A guest post by Thalia-Maria Tourikis, who runs Notes by Thalia
Taking care of your skin is a form of self-care.
The more you give your skin the nourishment it needs, the better it will look and feel, which can benefit your overall health and well-being.
So give your skin the deep love and attention it deserves with dry brushing — the latest wellness trend du jour.
This simple ritual is proven to improve overall skin health by helping to eliminate dull skin and boosting blood circulation. Here’s everything you need to know about dry brushing.
What is dry brushing?
Now that we’re transitioning into autumn and winter, your skin may be in need of some extra attention.
Dry brushing is a nourishing skincare and wellness practice where a natural bristle brush is used to stimulate and exfoliate the skin in a particular pattern.
And as the title suggests, it should be done on dry skin (free of lotions or oils) before showering or bathing.
The correct formula for dry brushing looks like starting at the feet and working upwards to the legs, bottom, stomach, back and arms before finishing on the chest or décolletage area.
For best results, it is recommended to use gentle, sweeping, circular motions.
The benefits of dry brushing
Not only is dry brushing beneficial for skin health but it can also boost your overall well-being.
As I mentioned earlier, taking care of your skin is a form of self-care.
Your skin is the first barrier of defense that protects you from external environmental factors so you want to keep it feeling hydrated and well-nourished.
And self-care allows you to do this because it gives you the time and space to care for your skin.
But despite what online wellness influencers will have you believe, self-care doesn’t need to be an all-day event to be effective. It can be as short as a 10-minute practice.
So the next time you have a spare five minutes before jumping in the shower, dry brush your skin.
All you need to do is grab a natural bristle brush, get naked and focus on brushing each body part for about 30 seconds.
Other health benefits of dry brushing include:
- Promotes smoother, softer skin
- Reduces dry, flaky skin
- Increases blood circulation
- Prevents ingrown hairs as you are regularly exfoliating your skin
- Allows you a moment of self-care and relaxation
- Improves overall skin health
Although some media outlets claim that dry brushing can encourage lymphatic drainage and reduce the appearance of cellulite, there is no solid evidence to support these claims. (Self, 2023)
So if you are thinking of dry brushing, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons (listed above) and not because an influencer claims it reduced her cellulite.
The dos and don’ts of dry brushing
Just so we’re clear, I am not an expert on dry brushing, nor am I medically trained on the topic.
The information found within this blog post is not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of medical advice. I write these words with my own experience of dry brushing in mind in the hope that they will inspire you in some way.
It’s also important to point out that I have sensitive skin, and although I love this wellness ritual, I still need to be extremely careful with it.
So before I move on with this post I want to quickly outline some of the dos and don’ts of dry brushing as it’s not suitable for everyone.
For example, if you have certain skin conditions, such as inflamed skin, eczema, or psoriasis, I encourage you to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional before trying dry brushing.
- Brush on dry, clean skin (free of moisturisers)
- Use gentle strokes and go slow
- Brush towards the heart
- Start from the feet and work your way up the body, stopping at the neck
- Use wide, sweeping brush strokes in a circular motion
- Apply harder pressure on thicker skin such as the soles of your feet
- Apply lighter pressure on areas where the skin is thin such as your belly
- Shower after dry brushing
- Apply a hydrating moisturiser after showering
- Stop immediately if you experience any skin irritation or redness, etc.
- Dry brush once a week or every other week
- Brush on wet skin
- Apply too much pressure as this can lead to skin irritation or damage
- Rub too harshly or quickly
- Use a dry brush on your face (a smaller, softer dry brush can be used for this purpose)
- Brush down towards the feet
- Use a dry brush on inflamed, cut, or broken skin
- Dry brush every day
- Share your dry brush with anyone else
How to add dry brushing to your skincare routine
1 | Choose the right brush
Before you can add this wellness practice to your weekly skincare routine, you need to first make sure you have the right tool. Because you can’t just use any old brush!
You want to choose a dry brush with medium-firm natural bristles, such as plant-based fibres. My go-to is the dry brush from Grace & Stella which uses soft Tampico fibre bristles.
Another thing to consider is the length of your brush.
If you are planning on doing this ritual yourself and need to get to hard-to-reach areas like your back, then you will need to invest in a brush that has a long handle.
And make sure the dry brush you choose meets your budget requirements.
Wellness can be affordable!
You don’t need to be buying the most expensive brush on the market, stick to what you can afford.
2 | Schedule it in
Dry brushing does not need to be a daily practice.
In fact, it’s not even recommended that you exfoliate your skin every day so stick to what works best for you.
My current dry brushing routine looks like doing it once a week, usually on a Sunday as part of my reset routine.
So before you commit to a dry brushing ritual, first pinpoint how regularly you need/want to dry brush.
This will usually depend on your skin type or how often you usually exfoliate.
Time can also be a factor.
For example, if you have a busy schedule, chances are you won’t want to dedicate time to dry brushing during the week. Instead, think about doing it once a week or every other week and choose a day when you’re most available.
Commit to just 10 minutes and schedule it in as you would any other commitment.
Remember, dry brushing should only be used on dry, clean skin. So if you are adding it to your schedule, make sure you pencil it in before showering or bathing.
3 | Check in with your skin
Your skin is just as important as your mind and body, so do not take it for granted.
Check in with your skin every so often to see how it is doing. Especially after the first month or two of dry brushing.
I don’t mean you need to sit down and talk to it, but at least touch it all over and feel where the skin is most soft.
Pay close attention to any particularly dry or sore areas.
Are you experiencing any irritation or discomfort anywhere?
If you do notice that your skin has become dryer, sore or red then take that as a sign to stop dry brushing or at least consider reducing the pressure or frequency of it.
You wouldn’t continue to use a face cream if you broke out in a rash so don’t continue to dry brush if it is irritating your skin, as this could lead to more serious problems.
Investing time and money into your skincare routine can be an effective way to prioritise your wellness.
But like with any routine, this ritual doesn’t need to be overly long or complicated.
Keep it simple so it easily fits into your daily schedule.
Set aside 5-10 minutes of your week for dry brushing and experience the long-lasting benefits of soft and hydrated skin all year round.
Your skin will thank you!
About the author
Hey, it’s Thalia!
I’m not like the other wellness girls you see online.
I don’t drink coffee or matcha lattes and I’m not a huge fan of green smoothies. Give me a medium-rare steak with a glass of red wine any day and I’ll be a very happy girl.
I’m also famous for my slow mornings. You won’t see me waking up at 5am and following an unsustainable “That Girl” routine but instead ignoring my alarm and choosing to read a fiction book over going to the gym.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been empowering women to stop copying what everyone else is doing and do what works for them.
So if you’re craving a more realistic approach to wellness, find me on Instagram and Pinterest under @notesbythalia or head over to my blog notesbythalia.com for deeper “how to” posts that empower you to do things on your own terms.