Dry Brushing: Why It's Time to Try This Spa-Inspired Routine

May 31, 2018
Jennifer Hussein
By: Jennifer Hussein | skincare.com by L'Oréal
Dry Brushing: Why It's Time to Try This Spa-Inspired Routine

We’ve all heard of the benefits exfoliating has on our skin. But, did you know that there’s more than one way to exfoliate? One way we like to give our bodies a boost is with a time-honored spa tradition: dry brushing.

While it sounds a bit frightening, dry brushing is actually very soothing and helpful for removing dead skin on the surface. If you’re a dry scrubbing novice, then have no fear, because we’re here to help. We reached out to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman for the low-down on everything you need to know about this exfoliating tactic. 

What Is Dry Brushing?

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So, what exactly is dry brushing? It’s exactly as it sounds: you use a natural-bristle brush (or dry loofah if your skin is sensitive) and gently scrub your skin to remove flakes and dry patches. It’s quite a popular technique in spas, and there are dry brushes available at your local beauty shop so you can do it yourself at home.

Why Should You Try Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a form of exfoliation, so it has similar skin-softening benefits as using your favorite shower scrub. Dry brushing at least once a day can help remove all of those pesky dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft.

“Exfoliation improves skin appearance by removing the top layers of the skin through weakening the lipids that bond them together, thus removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin cells. Manual exfoliation helps to smooth the appearance by increasing blood flow to the area and reducing inflammation.” - Dr. Dendy Engelman 

So, how does dry brushing actually do all of this? Dr. Engelman broke down the science: “By stimulating the lymphatic system with exfoliation, blood increases in that area and eliminates waste, which can cause inflammation,” she said. “Dry brushing increases circulation which aids in lymphatic drainage and exfoliates the skin.”

How To Dry Brush Your Skin

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So, now that we’ve got you hooked, it’s time to try dry brushing out for yourself! But, in order to get the most out of your scrub session, you should know how to do it the right way. Check out our tips and tricks for perfecting your dry brushing routine. 

Tip #1: Get The Right Brush For You

Not all dry brushes are the same! There are different firmness types, so make sure you grab one that isn’t too rough on your skin type. You should also make sure your skin isn’t too sensitive before grabbing one. If you have sensitive skin, try using a dry loofah instead to avoid irritation and scraping. 

Tip #2: Scrub in the Morning

You can really dry brush at any time of day, but we recommend that you save it for the morning time. Try dry scrubbing before you step into your shower to give yourself (and your skin) a morning wake-up call.

Tip #3: Start From Your Feet & Work Your Way Up

To start off, scrub at your feet and work yourself up to your shoulders. Dr. Engelman recommends applying gentle pressure while brushing upwards towards your chest.

Tip #4: Scrub in Small Circles

To make sure you get all of those dry patches scrubbed off, scrub in circles instead of going up and down.

Tip #5: Be Gentle

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Be gentle on your skin when you’re dry brushing! Scrubbing too hard can cause irritation and scraping of the skin.

Tip #6: Add Body Oil

If you want to give your skin an extra-softening boost, try pairing your dry brushing technique with a small amount of your favorite body oil. Just apply a tiny amount onto your skin or onto the brush and scrub as usual. 

Tip #7: Keep it Quick

You don’t need to scrub your skin for an excessive amount of time. Scrubbing for too long can cause irritation, so keep it short and sweet. Scrub for 3-5 minutes to give your skin a quick exfoliation session.

Tip #8: Follow with Body Lotion

Once you’re done exfoliating your entire body, jump in the shower to rinse off all those newly loosened dead skin cells and other impurities, pat your skin dry, and apply your favorite body lotion or cream. 

Tip #9: Do Not Scrub Your Face

Dry brushing should be only reserved for the skin on your body since the bristles can be too rough for the delicate skin on your face. If you want to give your facial skin some exfoliation, try sticking to face scrubs or gentle chemical exfoliators.

Tip #10: Give Your Skin A Break

After you use a dry brush, give your skin a chance to rest before you use any other exfoliating products.

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