The Dos and Don’ts of Dry Brushing
You may be hearing more and more about dry brushing lately, but before you just grab a loofah and start scrubbing your face, get the fast facts from a dermatologist and aesthetician on how to maximize the benefits of this age-old practice. Why even consider it? The method helps tone and exfoliate the skin, aiding in circulation and lymphatic drainage, says L.A. aesthetician Kate Somerville. It can also help play down the look of cellulite and allow your skin care products to absorb better, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rachel Nazarian. Now, a few guidelines:
DO: Get the right brush. For your body, “look for firm plant-based bristles,” says Nazarian. While they create enough pressure to boost circulation, keep in mind that brushing “should never break the skin,” says Somerville. It also shouldn’t hurt. Check out this tool from Elemis with cactus fibers (Body Detox Skin Brush,$45; dermstore.com).
DON’T: Use the same brush on your face as you do on your body. “The skin on your face is more delicate,” says Somerville. Try a softer brush, like Aveda’s plush nylon version ($44; aveda.com).
DO: Know the right technique: Grab a brush before your morning shower; “the practice is stimulating and energizing," says Somerville. Sweep the brush from your feet up in the direction of your heart where your lymph system drains. Use light strokes with medium pressure over each limb. “You’ll need to brush daily to maintain results like smoother-looking skin,” says Nazarian. For your complexion, “brush in circular movements to enhance your glow,” Nazarian says.
DON’T: Dry-brush if you have fragile, flare up prone skin (with conditions like rosacea and eczema); then “dry-brushing may cause irritation,” says Somerville.
DO: Coat limbs with moisturizer post-brushing. Remember the habit is a form of exfoliation, and since you’re slightly roughing up the surface of the skin it’s key to add hydration back in, says Somerville.