The science behind dry body brushing and how to do it effectively
Can your skin really benefit from dry body brushing?
The answer is yes!
This super-simple beauty hack takes less than 5 minutes and gives you smoother, brighter, softer skin.
Read on for all the reasons why you should set your alarm clock 5 minutes earlier and make dry brushing a daily ritual.
What is dry body brushing?
Dry body brushing is a skin care ritual that involves using a dry brush on your dry skin.
A technique that started off in spas is now something people do at home as part of a holistic approach to looking after their skin.
How does dry body brushing work?
Every day our skin is performing all kinds of functions for our health and wellbeing.
The epidermis, the very top layer of our skin is made up of tightly packed cells and is continually shedding dead cells. Skin cell renewal takes about 35 days.
This is also the layer of our skin where sweat and oil escape from our pores.
This layer of the skin is extremely sensitive, and depending on your genetic makeup can be prone to imbalance and either becoming too oily or too dry.
Dry body brushing is a skin care step that benefits all skin types.
Overproduction of oil can lead to pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells, dry body brushing is a great way to slough away the top layer of cells to prevent pimples.
Dry skin can become flaky and irritated, dry body brushing removes dry and dusty skin cells to not only approve the appearance of your skin but also the ability of topical moisturisers to nourish the skin.
Dry body brushing can have other health and skin benefits too.
What are the benefits of dry body brushing?
Giving your body a brush in the morning helps increase blood flow to the skin’s surface, carrying with it oxygen to power your skin cells for healthy renewal.
Dry brushing in the morning will help kick-start your lymphatic system, which is our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of waste. Stimulating your lymphatic system means improved waste removal and faster removal of toxins.
Dry body brushing every morning is going to help shift dead skin cells and unblock your pores. This means your skin is perfectly primed for the maximum absorption of any nourishing body treatments for smoother skin. Dry body brushing also stimulates your skin’s oil glands, which means more moisture for vibrant looking skin.
It helps keep skin young
As we age our bodies become less effective at shedding old skin cells, which can lead to dead skin cell build-up. By mechanically removing the old cells by dry brushing, you’ll be preventing the build-up for younger-looking skin.
It makes you feel good
If nothing else, dry body brushing feels amazing. It stimulates your nerve endings and can be described as a mini-morning full-body massage. A great way to start the day with many skin-loving benefits as a bonus.
The best method for dry body brushing
Dry body brushing is a great way to start your day, but whether you dry body brush in the morning or evening, do it before you shower to wash away dead cells.
Starting from your feet, brush your legs in long smooth strokes in an upward motion.
Always brush towards your heart, lymph vessels only have a one-way valve, by brushing towards to heart you’re encouraging lymphatic flow and toxin removal.
Brush your stomach and chest in a clockwise motion, and then work your arms from the hands/wrists up towards your shoulders.
When it comes to your back brush, from your neck in a downwards direction and from your lower back upwards.
The dos and don’ts of dry body brushing
Do shower afterwards. Showering will wash away all those dead skin cells and leave the skin surface clean and clear.
Do brush in the morning (if you can). The morning is when your body is winding up so you want to kick-start your lymphatic and circulatory systems.
Do consult your doctor if you suffer from skin allergies, sensitive skin or are pregnant.
Don’t brush over broken or sensitive skin, this includes varicose veins, minor abrasions and sunburn.
Don’t brush for too long. Body brushing shouldn’t hurt or irritate the skin, so keep it to 5 minutes maximum. If you brush for too long, you’re more likely to irritate the skin.
Don’t brush your face. Exfoliating your face and neck is what Santé’s Exfoliators are for. The skin on your face is far more delicate, so keep any kind of facial exfoliation to once-a-week.
Don’t carry on body brushing if your skin reacts badly. Always listen to your skin, it knows what’s best for you.
Editor's note: this blog post was updated 30 April 2020