As much as I love expensive beauty products, I’m equally (if not more) drawn to homeopathic remedies. There’s something both grounding and gratifying about their heal-thyself promises, often coming at a fraction of the price of store-bought treatments. Needless to say, when a few of my favorite wellness writers started extolling the virtues of a process called “dry brushing,” there was a medium-bristle brush on my nightstand within two days.
THE ETHOS: Dry brushing is just what it sounds like: brushing the skin while dry. According to the experts, the process acts as a circulation booster, dead-skin exfoliant and lymphatic-system stimulant, improving everything from digestion to the appearance of cellulite. Regular brushing is said to keep toxins and inflammation at bay, as well as increase energy levels and overall skin appearance.
THE PROCESS: Brushes can be long-handled or handheld, but the process is the same—beginning at your feet, you brush toward your heart in shortish, medium-firm strokes. You go over each area three to five times (though some recommend as many as 10 strokes per spot). Because of its energizing effect, brushing is done in the morning, preferably before a shower, and should always be accompanied with some sort of moisturizer (body oil is a good option).
THE VERDICT: I’m not sure of the state of my lymphatic system, but dry brushing does feel good—sort of like a mini-massage. I’m always surprised by the rush of energy the process gives me, though I wonder if it’s more from skin stimulation than increased circulation. As for appearance? My skin is often pink from the stiff bristles when I’ve finished, but I think it looks less dull and more dewy overall, especially after I moisturize.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Holistic health benefits unknown, I still would add this pleasant self-care ritual to my routine.