The classic ritual has gained popularity of late—and now has plenty of devoted fans. But what does dry brushing really accomplish? It’s a tradition with a long history, so it may be worth looking into as a means of tradition-inspired self care.
Dry brushing is a classic ayurvedic ritual that involves brushing your full body with a special bristled tool. The benefits is the truth haven’t been studied significantly. Many of the claims that you’ll see out there—like reducing cellulite or even improved immune system function—should be met with a skeptical eye.
However, there are a few healthy skin benefits we can get :
It buffs skin. Dry brushing is an effective physical exfoliator, meaning it’s manually removing dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, improving the appearance, and making the following topical treatments more effective.
It may encourage circulation. Lymphatic drainage and circulation is the most often cited benefit of the ritual. Your lymphatic system works alongside your circulatory system and removes waste in the body, which is why you might hear people say that dry brushing is “detoxifying.” It’s up for debate whether you actually need to manually stimulate circulation (some studies show lymph pumps can improve lymphatic function) or if simply moving your body is enough. Regardless, studies show that improved circulation is better for skin overall—no matter how you get things going.
Offers a moment of self-care. If anything, dry brushing encourages you to take a moment and focus on your body. Even if aesthetically there’s no life-changing improvement, feeling good about the body you live in is always a goal worth achieving.
How to dry brush daily
Find your brush
Finding your dry brush is highly subjective.
You’ll need to be completely nude. It’s best to do before a shower, as you’ll be lifting up dead skin cells that you’ll likely want to wash off right after.
The strokes should be medium pressure—you want to feel something happening without irritating the skin.
The point of dry brushing is to encourage lymph toward your upper torso and chest, where the lymphatic fluid will reenter the bloodstream: You always want to follow the circulatory system.
This will help clean the body of the dead skin cells that have come loose during the brushing process. As your skin is thoroughly exfoliated, be mindful of how you are washing it—skip the scrubs.
After the shower, hydration is key.
Because the skin will absorb product more readily, it’s important to use healthy, high-quality ingredients after dry brushing sessions. Do it while your skin is damp, as smoothing on an oil or cream will seal in water from your shower. Always moisturize with damp skin!