While dry brushing may be new to most of us, this ancient practice, also known as garshana (pronounced gar-shun-uh), has been an integral part of ayurvedic medicine for centuries. With celebrities jumping on the bandwagon, the internet is abuzz with the myriad benefits of dry brushing. But is all the hype about body brushing worth your time, money, and effort? Well, depending on what you hope to gain from it, the answer could be a resounding yes. Ahead we’ll take a closer look at dry brushing and why it’s good for you, and share some best practices to help you get the most out of it.
WHAT IS DRY BRUSHING?
Just as its name implies, dry brushing (or body brushing) is the practice of gently massaging the coarse natural bristles of a brush all over your body, usually in an upward motion. Of late, it would seem that dry brushing has become increasingly popular because it can help detoxify the body and restore the natural glow to dull, flaky skin. It probably doesn’t hurt either that dry brushing also has the celebrity stamp of approval, with Gweneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr singing its praises.
BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING
It may be important to note that there are plenty of claims surrounding the practice of body brushing. Its advocates swear by the practice for help with everything from a reduction in the appearance of cellulite to weight loss, but there is relatively little scientific evidence to back up such claims. But while the perceived benefits of body brushing are largely anecdotal, there are some real benefits to be had.
Dry brushes are great physical exfoliators. The process effectively removes dead skin cells to reveal brighter, healthier, more radiant skin.
STIMULATES CIRCULATION AND HELPS WITH LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
Just like a massage, body brushing can stimulate your circulation, encourage lymphatic drainage, and help detoxify your body. So much, so that dry brushing is offered as an enhancement for massage services at Milk + Honey, you may want to consult with your esthetician about it when booking an appointment.
As body brushing exfoliates the skin, it also clears out dirt, oil, and residue from your pores. Not only does dry brushing unclog your pores, but the cleanup can make them look smaller or at least less noticeable.
NATURAL ENERGY BOOST
Dry brushing tends to leave some folks with a natural energy boost of sorts. This is likely a bi-product of the stimulation in circulation and blood flow.
A MOMENT OF SELF-CARE
Again, just like a massage, body brushing offers its practitioners a mindful moment of self-care in an otherwise busy life.
HOW TO SELECT A DRY BRUSH
Like most beauty products, the qualities of a good dry brush can be pretty subjective. While you need a dry brush with firm bristles, be sure to choose one that’s not too abrasive. Very often, users may find that synthetic bristles are too abrasive, while natural boar bristles are more comfortable. Also, handles can be an important factor for dry brushing. Long-handle dry brushes can help you get to hard-to-reach spots with ease, while dry brushes with no handle tend to offer more control. Milk + Honey’s body brush kind of splits the difference with a medium-length handle, so essentially, you get the best of both worlds.
BODY BRUSHING: BEST PRACTICES
Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to dry brush your skin. To help you get the most out of body brushing, here are a few best practices:
- Make sure that the brush and your skin are completely dry
- Don’t scrub too hard; use slightly firm pressure
- Start at your ankles and work your way up towards your heart
- Brush only in a circular motion
- Follow up with a soothing moisturizer
To get a better understanding of body brushing and how to do it the right way, take a look at this short video created by Milk + Honey.