Why you should try dry brushing – everything you need to know

Dry brushing is the latest essential addition to your self-love toolkit. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of dry brushing and our top three recommendations for the brush you’ll want to get your hands on.

What is dry brushing?

Dry body brushing is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a simple and completely natural way to exfoliate and cleanse your skin. The brushing motion also stimulates your lymphatic system, which filters the harmful substances and toxins out of your body.

This extra treat in your skincare routine is the perfect way to start your morning with a zing or to brush away your cares at the end of a long day. All you need is to grab a dry brush and set aside a few minutes to enjoy some serious stress release.

What are the benefits of dry brushing?

The list of health benefits from dry brushing looks a lot like your skincare bucket list. It seems almost too good to be true! Dry brushing is a great exfoliating technique as it opens up skin pores and cleans dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

Dry brushing also promotes cell renewal, which can help tighten the skin and gives a healthy and glowing outward appearance. It can also help create smoother skin, without the use of moisturising products, which can themselves contain hidden nasty ingredients.

Dry brushing also works magic on your inside, as the brushing increases circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system – our natural detoxer. This detox process ensures waste and toxins are removed and the good stuff is welcomed in with open arms. The benefits are even as far-reaching as reducing the appearance of cellulite and fighting ingrown hairs.

Even if you put the health benefits aside, why not indulge in some time for a soothing massage? Dry brush for a bit of that tension relief we all need.

How do you dry brush?

The best time to dry brush is before hopping in the shower whilst your skin is dry for maximum exfoliation. Then in the shower you can easily wash off any dry skin or toxins afterwards.

The key thing to remember is to dry brush with gentle, sweeping motions. Never brush on inflamed or broken skin, on sores or on sunburned skin.

  • Always brush towards your heart from your base upwards, as this helps stimulate the lymphatic system.
  • Start at your toes and work up your legs.
  • Then go to your fingers and work up your arms.
  • Then brush your back, your stomach, your lower back, your chest, neck and (gently) your face (only brush your face a couple of times a week)
  • Take particular care under your arms and in your groin region, because there are lots of lymph nodes there.
  • You can dry brush in whatever way your skin feels best – experiment with a few techniques!

How often should I dry brush?

As it only takes a few minutes, it’s easy to add into your routine. Like all skin care, it’s a completely personal choice and you’ll settle into what suits you. We recommend starting with twice a week for anywhere between two and 20 minutes – whatever feels best for you and works with your routine.

How do I look after my dry brush?

If you look after your dry brush well, it will last for at least a year, so it’s really worth it. Because the aim of dry body brushing is to remove dead skin and toxins, the bristles will need to be cleaned on a semi-regular basis. To do this:

  • Fill a bowl with clean, lukewarm water
  • Add a gentle soap, such as Dr Bronner’s, or a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil, which has natural disinfectant properties
  • Swish the brush around in the water to wash the bristles, rinse, swish again, rinse once more
  • Leave the brush to dry, bristles down, on a clean towel in the shade

Which dry brushing products are the best?

Brushes vary – some have long handles and some have a mitt style brush for greater control. We’ve selected our three of our favourites below to help you find one that suits you.

After researching and writing my other articles about bamboo cutlery and bamboo toothbrushes, I would personally opt for a brush made of this 100% biodegradable and super fast growing plant. But most importantly, choose a brush made from natural fibres, as synthetic bristles can be too sharp and cause irritation. Also consider your skin type – if you have more sensitive skin, for example, you may prefer a softer bristle, such as one made from jute.

We love Eco Max by ImportAnts, which is a recognised fair trader. All Eco Max brushes are registered with The Vegan Society and are ethically handmade in Sri Lanka using 100% natural vegetable fibres. Bass Brushes are another great company, which has specialised in making brushes for nearly 40 years using durable and environmentally sustainable materials. Here are three of our fave brushes from these brands:

1. Eco Max Dry Body Brush

Eco Max Dry Body Brush. Credit: Eco Max

This is your classic natural body brush. The Eco Max Dry Body Brush is handmade from natural sisal, which is a form of cactus with a medium strength vegetable fibre.

2. Eco Max Princess Body Brush

Eco Max Princess Brush. Credit: Eco Max

A soft jute dry body brush for sensitive skin, more mature skin types and those of you new to dry body brushing. The longer timber handle allows for easy reach over all parts of the body.

3. Bass 76 Dark Bamboo Oval Style Body Brush with Natural Bristles

Bass 76 Dark Bamboo Oval Style Body Brush with Natural Bristles. Credit: Bass Brushes

This is a bit of a curveball in the dry brush world, as Bass also recommends using it wet in the shower to massage and increase lather. This wet/dry skin body brush has a removable head made from Esthetician grade 100% natural sisal bristle and an eco-friendly 100% long bamboo handle with a luxury grade finish.

Get yourself a dry brush now and brush up on your skincare routine for smoother, tighter and renewed skin. Let the self love begin!

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Claire Coates

As part of the generation that will be most affected by climate change, Claire Coates is passionate about protecting our planet and campaigning for a sustainable way of life. Known by her friends as an eco-warrior, Claire runs a clothes swap scheme at her Sixth Form to recycle and reuse unwanted outfits. In her spare time she enjoys running her own radio show and playing for her local hockey team.

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