Lurking among the uplifting essential oils, creamy balms and soothing salts of my bathroom is one of my favourite beauty treasures: my dry body brush.
Granted, it may not offer the same glitz and glamour of some of my more luxurious products. Yet, this humble, innocuous-looking brush is one of my Tried and Tested remedies, a staple in my morning routine.
But what is dry body brushing, and why should you give it a go? And while you’re here, how do you even get started? Here are my tips and advice on everything you need to know about what dry body brushing is – and why you should try it!
WHAT IS DRY BODY BRUSHING?
Dry body brushing is an ancient beauty ritual that is just how it sounds – using a natural bristle wooden brush (I use the vegan Aromatherapy Associates brush, which is made from agave cactus bristles), you brush over your dry skin before you hop in the shower.
The practice of dry body brushing (although using slightly different tools from what we know today!) has been around for centuries, and was used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as ancient Ayurvedic cultures. It was also a popular self care routine for the Romans and the Ancient Egyptians, while Aristotle himself was also a fan, using an instrument known as a strigil to remove dirt, sweat and oil before bathing.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRY BODY BRUSHING?
Dry body brushing is something I do every day – and for good reason! It’s a simple (and cheap) way to support the body’s natural detoxification system, and it also helps skin to look smooth, fresh and glowing by exfoliating and sloughing away dead cells.
As well as leaving you with brighter, more vibrant skin, dry body brushing can also:
- Energise the body by stimulating and increasing blood circulation
- Help to support lymphatic drainage and remove toxins in the body (some believe that this also helps to improve the appearance of cellulite)
- Prevent ingrown hairs
- Help improve blood flow, leaving skin looking tighter and more toned
- As part of a self care routine, help to ease the stress response in the body
It’s worth pointing out here that, while I can vouch for all of these effects of dry body brushing, these benefits are lacking in scientific study and are very much anecdotal! However, it has stood the test of time and been passed down for centuries, so make of that what you will…
HOW DO I START DRY BODY BRUSHING?
Remove your clothes, then take your brush in hand (I find a circular brush is easier to hold). Starting at your feet, brush in upwards strokes towards the heart, moving along the legs and thighs. Repeat on your other leg.
Now, take the brush and buff it in a clockwise motion across the stomach, before repeating the same movement across the chest.
Next, move onto your arms, brushing in upward sweeps. Again, move towards your heart.
Aim to spend at least a few minutes doing this, whenever you can – and don’t forget the backs of your legs and bottom, too! Be careful with the pressure you apply – while it may feel uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful and you don’t want to break or scratch the skin.
If you want to, hop in the shower afterwards and then apply a good quality, natural body butter or oil (I love By Sarah’s Organic & Natural Body Oil, as well as Ancienne Ambiance’s Goddess Argan Beauty Oil) I like to do my dry body brushing in the morning because I find it quite invigorating, but this is personal preference.
CAN ANYONE DRY BODY BRUSH?
Most people will find dry body brushing works for them. However, if you have sensitive skin or eczema, proceed with caution and perhaps avoid altogether. You should also never dry brush on sunburned skin or open wounds, and always stop if any irritation occurs.