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Dry Brushing 101

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012

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Today’s post is from StyleBlueprint Atlanta editor Katherine Snell:

 

I tend to have really dry skin, especially in the winter. Last year, after yet another day of itchy, winter skin, I remembered a therapist dry brushing my skin during a body wrap treatment and wondered if this was something I could incorporate into my beauty routine. Sure enough, not only is dry brushing becoming popular in spa treatments, it is gaining popularity in at-home beauty routines, as well.

IMG 3958 Dry Brushing 101

My dry brush, which I picked up at Whole Foods.

Essentially, dry brushing involves sweeping a natural-bristled brush across your skin. Now, you can take a hard core approach to dry brushing (using a certain number of strokes for each body part in a certain order), or a more relaxed approach (the way that I brush). Either way, I think you will see some benefits. In general, believers claim that dry brushing does three things:

  • Exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Increases circulation of your blood flow and/or eliminates toxins
  • Reduces cellulite 

 

Before you get really excited about the possibility of reducing your cellulite, know that this notion and the claim that dry brushing eliminates toxins are hotly debated, as to whether they really do work or are just a bunch of hot air. My theory: dry brushing doesn’t reduce cellulite (because, well, I still have it), and I’m not too sure I’m ridding my body of that extra glass of wine. But, I really do believe my skin is softer and not as dry. And, I always feel more energized and refreshed after a shower when I dry brush before. 

Here is the 101 for dry brushing:

 

  • Dry brush in the morning before you get in the shower – that way you can wash any dead skin away
  • Use quick strokes with medium to firm pressure
  • Start at your feet and work your way up your body
  • Always brush in the direction towards your heart – since this is the direction your blood flows
  • Avoid sensitive areas like your face or chest
 
You can use a long-handled brush or a short-handled brush, whichever is more comfortable. Just make sure the bristles are made with a natural fiber and aren’t too stiff. I picked my brush up at Whole Foods, but any natural products store should have them.
Screen Shot 2012 10 22 at 2.24.31 PM Dry Brushing 101

Earth Therapeutics Purest Palm Body Brush $7.60 at Amazon.com

And, since I’m not too excited about jumping down to my skivvies for all of the world to see, but want to give you a more detailed explanation on the technique of dry brushing, here is a helpful video I found: 

 

 

After your shower, the best thing you can do for your newly buffed skin is to moisturize. Here are a few of my favorite, all-natural moisturizers.

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My go-to moisturizers

Egyptian Magic is a thicker oil with a texture a little bit like beeswax. Rub your hands together to warm it up so it will spread more easily. A little bit goes a long way. You can find it at Whole Foods or online here

Coconut oil isn’t just used for cooking! It is also a great moisturizer. Rub your hands together to turn it from slightly solid to an oil. I tend to only use it at night before bed or else I run the risk of smelling like a coconut! You can find coconut oil at Whole Foods or any natural health store. 

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is just the be-all and end-all of moisturizers for me. I have tried hundreds of other brands and no other cream leaves my winter skin feeling so soft. This stuff is the rock star of moisturizers. It is expensive, but I promise it is worth it! And the large bottle will last all winter long (you can tell I just stocked up!). Order online from Kiehl’s here

Sweet almond oil is similar to coconut oil in terms of moisturizing. I tend to use it more during the day because I prefer the light scent. And, I think it provides a nice sheen to your bare legs too. Sweet almond oil can be found at Whole Foods or any natural health store. 

There you have it! All you need to know to get started dry brushing. Do you think you will give it a try? 

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