Skincare 101: Dry brushing

body-shop-catus-body-brush

Spa experts and health enthusiasts swear by it and have been singing its praises for supposedly doing everything from exfoliating to reducing cellulite. So, what is dry brushing? How do you do it correctly? And is it too good to be true?

What are the benefits?

Dry brushing can buff away dead skin, boost circulation and lymphatic drainage, and ultimately rid the body of toxins.

Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City told Shape Magazine: “Gentle dry brushing will slough off dead, dry skin, improving its appearance and allowing it to hydrate more efficiently when moisturiser is applied afterward.”

Annet King, director of global education for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, says dry brushing can help to remove “stagnant toxins” which break down connective tissue, leading to cellulite.

Author of 12 Steps to Wellness, Melissa Ambrosini, says: “Since starting my dry body brushing habit, my skin has become smoother, more even and I have even got rid of cellulite.”

However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that dry brushing can get rid of those cottage cheese thighs. Fusco believes the reduction is more of a brief benefit caused by temporary skin plumping and swelling.

What brush should I use?

Use a natural, not synthetic, bristle brush which is firm but not hard. Try to find one with a long handle so you can reach all areas of your body. I bought mine at the Body Shop.

How often should I be doing it?

The simple answer is daily, even twice a day if you wish. Dry brushing is relatively simple to add into your routine and you can do it for between two to 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have.

How do I dry brush?

-Your skin should by dry so it is ideal to do it before showering.

– Brush from your feet up towards your heart in long sweeping motions.

– Tackle your legs first and then move up to your mid-section (front and back). Finish by brushing up your arms toward your armpits.

– Melissa recommends moving from the left of your body to the right of your body.

– You can brush several times in the same area.

How can I tell if dry brushing is working? 

Hopefully you will be able to feel that your skin is smoother and softer. Some people say they feel more energised after a session.

King says you can even test if you’re releasing toxins by wiping your body with a dry washcloth as soon as you finish brushing. Store that cloth in a sealable bag and after a few days later, smell it. According to King, “you will recognise that toxins were released.”

Things of note:

-Avoid brushing areas that are sunburnt or irritated, and also avoid the breasts and genital area.

– Wash your brush to get rid of any dead skin cells.

Rx

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