Sometimes I like to brush my face.
And sometimes I like to brush my feet, hands, neck, and back. While this may conjure some odd images of Beast from Beauty and the Beast sitting at his vanity and stroking his luxurious Hypertrichosis-induced locks, I can assure you that dry brushing is not nearly as weird. But it is a little fun, and that particular scenario sounds a little fun.
Dry brushing involves brushing your skin with hard-bristled body brush in an upward motion toward your heart. The idea is to stimulate circulation, improve the body’s lymphatic system, and exfoliate the skin. It’s been around for centuries to help detoxify the body.
Any brush with a handle and natural bristles will do the trick. I have two, a little one that I use for my face, and a large one with a longer handle, which allows me to brush harder to reach areas.
Some recommend dry brushing first thing in the morning, as the increased blood flow can feel energizing. I’ve personally never noticed any effect on my energy levels, so I’ve made it part of my night time routine. I’ll wash my face, wait until it’s dry, and then brush it before applying moisturizer. For the rest of my body, I’ll dry brush right before I go to sleep, typically starting with my hands or feet and working my way up. I brush each portion around 5 times or so before moving on. I find the process meditative and relaxing, and maybe this is why I’ve noticed an improvement in my quality of sleep on nights that I remember to do it.
When I make a point to do this regularly, the effects are awesome. My skin quality has improved; on my face – and be nice to your face, by the way – blackheads are less noticeable, and my pores are smaller. Exfoliating with the brush keeps acne at bay. I also get keratosis pilaris on the backs of my arms, which are those tiny little red bumps that pop up one day and never quite seem to go away. Dry brushing helps prevent these from forming, as well as preventing ingrown hairs from coming in. And cellulite! Although there’s no hard evidence for this, focusing on the backs on your thighs and butt is said to help reduce the appearance of cellulite, as brushing helps tighten the skin’s elasticity. I personally noticed that the skin on the backs of my thighs seemed smoother after incorporating the routine into my day for a few weeks.
Considering all the products on the market that offer miracles for your skin, dry brushing is a cheap, simple alternative. No chemicals, no weird side effects, no inflated price tag. Just buy a brush, and make a point to be consistent.