Most of your skin care regime is laser-focused on your face, which makes sense because that’s the part of you that you present to the world every day, and it’s where your most sensitive skin is.
Devoting that much time to the rest of your skin’s surface isn’t possible in our fast-paced modern life, but dry brushing is one very simple, natural thing you can do weekly, or more frequently, to keep the rest of your skin glowing and baby soft.
The bristles found on most dry brushes will cause irritation when used on the face but effectively exfoliate the rest of your body, sloughing off dirt and dead skin cells to expose your true young, vibrant epidermis underneath (there are some dry brushes on the market made especially for the face).
Some practitioners suggest putting a bit of body oil on the brush before starting, but most people use a completely dry brush on clean, dry skin for more effective exfoliation, following it up by showering and then moisturizing.
Dry brushing is not recommended for those with especially sensitive skin or conditions like eczema, psoriasis, sunburn or open sores or skin wounds.
How It’s Done
Find the right brush — Dry brushes are generally made from a wooden paddle and naturally sourced bristles made of such materials as cactus needles, sisal, animal hair or even copper, which apply different levels of pressure and allow you to choose the level of intensity your skin can handle.
Some fit in your hand while others have handles to make it easier to reach your back, feet and other more difficult-to-access body parts. Some handles are wrapped in cotton, sisal, rubber or other materials to make them easier to grip.
Work your way up from the bottom — This means the soles of your feet, where the brushing sensation can feel especially powerful. Do one leg at a time, brushing upward on the front and back before proceeding to your derriere.
Move the brush around your belly in a clockwise motion, then from your back upward toward your front.
Always move the brush toward your heart — This aids blood circulation, refreshing your skin while also sending lymphatic fluid throughout your body for faster removal of toxins and pathogens.
Better circulation helps to plump the skin and can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite on the skin’s surface.
Don’t overdo it — Some people dry brush as often as daily, but many experts believe once or twice a week is the most beneficial frequency. Use slightly firm pressure at the most. The bristles will be doing most of the work, and you don’t want to create counterproductive irritation.
Your skin will be slightly reddened after you brush, but that should dissipate quickly so watch for any longer-lasting inflammation that could indicate skin damage.
Enjoy! — Beyond its skin care benefits, dry brushing can be incredibly relaxing as a meditative self-care ritual. The sensations it causes can be an exhilarating wake-up call that’s perfect for starting off your day.