If you’ve ever investigated different exfoliation methods, you may have come across the term dry brushing before. It’s an ancient exfoliation method that’s even labelled as an Ayurvedic medicine because of the wonders it can work for your skin.
However, there are lots of myths, rumours and questionable facts about dry brushing floating around on the internet. There are some things to consider and it’s not for everyone. We’re going to help you to distinguish fact from fiction and outline the real benefits. So, by the time you finish reading, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into when you pick up the dry brush.
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is a daily body massage or beauty ritual where practitioners rub a dry, stiff-bristled brush over their bodies to exfoliate their skin. Typically, the brushes have long natural bristles made from plant fibres and have long wooden handles so that you can reach hard to get areas like the middle of your back.
The benefits are said to be that the coarse fibres will help to remove dead skin cells, eliminate toxins, increase circulation, help with digestion issues, and even reduce the appearance of cellulite.
It sounds amazing, right? However, dry brushing can only really deliver on a couple of these benefits.
What are the true benefits of dry brushing?
The main benefit of dry brushing is exfoliation. Exfoliating on dry skin increases the friction compared to exfoliating on wet skin which makes the process more effective. Therefore, exfoliating with a dry brush will help to remove more dead skin cells, enhancing your skin’s radiance and light reflection which makes it appear brighter.
The second proven benefit is that it can increase blood circulation which helps to detoxify the skin. Rubbing the skin with a dry brush, your hand, or other tools will increase blood flow and circulation to the targeted area of the skin. As the blood then drains away it will take some toxins with it which are filtered through your lymphatic system.
What are the unproven benefits of dry brushing?
If you’re looking for a way to reduce the appearance of cellulite, unfortunately dry brushing is not going to help. Dry brushing has been suggested as a cellulite treatment because it produces a similar effect to massage which has been proven to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, there is no scientific research to back up this claim. While the cause of cellulite which affects around 85% of women is not fully known, it’s thought to be something to do with collagen and subcutaneous fat bands in women. So, it’s unlikely dry brushing will do anything to reduce cellulite.
The second unproven myth is that dry brushing will help with digestion. This myth most likely comes from the fact that gentle abdominal massage may help with symptoms of mild constipation. So, there may be a tenuous link that dry brushing on your abdominal areas will produce a similar effect. However, there is no evidence linking your skin to your digestive system. There are definitely more effective ways to aid your digestion like diet, hydration and exercise.
How to dry brush - the right way
The clue is in the name, dry brushing should be performed on dry skin. This will allow you to create the most friction and therefore remove more dead skin cells. The best technique is to brush in wide, circular motions. Apply more pressure in areas where the skin is thicker like the soles of your feet and take it easy on areas where your skin is thinner like the backs of your hands, breasts, and neck. Finally, you should take a cool shower to remove the dead skin cells and follow up with a natural moisturiser.
It’s recommended that you don’t dry brush over moles, warts, raised bumps, infections, or broken skin as it can cause irritation, swelling and redness. If your skin becomes irritated or inflamed for a prolonged period after dry brushing, you should stop.
If you have sensitive skin, you can still dry brush. However, using a brush with softer bristles or even a dry wash cloth will provide similar benefits without causing irritation.
Is it a good idea to use dry brushing to exfoliate your face skin?
Yes, dry brushing to exfoliate the skin on your face is fine. However, you will want to find a brush with softer bristles as the skin on your face is more delicate than the rest of your body. It’s best to start from the top down, beginning at the forehead, nose, and hairline before moving onto your cheekbones and chin.
Similarly to when you dry brush your body, it’s best to wash your face with warm water immediately after dry brushing to remove any excess skin flakes. Then, apply a moisturising serum like Kinvara’s 24hr Rosehip Face Serum or cream like our Active Rosehip Day Cream to your face to complete the process.
Final thoughts on dry brushing
Now that we’ve dispelled a few myths you know exactly what benefits you will get from dry brushing. It’s all about removing those pesky dead skin cells and increasing the blood flow to the surface of your skin to help with detoxification. Just remember not to overdo it, stop if there’s ever any soreness and always follow up by washing and moisturising.
Try Kinvara Skincare Dry Brush, made with bamboo bristles that would help leave your face skin, smooth, exfoliated and ready for the next steps in your routine.