The skin is the outer covering of the body and is the largest organ of the integumentary system. It stretches from the top of our head to the tip of our toes, and up to one-third of all the blood circulating in our body goes to the skin. Thus, unsurprisingly, skincare regimes and treatments are one of the most invested beauty routines.
On the developing list of natural wellness and beauty treatments labelled as “detoxifying”, a growing trend is “dry brushing’. It is a process popularised by Dr. Paavo Airola of Finland, and is now a common practice throughout the world. It is so popular that it is even offered on the menu at spas (in hotels), skin therapy clinics, cancer treatment centres across Europe and other parts of the world.
Dry brushing (or dry skin brushing) is a natural exfoliating technique. The practice involves brushing the surface of your skin in a particular pattern for about 3 to 5 minutes, using a speciality brush: a dry brush has long, firm and natural bristles that offer firm resistance against the skin.. The “dry” in dry brushing refers to the fact that neither the brush nor your skin should be damp or wet while you do it.
Dry brushing process and tips:
- It is recommended that dry brushing should be done before you take a shower, so you can rinse away all the dead skin cells that were exfoliated. Dry brushing should only be done two or three times a week in place of an ins-shower exfoliator. Dry brushing too frequently can cause skin irritation and dryness.
- When brushing, you should brush gently, start at your feet and hands and work your way upwards towards your heart and chest. Dry brushing too vigorously can create small micro-cuts and cause irritation and dryness.
- A circular motion should be used on more sensitive areas, like your stomach and chest.
- When you have finished brushing the entire body, shower as usual, pat dry, and follow up with a rich, creamy moisturiser or oil. Best recommended products to use for and in accordance to dry brushing are found at The Positive Company.
- Regular exercise and healthy eating are recommended to speed up the elimination process commenced by dry skin brushing.
But, dry brushing is not recommended for every skin type: people with sensitive skin or skin conditions, such as, eczema, psoriasis, and excessive dry skin, as it can aggravate the condition and often cause painful irritation.
Despite dry brushing’s roots in ancient healing practices and the plenty of positive testimonials all over the internet, it is important to note that there are no major studies that have confirmed the health benefits. If you are looking to add dry brushing to your daily skin routine, remember to brush with care—and manage your expectations.