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Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Continue reading
You can brush your hair and you can brush your teeth, but did you know you can brush your skin? With dry brushing, the skin is lightly brushed with a bristle brush. But what does dry brushing actually do? Let’s explain with the help of a derm.
“Dry brushing is a method that uses a stiff bristle brush on the skin to remove dead cells from the skin̵
“Typically, the brushes used have natural, long bristles that offer firm resistance against the skin and long handles so they can reach areas like the back.”
So, no, your regular old hairbrush won’t do – you need a real drybrush!
Some brands claim that you can use their dry brushes while taking a shower, such as: B. a bath brush. But that of course defeats the purpose of dry brushing. Adding water to the mixture does not provide any benefits either.
Now to the million dollar question: does dry brushing actually benefit your skin? The internet will tell you that it is the best kept health secret, but the reality is that there are many myths surrounding the practice. Let’s destroy (and prove) some dry brushing myths.
Myth 1: It exfoliates the skin for a shine
“Exfoliating this way can help lighten the skin,” says Chimento. “Lightly brushing the skin is a form of physical exfoliation, meaning it can buff away dead skin and leave it looking smoother and smoother.”
It’s a bit difficult to think of dead skin that is just cooling on your epidermis. Dead skin doesn’t harm you in any way – you shower regularly, right? However, exfoliating your skin with dry brushing can help prevent clogged pores on your body, which can lead to blemishes.
Myth 2: It helps drain your lymphatic system
Wrong, but it helps increase blood flow.
Many brands claim that dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system. However, according to Chimento, this is not correct.
“Many think that one of the resulting benefits of drybrushing is increased drainage of lymphatic fluids,” she says. “This makes people believe that dry brushing can remove toxins from the body.”
“That concept is not very true,” she explains. “One reason is that our body does its own detoxification process, which is controlled by your liver and kidney functions.”
But dry brushing “temporarily stimulates the blood flow,” says Chimento. This will make your skin nice and red, but that’s about it.
Myth 3: Reduces the appearance of cellulite
Wrong, it’s all an illusion.
Cellulite occurs when fat cells are visible under your skin, usually with a bumpy or orange appearance. Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes cellulite, and there’s no need to be ashamed if you have it. Almost everyone does! (Thank you, genetics!)
Popular claims are that dry brushing is “anti-cellulite” and that it dissolves fat cells. It is a pity that these claims are not true. Dry brushing “has no positive or negative effects on cellulite,” says Chimento. (And she would know. She is a derm.)
If your cellulite looks different after dry brushing, it may only be due to increased blood flow in the area. “If you’ve heard anyone claim that dry brushing reduced their cellulite, it’s probably that trick of light reflecting through lighter skin while playing,” notes Chimento.
Conclusion for dry brushing
Anything dry brushed is exfoliating your skin and increasing blood flow! Claims that it can banish cellulite and drain your lymphatic system are just BS.
But who doesn’t love a spa day at home? If you like dry brushing, you can do it because it just feels good. Buy a dry brush online.
Drybrushing is pretty easy, but madness has a method:
- Choose your natural bristle brush.
- Start on one of your extremities – that is, either your hands or your feet. Gently but firmly brush your skin in long strokes towards your heart. (Avoid your breasts and nipples!)
- Pass over each area two or three times. Imagine doing repetitions like you do when you exercise.
- To complete the dry brushing, brush your stomach in a clockwise direction.
- After dry brushing, you can take a cool shower or bath to cleanse your just peeled skin. Feel free to apply lotion or oil to your skin as soon as you take the towel off.
Also, don’t forget to clean your dry brush with soap and water once a week. Let it dry in a sunlit spot to prevent mildew from joining the party.
Be gentle! Your skin will thank you
Dry brushing should feel like a massage on your skin – not a painful scraping. If your drybrushing method leaves painful marks, use a gentler touch.
You should not dry the brush more than twice a week! And don’t even think about brushing your face dry with a body brush.
“People of all skin types should be careful not to brush too hard or too often, as this can create small micro-cuts and cause irritation and dryness,” says Chimento.
Can you dry the brush if you have sensitive skin?
Chimento recommends avoiding dry brushing if you have sensitive skin or inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Dry brushing extremely dry or sensitive skin can only make things worse.
What about dry brushing with keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a condition in which rough bumps develop on your skin because dead skin clogs the hair follicles. It’s more common in the colder months when your skin is drier.
“In theory, dry brushing peeling could help improve keratosis pilaris,” says Chimento. “Of course, proper caution still applies to frequency and severity.”
Dry brushing over sunburned or broken skin?
Don’t even think about it. Avoid dry brushing sensitive areas such as rashes, wounds, cuts, or infections. Areas with poison oak, poison ivy, or psoriasis are also prohibited.
- Dry brushing removes dead skin to lighten the skin.
- It doesn’t reduce your cellulite – sorry!
- It also doesn’t flush toxins out of your body or stimulate your lymphatic system.
- Dry brushing can temporarily stimulate blood circulation and give your skin a nice reddening.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush for dry brushing, but apply it gently to your skin.
- Do not dry the bush if you have eczema, psoriasis, excessively dry skin, cracked skin, or sunburn. It could be really painful!
- Start drybrushing at the ends of your extremities and brush inward and towards your heart.
- Not everyone enjoys the dry brushing feel, and it’s perfectly fine if you don’t.