If you’re a Pinterest regular you must be familiar with the term “dry brushing”. Simply put, it’s a technique to brush one’s skin with a firm-bristled brush – no soap, water or oil involved. The list of benefits seem to be unending: Supermodels swear by it, and health-guru’s claim it even has a positive effect on the inner workings of your physique. I decided to put it to the test. Does dry brushing work? I’ll tell you all about my experience!
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is to brush one’s skin with a dry, often hard-bristled brush. There is no oil, water, soap or cream involved, which makes the process easy and cheap.
How do you dry brush your skin?
Brush towards your heart, starting with your feet. Use long fluid strokes which overlap: This way you’ll make sure you’ll reach every spot at least once. Use circular motions on your stomach, chest and back.
As dry brushing has an exfoliating function it’s advisable to do it before you take a bath or shower.
What do you need for dry brushing?
Any natural, firm brush will do: Just make sure it’s suitable for your skin, rather than for scrubbing the floors. You might already have a suitable brush at home! And if you don’t they’re luckily not that expensive, and easy to order online. I prefer a brush with a handle to reach my back a little easier, but a lot of people like a round brush that fits the palm of your hand. It’s a matter of preference; make sure to try a few brushes out to see what works best for you.
It’s recommended to start with a softer brush, and only to slowly progress to harder bristles. This way you’ll prevent unwanted skin-blemishes or irritations.
The described benefits of dry brushing
When it comes to the supposed benefits of dry brushing, the list is endless:
For your skin
- Unclogs pores
- Stimulates new skin-growth
- Reduces cellulite
- Reduces stretch-marks
- Prevents premature aging
- Improves skin texture
- Improves skin radiance
For your health
- Helps to remove toxins
- Stimulates lymphatic system
- Improves blood circulation
- Supports the immune system
- Assists organs in their efficiency
- Improves kidney function
- Rejuvenates the nervous system
- Improves digestion
- Provides stress relief
This is a summary of the most commonly described advantages of dry brushing. And I have to admit: I personally doubt all these advantages are anywhere near true. Although I can imagine dry brushing has a positive effect on the appearance of your skin, I don’t see how a superficial brush massage will improve the function of your organs or your digestion. And a quick search online shows I’m not the only one.
Nonetheless, I am slightly hopeful that dry brushing will improve my skin. My recent pregnancy has left me with a serious case of stretch-marks. In fact they’re so substantial (we’re not talking fine lines, but complete gorges on my stomach here) I’m afraid there’s little to nothing left to do to make them look any better. But until I’m ready to fully embrace my new mommy-tummy, I’m willing to try out a thing or two. Who knows, dry brushing might actually work.
There’s only one way to find out!
Does dry brushing work? My experience
When I started planning to put dry brushing to the test, I first had to find a brush. That wasn’t that hard; I had one of those long-handled backscrubbers lying around my bathroom for ages. Since it served little purpose besides dressing up the place, I was happy to find an excuse to use it. After that first step a handy diagram on how to brush your body and a free five minutes in the bathroom were all I needed to get this dry brushing show on the road.
The first time dry brushing, my skin felt a little funny*. Although I regularly use a body-scrub they’re all either oil or water based; exfoliating my skin dry was new to me.
* And by funny, I mean literally funny. I somehow wasn’t able to get the image of brushie brushie bat out of my head!
As soon as I reached my upper legs, I started to appreciate the sensation more. My skin started to feel warm and tingly, and not at all unpleasant. To this day this is what I like about dry brushing best; it obviously increases the blood flow, and the coarse bristles exfoliate your skin rather well.
What I don’t like about dry brushing, is that I honestly find it a bit of a hassle. I might sound like a lazy bum right now, but I don’t think rubbing a brush all over your body is as easy or relaxing as say, rubbing lotion on your skin. It takes some reaching, bending down and aiming to get dry brushing right. And to get it right, I feel I need a full 5 to 8 minutes. That’s why I’ve been having some trouble incorporating it in my daily routine; I often don’t feel like doing it, or simply can’t find the time to make it happen before my morning shower.
But when I do decide to have a good dry brushing session, I never regret it. Dry brushing leaves me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated; it even makes me feel energetic. And after trying it three to four times a week for two months I do notice my skin feels better and softer. I soon experienced a healthier, more glowy skin with fewer spots and blemishes. I even feel the skin on my thighs looks a little firmer thanks to dry brushing!
As for a positive effect on my stretch marks? I can’t say dry brushing can do anything for me in that area. Nor have I experienced any other health benefits I have previously listed. But over all, I’d like to say dry brushing is a success, and in some cases even handier and more pleasant than a full body scrub.
Do you dry brush? And do you notice any benefits from it?
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