What is body brushing and why should you be doing it? This is something I asked myself recently and after seeing a few of my favourite Youtubers trying it out (got to love Youtube for all the beauty trends), I wondered why on earth I wasn’t in this party earlier! There are so many proven benefits to body brushing (also known as ‘dry brushing’) that completely trample on any creams and serums you might be using so read on to find out what those miracle benefits are, how to body brush, and how you might be helping the planet out too.
So what is body brushing?
Put simply, body brushing is just exfoliation that you do before you get in the shower with a dry brush like the one pictured. It takes 3-5 mins to do and it’s recommended that you do at least 3 times a week (or everyday if you want to).
What makes dry brushing different from simple exfoliation is the methodical way in which you brush and also the ability to really rid the body of those dead skin cells in a slightly more aggressive way.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the body? A large role that the skin plays is detoxifying the body and if you’ve got a build up of toxins – well your skin is the first organ to let you know.
I’m the first to admit that I take such good care of my face with expensive creams, cleansers and long drawn out evening routines, but when it comes to my body I’m just not as good at keeping it up. I found living in England that as soon as I got out the shower I wanted to throw on a fluffy dressing gown and I absolutely didn’t want to stand around naked for 5 minutes pre-shower either. Despite this, I really think it’s worth doing and since it’s been summer and living in a hot country now, I’ve found myself taking better care of the skin on my body (not least because I’m in shorts and bikinis a fair amount of the time).
What are the benefits of Body Brushing?
Honestly there are so many fantastic benefits of undertaking this mini routine but the main reason people do it is to reduce cellulite.
Cellulite is the build up of toxicity in your fat cells – you can get it young, old, small or large – even Kim Kardashian has it, and so do I! Having a tan can heavily increase the appearance of cellulite so with summer bronzing my legs, I was starting to notice dimples when doing my downward dog on the balcony. Horrified, I quickly turned to Google and found that the only proven way to minimise the appearance of those pesky dimples is through dry brushing.
The heart of dry brushing lies with stimulating the lymphatic system which carries waste away in the blood – so stimulating this system can actually help rid your body of it’s toxicity that causes cellulite.
Body brushing is a great way to energise your body and many experts recommend you do it in the morning to maximise this effect. By brushing hard and in line with the lymphatic system, you are encouraging blood flow around the body – cue glowing and brighter skin and a general feeling of being energised.
It exfoliates you
I know this one seems obvious but trust me, once you’ve tried this technique, no shower scrub or glove will make you feel the same. Dry brushing really works hard to remove dead skin cells and pave the way for new ones – again leaving your skins super fresh and smooth. Doing this can also seriously help prevent ingrown hairs (ouch!).
It can tone you up!
Okay it won’t get rid of cellulite completely but body brushing seriously improves the distribution of fat under the skin which, after time, will leave your arms and legs looking firmer and more toned.
It’s better for the environment
Once you start body brushing you’ll never go back to in shower scrubs that are often full of micro-beads and usually come in plastic packaging. All you need is a brush and your normal moisturiser and you’re all set with better results – what’s not to love about that!
How do I body brush?
Are you sold yet? To get the most out of body brushing, do it in the morning and always before your shower. Start at the feet and move up your legs with small hard strokes followed by larger ones and always towards the heart. Move onto your stomach and brush in circular motions (I have seen conflicting articles about whether to brush clockwise or counter clockwise so I’ll leave that one up to you) and then move on to your arms, starting with the hands and up towards the shoulders. I recommend getting a brush with a long handle like the one pictured to be able to get to areas you might not ordinarily be able to reach.
It should take no more than 5 minutes and the point is not the break or damage the skin. I find that I have rosy looking skin afterwards but it’s never broken or peeling. I haven’t quite been brave enough on my chest area yet and I find it very sensitive but you can build up to it so that’s what I’m working on currently.
Once you’re done, have a shower (everything will feel very smooth) and then ALWAYS moisturise. You’ve put your skin through a lot so put some moisture and love back into it and trust me, your skin will feel amazing!
Do you body brush? Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried it!
As a reminder, I am not a beautician or dermatologist and the benefits described and methodology are based on my own online research and experience with body brushing. If you have any concerns then please go see a dermatologist for advice.
Thanks for reading!