Dry Brushing: The What, The Why & The How

The skin is the largest organ on our body and as a result, plenty of bacteria and toxins find themselves either trapped in it or excreted through it. The skin is also responsible for protection from the elements, regulating body temperature and circulation. As a result, it does require some catering to, and while serums and cleansers can help – so can dry brushing.

Dry brushing, which is the literal act of brushing the skin with a dry brush, has become a common salon and spa practice that many have begun implementing in their own homes. With the skin being the body’s largest organ, the application of dry bushing is sure to provide a few great benefits.

1. Exfoliation

In any skincare routine, exfoliation (be it chemical or mechanical) is key because it helps to clear away dead skin cells.

The application of dry brushing helps to exfoliate the entire body and by doing so, it helps to remove dead skin cells leading to much smoother and softer skin. Dry brushing done on the face (with the use of a mush smaller and gentler brush) can also help to clear the pores of oil, dirt and other impurities. Dry brushing not only helps the skin to better absorb nutrients, but it also further encourages the skin renewal process. While dry brushing and other forms of exfoliation can lead to healthier and fresher skin, it’s important not to over do it. In doing so, one might end up with dehydrated and irritated skin.

2. Lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is an integral aspect of the body’s immune system as it helps to fight off infections. It is also responsible for removing waste and toxins- lymph tubes help to transport waste collected from the tissues to the blood for removal. If the proper functioning of the lymphatic system is compromised, then you are likely to fall prey to disease and inflammation.

However, dry brushing can stimulate the the lymphatic system and help it release toxins and waste proving that dry brushing is perfect for natural detoxification of the body.

3. May reduce cellulite

Cellulite is a condition that affects many women’s bodies as well as their self-esteem. If one has cellulite, they most likely find it hard to deal with their skin having a cottage cheese-like appearance. While the root cause is still unknown, the presence of cellulite can often be attributed to genetics, poor diet, obesity, poor circulation, hormonal imbalance and fluid retention.

One study published in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science in revealed that massages may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, thus it is possible that dry brushing – which can stimulate cells, break down toxins beneath the skin and increase circulation – will be able to do the same.

Dry brushing: how to start

To dry brush at home, all you’d need is a brush with natural fiber bristles and a long handle that will allow you to reach every part of your body.

It is advisable to dry brush in the shower so that you can easily rinse off once you’re done. When dry brushing, be sure to start at your feet before moving upwards, avoiding areas with rashes, cuts and infections. When dry brushing, use light pressure and brush the skin in a wide, circular motion. Once done, enjoy your shower and don’t forget to use a moisturiser. For optimal results, dry brushing can be done a few times a week.

Your brush should be rinsed after your session and, aside from not being shared with anyone else, it should also be cleaned with soap and water once a week.

Potential risk

If you happen to have sensitive skin or suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, then you might want to opt out of dry brushing. Also, over-brushing can lead to dry and irritated skin so be sure not to dry brush too frequently.

At the end of the day, you just need to find what works well for you and your skin.

Want to know more?

In order to better understand the health of your skin, you also need to understand what lies directly beneath it and how it impacts your skin: your fascia. Christien Mann – teacher and co-founder of Myofascial Activated Posture Movement or “MAP” – explains that healthy fascia is to the muscle what a slingshot is to a pebble. Click on the link above to find out more.