Everyone is into dry-brushing...but here's why

Everyone is into dry-brushing...but here's why

02.07.2018    |    
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Lately I have gotten really into dry skin brushing. Why? Well, I heard that you can dry-brush when pregnant. Now there are sooo many things that you can’t do when pregnant, aka basically everything, so I thought to myself, if this is something that is allowed, well then I’m going to do it! I’ve always been an obsessive exfoliator, and while I’ll always continue with that routine, I have made time, at least once a week, for this slightly more holistic treatment.

Difference between dry-brushing and exfoliating: Although dry-brushing is a type of exfoliation, the term exfoliation is used to describe the removal of dead skin while taking a bath or a shower, aka wet. You typically use your hands or sometimes exfoliating gloves. Dry-brushing, on the other hand, is done completely dry (pre-shower) and using a brush. The benefits of dry-brushing are a little deeper and more holistic, including lymphatic stimulation to assist in detox and waste removal. It also helps with blood circulation and promotes collagen production. Hooked yet?

Important note for those who are expecting: Get the OK from your doctor first before dry-brushing. Also make sure to be extra gentle, especially around the stomach. Use very light strokes or avoid the stomach area completely if it feels uncomfortable.

What is dry-brushing? Dry skin brushing is one of the most natural, effective and inexpensive methods for reducing cellulite and promoting healthy, glowy skin. It buffs away dead skin, boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage and rids the body of toxins. Interested? Uh, who wouldn’t be.

I spoke with Joanna Vargas, New York City based esthetician, celeb facialist (clients like Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz, NBD) and skin care expert, for the low-down on dry brushing.

Why: “The main purpose of dry brushing is to stimulate collagen production, which will help thicken the skin and lessen the appearance of cellulite. It also increases blood flow to the skin, and helps the lymphatic system release toxins by aiding digestion and kidney function. It also dramatically increases elasticity, so it’s great for lifting and toning problem areas. Results usually appear within the first two weeks!”

How often: “Dry brushing every day on heels, elbows and knees considerably improves their texture. Dry brushing immediately increases circulation, so you will feel warmer when you are done—perfect for winter! Try it before you get into the shower in the morning and you will see a difference in your skin quality and cellulite in days. But you can also just attempt to do this once a week.”

Type of Brush: “Look for a course bristled brush. The bristles should be natural, not synthetic, and preferably vegetable-derived. Find a brush with an attached handle for hard to reach spots.”

Direction: “Start at the tops of the feet and brush upwards towards the heart, making long sweeps, avoiding an overly harsh back and forth motion. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don’t forget to include the backs of the arms and your back.”

Post brushing: I like to follow with a nice body butter containing Shea and Cocoa Butter, especially in the winter for ultimate softness and hydration.”

Thanks Joanna for your incredible insight! I recommend this brush from Cap Beauty and using only clean body butters. These are my favorites: PaiTata Harper, Earth Tu Face and Susanne Kaufmann. Try Pai if you are sensitive or allergy-prone, Tata if you want to get rid of cellulite or stretch marks, Earth Tu Face if you are a coconut or cocoa addict and Susanne for the best absorbing and most deliciously smelling.

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  • I have been dry brushing for a few months now to help with detoxing and with cellulite. I have definitely noticed a different. My cellulite is less noticeable and my skin look better overall. I also feel like I have more energy. It feels so good once you get used to it! I bought a separate, hand-held brush for my face and both of my brushes are boar bristle. I’m excited to see that other people are doing this! 🙂

  • Ashley

    I’m definitely going out and picking up one of these brushes, I’m excited to get started! Keep up the awesome posts, I love your blog! 🙂

  • Theresa

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  • Charlotte

    I absolutely love dry brushing. My larger question is: what’s the difference, efficacy-wise, between exfoliating with a body polish in the shower, and dry brushing? Is one a better choice than the other, is doing both too much? Let me know if you have any insight! Xx

    • Annie Atkinson

      Hi Charlotte! Although dry brushing is a form of exfoliation, the term exfoliation is used to describe the removal of dead skin which taking a bath or shower, aka wet. You typically use your hands or sometimes exfoliating gloves. Dry brushing, on the other hand, is done completely dry and using a brush. This type is done before the shower on totally dry skin. The benefits of dry brushing are a little deeper and more holistic, including lymphatic stimulation to assist in detox and waste removal. It also helps with blood circulation and promotes collagen production naturally.I hope this helps!! xxAnnie

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  • The Skinny Guru

    I loooove dry brushing but mostly just because it feels so damn good. I’m also into stimulating the lymph – jumping on a trampoline is good for this too! Thanks.

  • Kylie Vincent-Hall

    I really wish people wouldn’t perpetuate the idea of dry brushing assisting lymphatic drainage. It seems to be one of those things where it’s widely believed but with zero research behind it. No one ever seems to cite research, it’s just some esthetician repeating what they’ve heard time and time again. I’ve spoken with nurses about this and they say the amount of pressure required to actually stimulate and assist lymphatic drainage is much more than you would get with simple dry brushing. Registered massage therapist will also agree with that.