Jade rollers. Sheet masks. Brazilian bum creams.
Just a few of the top beauty fads over the past few years. But do you ever wonder if these trends and products we spend millions of dollars on actually tout real benefits? When people say it’s anti-aging or ant-inflammatory, do they actually know that or is it some hoax? Stick a couple of big words on the label and make it pretty, heck, get a celebrity to endorse it and next thing you know, all of America is in search of it. That’s the conspiracy theorist inside of me coming out. But truly, there are many products on the market that are inappropriately marketed with false claims to get the consumer to buy. That’s where greenwashing comes into play. And if you don’t know what that word means, Google it and prepare to have your mind blown.
But sometimes its challenging to sift through ALL the products out there to find the ones with research-backed claims and long-term benefits. We’ve all been there. The beauty industry can be a beast sometimes. But over the past couple of weeks, my newest fad find has been dry brushing and it’s completely revitalized by skin!
What is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is an ancient skincare technique that’s been around for centuries. Using a bristled brush and applying pressure like a massage, you’re able to achieve deep epidermal exfoliation. Many civilizations have cited using this technique, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Japanese, Scandinavians, Native Americans, Russians, and Turks. Historians have even claimed that Queen Cleopatra performed bathing rituals involving dry brushing followed by milk and honey to help exfoliate her skin.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Daily dry brushing (if you skin can tolerate it) is a great tool for exfoliation. It helps to lift away dead skin cells which leads to smoother, softer skin. I can attest to this! After incorporating dry brushing into my daily routine, I’ve noticed tremendously smoother skin and less breakouts on my extremities. And dry brushing is more effective at exfoliation than wet brushing. Why? Because the increase in friction between the skin allows for deeper penetration of that epidermis, or top layer of skin.
Dry brushing has been shown to help individuals with the skin condition keratosis pilaris (KP), aka “chicken skin“. However you want to be careful not to over-exfoliate or aggressively exfoliate, because that can exacerbate the condition. Like all good things, do it in moderation.
Many companies like to claim that dry brushing helps eliminate cellulite and increase lymphatic flow. I’m a little less convinced on those two benefits. It may help, it may not. But I know for a fact that dry brushing can help revitalize your skin. It helps you slough off the top layer of your skin and bring it to its former glory. I’ve seen it work some amazing magic!
How to Dry Brush
The basics of dry brushing are simple if you follow this one rule: start at your feet and brush upwards toward your heart. Here is a graphic to illustrate the different directions for the different areas of the body.
I like to dry brush before I shower. Some people say that dry brushing in the morning is better than at night, but honestly I just do it whenever I shower, whatever time of the day that may be. I do it sans oils or lotions, and then after I shower, I apply a deep moisturizing lotion to ensure my skin is getting all the hydration is needs. It may take me an extra 5 minutes out of your day, but dry brushing is effective and has the possibility of making a major impact on your skin.
Talk with your dermatologist if you’re at all concerned about how your skin will react to the dry brush technique. Do not dry brush if you have sensitive skin or a pre-existing skin condition like psoriasis, rosacea, or eczema. This technique may cause you undue flares and inflammation.
Where to Buy a Dry Brush
I snagged my dry brush from Amazon, the mecca for all things beauty! They have so many different options to choose from. But I landed on mine because it has the versatility of being a handheld or handled brush. Below are a couple of different Amazon options with great reviews!