Dry brushing is a detoxifying practice people have used for centuries, but chances are you’ve probably never heard of it. This Ayurveda-inspired practice is actually really simple: all it takes is a wooden skin brush, a little bit of body oil and some gentle exfoliation. The result is super smooth skin.
There is no need to go to a spa for this either: you can get a natural bristle brush for less than £10 and, best of all, you can do a whole skin care routine in under five minutes!
The Fashion Spot advises on some of the ways you can make dry brushing a part of your skin routine.
The lymphatic system is made up of organs, lymph nodes, ducts and vessels, and they all play a core role in supporting a healthy immune system. As many of the major lymph vessels run just below the skin, dry brushing helps to stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body.
The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating the waste our cells produce. Annet King, ELEMIS VP of Global Education, recommends making this ancient practice part of your skincare routine as it “helps the penetration of your body oils and helps to purge waste, salt and toxins.” The more oil, dirt and residue you find on your skin, the more likely you are to develop skin problems, such as acne and eczema. Although acne treatments are available, dry brushing is effective for easing mild cases.
Easing the lymph vessels has anti-inflammatory benefits. When the lymphatic system is congested, it becomes inflamed and makes it hard to digest food. When you dry brush, inflammatory conditions, such as bloating, are calmed.
Brushing over your skin stimulates blood flow and improves circulation. If you’re feeling groggy, it’s a great way to wake yourself up.
The best time to dry brush is first thing in the morning, usually before showering. This is because it naturally energises the body, gets the blood flowing and promotes healthy digestion.
Gina Mari, celebrity aesthetician, recommends starting “at the bottom of the feet, and then moving up to your legs in an upward motion. Once you reach the stomach, start moving the brush in a circular motion. Next, brush your arms moving toward your chest and onto your chest in a circular motion. You can also brush your neck area starting in the back and moving forward.”
Stevie Dance, fashion stylist and beauty reviewer at Into The Gloss, advises paying attention to the inner thigh, and under the arms during dry brushing. These are what she calls ‘the sweet spots’, as they are the prime areas for lymph drainage.
Try to avoid putting too much pressure on the brush, as abrasive skin care can actually be more harmful than doing nothing at all. A natural brush is usually the safest bet, as synthetic materials can sometimes be harsh on skin. If you notice your skin is going red or stings a little, you are probably pushing down too much on the brush.
Lise Sargent, supervisor at the Mayflower Grace Spa, told Goop that she chooses a brush with “medium soft cactus bristles” as it is gentle on skin. Mary Coyne, spa supervisor at Ashford Castle, likes to use a tea tree spray or disinfectant spray to remove dead skin cells after dry brushing.
If you’re new to dry brushing, start by doing it just once a week, slowly working your way up. RealSelf contributor, Dr. Sejal Shah, says you don’t necessarily have to exfoliate every day, instead “one to three times a week is sufficient for most people”.