There are different ways to achieve silky glowing skin but no other methods beat the cost-effectiveness of dry brushing.
Dry brushing provides many overlooked benefits which are intensely stimulating and toning. It boosts circulation, sweeps away dead skin cells, engages your lymphatic system which in turn helps your body metabolize, ridding itself of toxins that may cause inflammation and other illnesses. Over time, it even improves the appearance of cellulite leaving you with smoother softer skin.
Supported by scientific research outlined in an experiment conducted at the University of Sunderland, where a group of women were assigned to follow one of three popular cellulite treatments for a period of 5 weeks. Surprisingly, the women who took on daily exercise routines saw an 11% improvement on their cellulite appearance, those who applied caffeine cream saw a 15% improvement while the remaining participants performed daily dry brushing which resulted in a 26% improvement.
Widely adopted by celebrities, here are some of their testimonials about dry brushing:-
"I'm really into dry brushing. It's an amazing way to exfoliate your body. You take the dry brush and, starting at your feet and working up, sweep it all over your body with light, firm strokes, always brushing toward your heart. I do it every night before I get in the bath." - Gwyneth Paltrow
"Dry body brushing is an integral part of my daily regime. It's a great way to get the circulation going, remove dead skin cells, aid lymphatic drainage, detoxify your system and keep your skin smooth all over. I start with my feet and legs and work my way up in quick gentle strokes... it needn't be too time-consuming and just takes a few minutes before jumping into the shower." - Miranda Kerr
You can either dry brush in the morning, starting your day off with an invigorating sensation, or before a bath to help unwind and relax. Either is fine as long as it suits your schedule. For optimal results, dry brush your body twice a day.
It is also completely safe to continue dry brushing during pregnancy and post pregnancy.
Illustrations by Louisa Cannell
Make sure your skin is dry, hence "dry brushing".
Pick up your brush, start at your feet, all the way at the bottom, and brush upward towards your heart. For your arms, begin at the hands and work upward to your shoulders and chest. Always start from the furthest point, brushing in the direction of the center of your body. Don't forget your armpits and inner thighs, that's where the prime lymphatic drainage spots are. If you have a bad habit of crossing your legs while you sit, spend another minute brushing your knees.
Use firm gentle, small strokes upward or a circular motion. Repeat 2 to 10 times on each section of skin depending how much time you have, overlapping as you go. For the stomach area, work in a counterclockwise pattern to follow the natural digestive path, go with the flow. Remember to brush your body front and back but avoid the face. When you’re done dry brushing, moisturize your skin with body lotion.
Expect your skin to be slightly pink afterwards, that's okay! It should never be red or sting though! Be extra gentle when you brush over sensitive areas like breasts, inner thighs, and armpits.
How to pick a Dry Brush?
Select a brush with natural, non-synthetic bristles.
Aromatherapy Associates Dry Brush - made with natural Cactus sisal bristles, designed in an oval shape that fits perfectly in your palm for easy control. For starters, a good grip controls the stroke movements and gentleness of the motion. Once you have the hang of it, you may want a dry brush with longer handle such as the Acca Kappa Body Brush from Anthropologie. It is especially handy for areas that are harder to reach, such as the lower back.
Towel - believe it or not, dead skin will fall off your body, so you may want to stand inside a bath tub or place a towel on the floor.
Tips from The Artistry
- Apply essential oil prior to dry brushing if you choose to do so before a shower or bath.
- If you brush before heading into the shower, try alternating between hot water and cool water for that extra boost of blood circulation.
- Apply moisturizing lotion over your entire body afterward
- Drink a large glass of warm lemon water to jumpstart your digestive system.
- Clean your brush weekly with warm soapy water, place it in an airy location to dry out and avoid any mildew accumulation.