I tried dry brushing. Here’s what I think…

I remember the first time I was introduced to dry brushing. I booked a spa day for my birthday a few years ago and my esthetician began my treatment with the technique. Because I had never heard or experienced it before, I asked lots of questions and she informed me that it had many benefits:
– it’s a great way to exfoliate to reveal smoother, brighter skin
– it stimulates blood circulation in a way similar to massage and boosts skin’s natural oil production
– it cleans pores and preps the skin to receive the benefits of your skin care products
– I’ve seen a lot of websites say it helps the flow of lymph fluid so the body can remove excess water and toxins (I was unable to find any research that supports this, but almost every site I visited mentioned this as the major benefit).

The Brush
So, after my spa treatment I got to take home my brush. It didn’t have a handle and was round shaped with a strap on the back I was able to slip my hand into. You’ll find a lot like these but I’ve since moved onto one that has a handle so that I can reach my back. It’s best to chose a stiff-bristled brush that is natural and hadn’t been sprayed with tons of chemicals. Since dry brushing has emerged as a major wellness trend it’s easy to find the brush now in most beauty and health stores.

How to Dry Brush
Right before you turn on the water in your shower is the optimal time to begin the process, which should only take a few minutes. This is because you want your skin to be dry, and you also want to be able to rinse off the dead skin when the process is complete. Start at your feet and make long upwards strokes – always stroke up towards the heart (lymphatic fluid flows towards the heart). Go over each area of your body several times (from feet to legs to stomach to shoulders). Don’t go over one area too many times as it could cause irritation. Avoid sensitive areas and any skin that may be bruised or inflamed. Do not dry brush your face. When you’re finished showering, drink a glass of water to aid the detoxification process and lock in moisture with a natural product such as coconut oil. Make sure to wash the brush after each use.

Does it work
The jury is out on all the many claims, with the exception of its exfoliating benefits which can be observed. It’s a harmless and relatively inexpensive trend to jump on if you’re interested in a nice self massage and want smooth skin.

It makes my skin feel smooth, and as someone who’s trying to reduce their use of mainstream products such as body exfoliators that may have toxic chemicals, it’s a great exfoliating alternative. It also makes me feel like I’m doing something special for my body, so it’s become a part of my self-care ritual. That said, I don’t always have the patience for it after a long day when I just want to quickly get in and out of the shower, so I only do it a couple of times a week.

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