In our endless quest for the fountain of youth and beauty, we've become vulnerable to all sorts of promises. Many beauty innovations claim to have the power to make pores disappear, to make us look younger by at least a decade, or profess the use of "all-natural" ingredients that simply turn out to be alternatives to the chemicals they're replacing.
Beauty fallacies are so prevalent that it's difficult to distinguish what's true from what isn't. The good news is that beauty trends do exist that actually make good on their promises, such as dry brushing. In this article, let's explore what dry brushing is all about and discover all its benefits, both "skin-deep" and beyond.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is basically a technique of massaging the body with a firm-bristled brush. The ancient Egyptians are said to have started the use of dry brushing and incorporated it into their extraordinary and meticulous beauty routines thousands of years ago. The Egyptian women skin-brushed with honey combined with milk or wine mixed with sour milk to exfoliate and soften the skin. However, others say that the practice instead originated from India, where it was an essential element in holistic health care.
Regardless of the origins of dry brushing, its popularity hasn't waned. Today, it is one of the most treasured beauty "secrets" of those in the know, such as Goop founder and actress Gwyneth Paltrow and supermodels Molly Sims and Miranda Kerr.
And why not? Dry brushing is simple and easy to do, doesn't need a ton of equipment, and you can do it anywhere or anytime you please. But perhaps the number one reason for its persisting reputation among beauty circles is its ability to deliver on its claims.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
If you haven't tried dry brushing yet, here are the precise reasons why you should already start shopping for a specialty body brush ASAP.
Makes Skin Glow Up
Of course, we need to first mention what dry brushing is best known for, and that is smooth and silky skin.
Looking at the firm bristles of the specially-made body brush, it doesn't take a brainiac to understand how dry brushing can vastly improve the appearance of our skin. By naturally exfoliating the dead skin cells (along with the dirt and grease from the environment) that accumulate even with daily washing, cell turnover is stimulated, resulting in fresh and radiant skin.
According to Dr. Ava Shabhan, an American celebrity dermatologist, the cellular stimulation from dry brushing facilitates oxygenation of the skin cells, which can visibly invigorate and brighten the complexion. But there’s more than just great-looking skin with these benefits of dry brushing.
Improves Blood Circulation
One may say that they can just as quickly boost circulation by taking a hot shower. However, unlike bathing in high temperatures, dry brushing can improve blood flow without stripping your skin of its natural moisture-retaining oils, fats, and proteins.
Proper circulation, which dry brushing promotes, ensures that your skin cells, muscles, and tissues receive the nutrients and oxygen they need to self-repair and self-rejuvenate whenever necessary. With better blood flow, your focus is sharper, your heart is healthier, and your organs can function optimally. And did we mention how much plumper and youthful your complexion can look when it receives adequate nutrition?
Encourages Lymphatic Drainage
Our body's lymphatic system is essentially its sewerage system. When it is healthy and unclogged, it can eliminate toxic cellular waste. It can also maintain our body's fluid balance and protect it from infection-causing bacteria. However, when our lymphatic system is damaged, excess fluids are retained in the body. The result is the swelling up of tissues, leading to a bloated, puffy appearance, and worse, disorders and diseases.
With its mechanical strokes, dry brushing has a similar effect on the lymphatic tissues and fluids as a massage has. Although higher-level studies are yet to appear, Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, surgeon and physician at the Cleveland Clinic in the U.S., says that "Dry brushing…helps detoxify skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/ drainage."
Relieves Stress and Soothes Anxiety
With multiple stressors hounding us moment-by-moment, we surely need all the help we can get. One simple, non-threatening, and yet effective way to reduce stress is dry brushing, which can easily be part of one's self-care routine.
The ritualistic motions of dry brushing have a lulling effect on the psyche, inducing calm and relaxation. Some even liken the practice to meditation as it can also help wind down the mind and alleviate muscle tension.
Dr. Leslie Korn, a Harvard Medical School-trained traumatologist, is one supporter of the relaxing benefits of dry brushing. She even uses the non-traditional technique to treat various types of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
She integrates dry brushing in patient therapy and recommends it as a simple and caring way for individuals to connect to their physicality. According to her, the pleasurable and grounding practice has proven effective to her clients in making themselves more comfortable in their bodies.
Tips On Dry Brushing
How then can you optimize the benefits of dry brushing, and what should you expect? Here, we will answer the most commonly asked questions about this favorite beauty technique.
Should I Avoid Anything?
Keep these don'ts in mind:
- Don't dry brush on sensitive areas (e.g., open wounds) or irritated or infected skin
- Don't dry brush too hard
- Don't dry brush if you have existing skin conditions. See your doctor for the appropriate treatment.
- Don't dry brush over moles, warts, and other such skin growths.
- Don't just use any kind of brush. Choose one that is specially made for the purpose.
How Often and When Should I Dry-Brush?
We recommend dry brushing no more than once or twice a week. If you have sensitive skin, do it once every few weeks. Gradually increase to once or twice a week as your tolerance builds up.
The best time to dry-brush is before a shower or an infrared sauna. The dead skin cells sloughed off during dry brushing can then be washed off as you bathe.
On the other hand, dry brushing before indulging in an infrared sauna, like HigherDOSE's Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna, can also be highly beneficial. Because dry brushing works to unclog pores, your skin is better prepped to receive all the healing wonders of infrared light from your skin to deep within your muscles and tissues.
Lastly, don't forget to optimize the benefits of dry brushing with HigherDOSE's SUPERCHARGE Copper Body Brush, with its copper ion-charged bristles that are sure to wake up and ground your body in your natural energy state for a refreshing kind of relaxation. Shop for the Copper Body Brush and the rest of HigherDOSE's powerful infrared line today!