It seems that everyone is dry body brushing for the wellness benefits all of a sudden, but if you’re anything like me you’re wondering what that means and how to do it.
Ever since a body brush arrived at my desk late last year, I’ve been very intrigued about the proposed claims of firmed skin and reduced visibility of cellulite, claims that it aids in body detoxification and improved digestion and that it can even strengthen the immune system. So, I decided to investigate further.
It turns out there are no recorded scientific studies on the benefits of dry body brushing beyond exfoliation (which is proven) but it also can’t cause any harm when done correctly. So, if you’re into it or keen to get started, let’s look at how.
What does dry body brushing do?
I reached out to natural beauty expert Belinda Hughes to talk me through it.
“The main benefits of dry body brushing are exfoliation and detoxification. Anecdotally, dry body brushing is said to aid in the detoxification of the skin by moving excess lymphatic fluid to our lymph nodes for our body to deal with. This can help the skin to appear more smooth and radiant,” Hughes said.
“The exfoliation is the bristles removing topical dead cells from the skin.”
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How do I do dry body brushing?
I asked Hughes if there’s a particular process we should be following for best results.
“The ‘proper’ way to dry body brush is to use long strokes on each limb, working towards the heart. This is to promote skin detoxification,” Hughes said.
Best practice is brushing before a shower, either in the morning or evening, beginning at the feet and working up the legs towards the groin area, in sweeping movements.
Using light pressure, next work on the arms toward the armpits, as lymph nodes are found here.
Next, stroke gently towards your heart from the neck, then use sweeping clockwise strokes on your tummy as this may help stimulate your digestive system.
Your skin may turn a pinkish colour which is normal – it’s a sign that circulation is pumping around the body. Never apply so much pressure that you tear or stretch the skin, however, and don’t dry body brush sunburn or a rash.
Dedicating at least three to five minutes to brushing each session will give the most benefits. Research shows that dry body brushing is likely safe whilst pregnant, but as always, check with a medical professional before introducing this to your daily routine.
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The other benefits of dry body brushing.
Also worth mentioning is the added benefit of increased mindfulness, as I am just beginning to find out. The daily ritual of brushing your body is said to help balance the autonomic nervous system, which supports adrenal function by reducing stress.
“Usually because it’s related to the body, mindfulness is connected to honouring your body and loving it, flaws and all. There are mantras that you can repeat while brushing like, ‘I love and accept my body’ to further enhance the experience,” Hughes said.
After brushing, apply a luscious body oil or lotion to keep the your skin’s new glow for longer. I personally enjoy a rose scented oil for mornings and a more calming scent, like lavender, of an evening. It feels amazing slipping into your sheets of an evening after this ritual.
As for what brush to buy, a long one will allow you to get at hard-to-reach spots like the middle of your back, but the shorter round ones fit in your hand perfectly, making it really easy to use quickly and efficiently.
If you are dry brushing every day it’s best to wash the brush weekly with a chemical-free soap and water. Ensure the base of the brush is kept dry, just washing the bristles.
Emily Crawford is an Australian beauty influencer.
Do you love dry body brushing? Tell us in the comments!