What is “Dry Brushing''? Everything you need to know
Image Credit Yan Krukov from Pexels

You may have always thought that brushes were just for the hair, but we’re here to tell you about this (not-so-new) practice that makes your skin look and feel better. Dry brushing is a skincare ritual that involves gently massaging or brushing dry skin with a specialised natural bristle brush before bathing or showering. When done right—gently and smoothly–the practice will elevate your energy levels, reduce stress, exfoliate the skin, and bring out a firmer, rosier and healthier complexion.

Dry Brushing, Exfoliation or Gua Sha?

Exfoliating scrubs are highly effective due to their composition, which typically includes an abrasive or sandy organic material (salt or sugar), skin-boosting oils, added nutrients, or water to slough off dead skin. They can also help detox the skin, drawing out dirt and impurities. Chemical exfoliants, with their high acid contents such as alpha hydroxy acid, set off the body’s own chain of skin cell renewal. Yet, since the instant exfoliating power of scrubs and chemical exfoliants is so strong, using them every day can cause damage. Signs of excessive exfoliation are raw skin, breakouts, irritation, redness, flaking and soreness. 

Dry brushes and Gua Shas, however, can be used every day. Both have an important massage component. The ritual gently moves the skin, stimulating healthy blood flow. Over time, improved circulation leads to benefits like clearer skin and a more radiant complexion. 

Gua Shas, including facial rollers, do not have significant exfoliating effects because the surface of a Gua Sha or facial roller is smooth. They help to move the muscles beneath the skin, assisting with the reduction of tension in the jaws, forehead, and other tender spots. 

One can think of the dry brush as a combination of the benefits of Gua Sha and exfoliation. For those seeking a shorter beauty routine and one that incorporates a wellness ritual, dry brushing is the answer. To dry brush every day, choose a brush that is gentler. If you prefer the feeling of firm bristles, reduce your brushing to once a week.  

The natural bristles gently remove dead skin cells that can build up and cause the skin to appear dull, dry and flaky. Immediately after application, your facial skin is rosy and fresh and feels plumper; after several weeks, small signs of wrinkles will be reduced. Just a few minutes of massage per day can bring your complexion greater radiance and promote the long-term health of your skin.

The Right Way to Use a Dry Brush

1. Start with dry skin. Gently massage the body in easy upward strokes. Start from your feet, to ankles, to calves. Then over the thighs, hips and back. Brush upwards from the hands to the elbows and over the arms. When dry brushing the face, use gentle circular strokes. 

2. Shower or apply nourishing butters and lotions afterwards. Follow up with bathing, in lukewarm water, or simply feed moisture into the skin with moisturising products. 

If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, consult with a dermatologist before adding this to your daily habits. To try out the routine, opt for gentler bristles, and test on a small patch of skin to determine if you have the correct brush tool. Using bristles that are overly hard, or applying too much pressure during the massage, may cause greater irritation and damage. 

5 Natural Dry Brush Tools

Kokoa Eco Beauty

Bamboo Body Brush for Dry Brushing, Exfoliating & Stimulating

£18.00 | Colour: Natural Bamboo

This 'no nodule' body brush is in the shape of a perfect circle, making it easy to grip within the fingers while brushing gently over the entire body. The natural bristles gently remove dead skin cells that can build up and cause the skin to appear dull, dry and flaky. 

Latticia Organics

Dry Body Brush

£15.00 | Colour: Natural Bamboo

Elevate your body-care routine with this Dry Body Brush made from vegan, sustainably sourced and renewable materials; medium density sisal fibres and bamboo.

Gilded

The Marble Body Brush

£65.00 | Colours: Carrera, Black, Green

A brush unlike the others, this is a stunningly beautiful self-care accessory with a base of marble and natural bristles. Slip your fingers easily into the large loop, which allows the brush to be firm as you glide it over the body.

The Mango Girl

Bamboo Exfoliating Body Brush with Massaging Beads Nodes

£13.00 | Colour: Natural Bamboo

This brush contains massage nodes spotted amongst the regular bristles to promote blood circulation beneath the skin.

NAYA Glow

Vegan Dry Facial Brush

£31.00 | Colour: Natural Wood

The bristle thickness is medium-soft and therefore ideal for sensitive facial skin. It has been imitated to be similar to goat hair which is gentle enough for the skin on the face. Due to its beautiful and easy-to-hold base, which can stand upright, it lies perfectly in your hand and easily reaches all your contours.

 

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