The main benefits of dry brushing are all connected to its abilities as a very good physical exfoliator.
Maybe you came to this post expecting to hear something else, something more impressive but, as you’re going to discover, there are quite a few misconceptions on the benefits of dry brushing.
Let’s get started and see where this takes us.
What is dry brushing?
It’s the process of running a natural bristled brush over dry skin.
Both the skin and the brush are dry.
Due to the dry environment, the friction is increased so dead skin cells are removed effectively.
The good news is that for this exfoliation technique you only need a good brush.
The other good news is that it’s not that expensive and they’re easily available.
One of the main benefits of dry brushing is that it removes dead skin cells thus, it’s an excellent physical exfoliator.
The skin feels smoother and looks pretty great, kind of healthy and glowing.
It can be used on the whole body, except face. Facial skin is just too sensitive for that kind of thing.
On the limbs you can move upward in long fluid strokes and on the chest, back, and abdomen you can move in circular motions.
Swipe just a couple of times over each area, you don’t want to irritate the skin or cause any cuts and bleeding.
Don’t put too much pressure, it’s best to keep your movements light.
You can start at the ankles and go all the way up towards your chest.
If you plan to use it on your back too, it’s best to get a dry brush with a long handle.
Since all this process is dry, it’s best to jump in a shower afterward.
Start the shower with lukewarm water, the hot water will sting your newly dry-exfoliated skin.
Apply a moisturizer/body lotion after and you will definitely notice a healthier glow about your skin.
You’ll also feel a bit more invigorated.
You can repeat the process 2-3 times a week.
I wouldn’t do it daily since it’s not exactly a gentle exfoliating method.
According to the Palm Vein Center, using a dry brush too often or too harshly, increases the risk of developing micro-cuts, which can even turn into an infection.
Can anyone benefit from dry brushing?
Dry brushing is not for people who:
- have sensitive skin
- have excessive dry skin
- suffer from skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis
- have sunburns
I tried it once and it definitely wasn’t for me.
I have really sensitive skin. On top of that my skin is really dry. Dry brushing can leave the skin less hydrated.
If you fit any of those categories, it’s best to postpone your plans for dry brushing.
I’ll mention some alternatives before ending this post.
When I tried it, I thought that it hurt a lot.
For me, it was very painful.
My boyfriend said that he doesn’t find it painful at all and his skin looked just more healthy, with a bit of redness.
Mine was abnormally red and had tiny cuts, not a healthy look by a mile.
Well, he has normal skin. I don’t.
Once again the difference was made clear because he actually loved the whole process and he still dry brushes, while I found other very satisfying exfoliation methods a long time ago.
I actually managed to cause a small wound on my leg when using a sugar scrub, I was a bit overzealous, but that’s just how sensitive my skin is.
Not everyone can benefit from dry brushing, those who sensitive skin should spare themselves the torment.
Does dry brushing reduce cellulite? Improve digestion?
The shower answer is no and no.
Just like the Cleveland Clinic says, there’s no evidence that dry brushing reduces cellulite or improves digestion.
I can’t even imagine how that would work.
It increases blood flow and circulation, the skin looks healthier and glowing, but that’s about it.
It also won’t get you rid of spider veins. It’s actually if you don’t do it at all if you have spider veins.
Dry brushing can cause micro-cuts, which increases the risk of spontaneous bleeding and infection.
Benefits of dry brushing: Makes you feel invigorated
It stimulates the nervous system so it makes you feel invigorated.
If you don’t have any energy in the morning, taking some bristles and rubbing them all over the skin and then jumping in the shower (start it lukewarm, the hot water might sting) can make the difference to your morning routine.
Exfoliation methods for sensitive skin
If you’re like me and you can’t enjoy the benefits of dry brushing, you just need to know what else is there.
- exfoliation gloves can be used on dry skin just like a body brush and they’re an excellent alternative to exfoliate sensitive skin
- body scrubs are great, too, whether you buy them or search for a DIY body scrub – I enjoy those with sugar and coffee but there are many amazing body scrubs
I use exfoliation gloves before taking a shower and a body scrub at the end of a shower. I apply a nourishing body cream after.
It’s actually one designed for winter months but I use it all year round.
I am prone to getting ingrown hairs and exfoliating this way keeps them at bay.
That’s my daily routine.
- body peels work great towards preventing ingrown hairs because they contain glycolic acid so this goes more into the category of chemical exfoliators but they’re great at clearing out clogged pores so go for it
- exfoliating body lotions – these contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids and they’re usually recommended for extremely sensitive skin, the results can take a while
- body cleansing brushes are amazing because they do all the work, you just have to hold the brush and move it where you need it, and they’re quite affordable
On the face you can get a gentle facial scrub or a facial cleansing brush but the good ones are really expensive so, sticking to a facial scrub and maybe a good at-home chemical peel sounds great.
All in all,
Some of the benefits of dry brushing, like helping with digestion or getting rid of cellulite or being a detoxifying treatment are pretty much a myth, but the truth remains that using a dry brush on the skin 2-3 times a week it’s an excellent exfoliation method that gives the skin a healthy glow.