face and upper neck (or any other sensitive areas actually). Also be sure to use a clean brush. Brushes can usually be washed in shampoo (like make-up brushes can) but they should be thoroughly dried before the next use. Putting brushes in the sun for a little while can also kill of bacteria. Keeping the brush clean is important as you usually brush before showering and it can accumulate dead skin cells. Keep an eye on any reaction you develop to dry brushing, as it could be the cleanliness, or lack of, of the brush but also the material the brush is made of. Natural, plant based materials if possible should be used for the bristles but some synthetics can be just as gentle and occasionally preferable for people with individual allergies. It is also not recommended for very gentle sensitive skin. If you have skin like a babies you probably shouldn’t dry brush and it wouldn’t be very helpful for you in any case as your skin doesn’t need exfoliation.
Dry brushing also has the benefit of being less expensive than buying separate exfoliation products for the body. It can be done on dry skin any time before or after showering, but avoid doing it too soon after showering as your damp skin is more gentle then and susceptible to breakage. It is actually recommended that you follow dry brushing with a shower or bath to cleanse the skin afterward and allow it to take up new water. Dry brushing doesn’t need to be done more than once or twice a week, just like any other kind of exfoliation method.
For a demonstration of how to dry brush your skin, check out this YouTube video featuring a yogini with a flattering mullet:
So, have a go at dry brushing if you have cellulite, dull, dry or scaly skin and see the improvement. It’d definitely not recommended it for active eczema, but it might play a role in maintaining healthy skin in a regular skincare routine.