Okay, okay, hold the phone. A brush is supposed to make my skin smooth and fresh? (Yes.) You mean like, a hair brush? (No.) I know, I know. It all sounds a little crazy when you first hear about it, but trust me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back.
Welcome to the dry brush life. And if you aren’t dry brushing yet or have never even heard of it, don’t you worry! I’ve gotcha covered.
A dry brush is a simple natural, non-synthetic bristle brush that is used on the body. You can purchase this type of brush in health stores or basically all over the online world. The most effective brushes are made with cactus or vegetable-derived bristles.
When used on the body the dry brush exfoliates the dead skin cells revealing smoother and healthier skin. It can also help with circulation. Some claim it will diminish cellulite, but if there is any effect it will only be temporary. I’ve never noticed a difference.
I first discovered dry brushing about three years ago and was totally skeptical at first. Especially because I had tried nearly everything I could think of to try to get rid of the small bumps on the backs of my upper arms, thighs, and inside of my knees, and nothing worked. So why should I think dry brushing would be any different?
The fancy name for those bumps is Keratosis Pilaris. But the name we can all pronounce is Chicken Skin. I tried lotions, even ones with some pretty disgusting ingredients that were supposed to combat those bumps, as well as serums and creams, but nothing helped.
What I eventually realized is that while I was busy putting stuff on my skin, what I really needed to be doing was taking stuff off, as in exfoliation. Once I thought about it, though, it made total sense. I often exfoliate my face to reveal smoother skin, so why would it be any different for the rest of my body?
Guess what? It’s not.
Enter a dry brush. Simply brushing it over your body clears away dead skin cells and essentially allows the new skin some room to breathe. The result is some crazy smooth skin.
For the record I’ll remind you that I am not a dermatologist. If you would like an actual expert’s opinion, definitely consult your doctor. But this is my own personal experience, and I found it to be extremely effective.
I like to dry brush right before getting into the shower. I start at my feet and work my way up, sweeping the brush in an upward motion. You can also brush in circles. Be careful not to press too hard, just a light touch will do. You will also want to avoid the breasts, and definitely do not dry brush your face.
I give a few extra swipes to the areas that are prone to bumps, like the backs of my arms, my thighs, and the inside of my knees.
How often you dry brush is up to you. Some say you should only do it once a week to avoid over-exfoliating, but I tend to do it about every other day. If you are noticing excess redness or irritation, definitely increase the days between dry brushing or stop altogether.
After dry brushing hop into the shower and then make sure to always apply lotion after that shower.
For me the effects have been pretty stunning. After regularly dry brushing for about 10-14 days my Keratosis Pilaris pretty much completely disappears. Left behind is incredibly smooth skin that looks and feels healthier. Of course, you will need to maintain these results. If I get lazy and forget to dry brush regularly, those bumps come right back, and then it takes another 10-14 days to get back to that smoothness.
An added bonus is that dry brushing also seems to make shaving my legs easier as well. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a harder time getting a really close shave, but after regularly dry brushing the blade glides over the skin and is much more efficient.
So, there you have it! The glorious world of dry brushing, explained. But if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. And for reference, this is the dry brush I am currently using. I prefer to have a small handle, but it’s all about what works for you.
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