Dry Brushing 101 for Your Body and Skin

At first, the idea of dry brushing sounded “painful” to me. Like most people, I was used to brushing and exfoliating wet, properly prepped-up skin in the shower, usually with the aid of bath soaps, creams or oils that make body brushing a smooth, luxurious experience. But dry brushing? I imagined it like having a rabid blindfolded cat being thrown at butt-naked me. Hard bristles on my skin? No way! But after giving dry brushing a shot, I realized my fears were unfounded–as long as it’s done properly, of course!

Again, What is Dry Brushing?
I explained on part 1 of my post Benefits of Dry Brushing that dry brushing is simply brushing dry skin with a dry brush. But I also mentioned that dry brushing isn’t as simple is that. Don’t worry, it IS simple. Just not reckless.

How To Choose the Right Brush
The first thing you need to do is to find a perfect brush that suits your skin. For the full experience, brushes with natural bristles are preferred. Try to test the new brush on the back of your hand using a firm yet delicate pressure (you have to find the right balance — this is something you’ll learn on your own). If you end up getting white scratch marks on your skin, it’s either you pressed too hard or the bristles are too tough for you. I’m currently using Body Shop’s long handle Body Brush. The bristles are a bit tough but with the right pressure, the brush works just fine.

Now, Let’s Get Brushing!
Aside from being simple, the whole body brushing routine is quite fast, too. In less than 2 minutes, I could cover my entire body and hop straight into the shower. The basic rule is to brush towards the direction of you heart.

Dry Brushing DOs and DON’Ts
Aside from the simple DIY instructions mentioned above, here are some more tips to get the best out of all that brushing:

  • Never brush away from the heart as it will defeat the whole purpose of dry brushing.
  • Avoid brushing over delicate and damaged skin. Control the pressure whenever brushing softer areas like the inside of the arms.
  • I don’t really recommend dry brushing the face although some people do it. There are lots of other gentler ways to exfoliate the skin on the face and get the blood flowing without the risk of possibly erasing your face– ha!
  • Be gentle yet firm. Find the right pressure that gives you that “itchy” feeling yet doesn’t scratch your skin too much.
  • Always moisturize to help repair the skin. It’s best to do dry brushing before a shower so you can moisturize after bathing.
  • If you want to see faster results, pair your dry brushing routine with a good oil meant to treat your problem. If you’re dry brushing to get rid of cellulite, for example, apply a firming body oil after dry brushing. Again, you can also do this after bathing if you dry brush before a shower.
  • Never think that dry brushing alone is enough. It’s just a way to boost whatever you are already doing whether it be an exercise routine or new skincare regime. It’s not going to perform miracles going solo.
  • Clean and dry your brush properly at least every week if you use it everyday.

Brush On!
So what do you think — are you willing to give dry brushing a go? Or are you already a proud member of the Dry Brushers’ Club? I sure am!

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  • http://www.winksmilestyle.com Josie

    I don’t know if I have the nerve — but it sounds like it would be great for my skin!
    xo Josie

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Haha, hope I didn’t make it seem like dry brushing is something painful. It’s not :) And it’s pretty fast and easy, too.

  • http://www.bebeautysmart.com BeBeautySmart

    I am a a proud member of the Dry Brushers’ Club! :) My skin is so fresh after a brushing.

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Me, too. And I like the “itchy” feeling of the blood circulating nicely on my skin :)

  • http://beautysecrets-reviewed.com/2012/03/bh-cosmetics-international-beauty-giveaway-ends-apr-5/ Anu

    Great article! I have been meaning to start dry brushing, but it seems like such a long process……hope I get more than 10 minutes in the shower some day :(
    I have done my face a few times though and it turns all red and inflamed for an hour or so, the it heals and looks normal. I read that dry brushing helps if you have dented acne scars, it healing process afterwards boosts the collagen to fill up the dents.
    Lets see how it goes, IF I continue atleast with the face.
    Until I make up my mind and pocket to go for a dermaroller……

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Oh no, if the skin on your face is sensitive and gets irritated easily, I guess you should try to avoid dry brushing your face. And I don’t think that dry brushing wil help heal dented scars as it doesn’t reach the collagen layers of the skn unlike how a dermaroller does.
      But I think dry brushing is good for the body — for cellulites, saggy skin and floating veins.

  • Chui Shia

    Hi Vivi!! You have me sold on this idea! I’m so itching to go and find a brush and start immediately. :p Anything that will help the appearance of my cellulite and stretch marks without costing thousands of moolah is a great idea. :)

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Argh, stretch marks! I’ve got stretch marks on my hips due to irregular weight shifts in the past. Be sure to find a really nice body oil to get the best out dry brushing. For cellulite, you might want to check out Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil. Let me know how it works for you :)

  • http://perfectskincareforyou.blogspot.in/ Swati

    I love dry brushing!!! it helps my skin feel soooooooooo soft :) I am using the body shop cactus brush which actually they recommedn inside the shower and it is too harsh for that but for dry brushing, its perfect.

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Is your brush like mine? I got my brush from Body Shop, too.

      Oh, Welcome to the Dry Brushers’ Club then, Swati! đŸ˜€

      • http://perfectskincareforyou.blogspot.in/ Swati

        it looks the same :) so I am guessing its the same….don’t know if they have 2-3 variants.

  • http://www.samvidbeauty.com Kourtney L.

    I just found your blog today, I am really enjoying it!

    I have never tried dry brushing, but I have always been curious about it. I recently has bought a rough loofah from the health food store and used the technique of brushing away from the heart. Is a dry loofah the same or do the bristles make it different?

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Kourtney, I’ve just visited your blog and it’s amazing! Love your spiritual and philosophical insights about beauty. I think I’m gonna be a regular :) And thanks for visiting!

      I don’t have any references comparing loofah and brushes for dry brushing — but my personal take is that I prefer to use the Loofah wet in the shower as its relatively more even surface seems to work better for mild exfoliation. The brush, on the other hand, would tend to have more micro movements due bristles which can make it more stimulating. Brushes are closer to hard massagers that come with tiny rotating balls that reach into more acupressure points but with the added benefit of shedding old, dead skin. But that’s just my take. I know lots of other gals who prefer to use loofah for dry brushing. :)

      By the way, you might want to brush more towards the heart instead of away from the heart. Although once in a while, it’s also nice to brush away from the heart if you’re having problems with cold hands and feet (although a good exercise is usually enough to fix that :))

      • http://samvidbeauty.com Kourtney L.

        Thanks Vivi!

        Yes, I have cold hands and feet, all the time! So away from the heart it is.

  • http:///www.theeverythingsoapblog.com The Everything Soap Blog

    You are so funny! I love your tips – thank you so much for sharing!!

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Thank you — and I love your classic simple Mango Lassi recipe! :)

  • http://www.lovelycosme.blogspot.com Lynn

    Is that brushing towards the heart direction from ancient chinese principle?I have a book about yellow emperor and his health principles.And I’m a fan of chiro as well:)
    Lynn recently blogged..Balm Balm Muslin Cloths(and the oil that I love..)

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      I’m not sure if it’s from ancient Chinese medicine but I read it from holistic books and magazines. Actually, it’s more of like brushing towards your lymph nodes but since not everyone knows where their lymph nodes are, it’s easier to remember to just brush towards the heart since most lymph nodes would be around the torso area, the part connecting our arms and legs to the main body. Besides, brushing towards the heart helps to stimulate blood circulation better and prevent blood from getting stuck midway. Apparently, it’s easier for blood to travel from the heart than to travel back–and that is one of the factors causing varicose veins on the legs.