Dry brushing is the practice of using a very course-bristled brush to rub your face in order to exfoliate. The practice is a big beauty trend and people who do it say it creates a great complexion and reduces puffiness too. Some spas are even starting to offer the technique.
Most of us use a gritty cleanser with water to exfoliate. But does dry brushing work better and is it safe?
Is Dry Brushing Your Face Safe?
Dermatologists say that it is safe with the right brush. Bristles that you use on your face need to be much softer than a body brush. You can buy soft brushes exclusively designed for the face.
The Right Brush
Choose a brush with natural bristles if you can, but synthetic bristles are fine, too, and easier to clean. If your skin is sensitive, consider an even softer brush. It is important to wash your brush every few weeks to remove the accumulation of dead skin cells. Most brushes need to be replaced every year, or sooner with more frequent use. Sets can be purchased for $20 or less.
How To Dry Brush
Use dry brushing in moderation—two times per week at a maximum. Be careful using the technique on dry skin in winter or sunburned skin in summer. You should not use this technique if you have severe acne, rosacea or other skin disorders. Contact a licensed esthetician or dermatologist for skin care tips for when you have a skin disorder.
Done properly, your skin should be slightly pink, but never red or stinging after dry brushing. Some people like to finish with a calming toner or moisturizer.
Don’t be too harsh. Dermatologists recommend starting at the chin and using light strokes to brush upwards toward the forehead. Brushing too hard can irritate and inflame your skin.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing Your Face
Dermatologists say you might see a brighter complexion due to the exfoliating effects, but don’t expect life-altering changes to your skin. Exfoliation is indeed the main benefit. The dry bristles remove dead skin cells, and they can remove dirt from pores as well. By naturally exfoliating, you’re clearing the path for dirt to escape from the pores, so your face will likely look and feel cleaner.
Some people dry brush the face before showering to open up and better clean the pores. Also, by exfoliating, your skin is ready to receive that moisturizer or other product, and because those dead skin cells are gone, your product will simply work better and be much more effective.
There’s no scientific evidence that dry brushing helps clear the lymphatic system, although that is often a claim that is made. Since the lymph system runs right under the skin’s surface, people claim it helps with lymphatic flow and detoxification.
Dry brushing is certainly not a medical treatment, but it feels good and it can work to brighten your complexion and make skin care products work better.