If you’ve been bored at all during 2020, you’ve likely downloaded TikTok. Yeah, the infinite loop of bite-size content can turn into a blackhole of wasted time, but the app has also become a platform for trends and tips that sorta make 2020 a little more bearable. Lately, a big trend both on TikTok and Instagram has been the resurgence of “dry-brushing” — a simple skin technique influencers have added into their daily routine that includes a stiff coarse haired brush. Some celebrities have even hopped on the bandwagon, insisting dry-brushing energizes them, aids in circulation, and even breaks down cellulite.
But are any of these claims true? What is dry-brushing and what are its real benefits? Is it even worth trying? I did the research and tried it myself so you don’t have to!
Dry-brushing is essentially a self-care ritual that has been practiced for centuries by many cultures like the ancient Greeks and certain Native American tribes. Its main purpose has been to promote blood circulation while ridding the body of any dry or dead skin cells.
The key to dry-brushing is the stiff bristles. Using the abrasive brush in small, upward movements and circular motions starting at the feet helps stimulate blood flow underneath, often leaving the user feeling energized and rejuvenated. It’s important not to press too hard. Users should find a balance where it’s rough enough to exfoliate, while making sure not to irritate or harm the skin.
But can dry-brushing really aid in digestion? Get rid of cellulite? Act as a detoxifier?
Unfortunately, there is zero science that backs those claims. According to Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist from Chicago, cellulite is a complex problem involving fibrous bands and thin skin. Unfortunately, dry-brushing “won’t change the fibrous bands at all.” However, dry-brushing can be used for blood circulation and exfoliation.
So is dry-brushing going to make your skin glow? Sure! But will it actually help dissolve fat and rid your legs of cellulite? Most likely no. Regardless, the benefits that dry-brushing does provide may be just the extra step you need to save your skin during the dry and cold winter months.
As someone with sensitive skin, I was hesitant to try dry-brushing because I worried it would do more damage than good. Brushing too hard can leave skin inflamed, red, and itchy. My tip? Try a dry washcloth or a brush with softer bristles. You want to stimulate the skin, not over scratch.
Experts claim the best time to dry-brush is in the morning before you shower. They also say to limit this routine to once daily. After trying this technique for a few days, I did feel energized after my daily brush. I felt super clean and my skin felt soft and smooth. However, my skin was still relatively irritated each time. Incorporating a body lotion into my routine helped my skin feel much more nourished.
As it’s the biggest organ in our bodies, we should remember to take care of our skin. But is dry-brushing the answer? Maybe for some. I could see myself incorporating the brush a few times a week as an extra step to exfoliate and rid of all the dead skin. I was honestly left feeling pretty energized, though not in the same way a cup of coffee would as some celebrities like to preach. So as long as you’re aware of the actual benefits and do not fall prey to false claims: brush away!
Feature Image Credit: Daily Mirror