We would always take a Gwyneth Paltrow recommendation with a grain of salt, between yoni eggs and vagina scented candles they can sometimes teeter on the absurd, pushing the realm of wellness to its utmost limits. But one Gwyneth-approved ritual that has us hooked is the act of dry brushing.
Of course, as with most things the actor brings into the mainstream, dry brushing didn't start with her. In fact, the practice dates back to ancient history and almost all civilisations have their own unique relationship with the ritual. After all, when you think about it, it's relatively simple. So if you're curious about the benefits of dry brushing or are simply wondering just how the hell to do it without scrubbing yourself raw, then we've answered all that and much more, below.
What is dry body brushing?
It's a ritual as simple and straightforward as its name, but before you go ahead there are a couple of guidelines to follow. Dry body brushing is most effective when your body is just that, dry. So just are you're stripped down and about to jump into the shower or bath dedicate a couple of minutes to this cleanse. Start with your legs and gently brush upwards toward your heart in short strokes. You can also brush in a clockwise motion if this works for you. Keep in mind, it shouldn't be painful. If it gets uncomfortable you're either going too hard or using a brush that is too stiff. As you reach your heartspace brush in a circular movement. Then make sure to wash all that dead skin off and moisturise.
Is dry brushing good for your body?
While there is no scientific evidence that supports the act of dry brushing, there are some simple benefits of introducing it into your self care routine. The most obvious is that running a brush over your dry body regularly can remove ingrown hairs and gently exfoliate your body, brushing away dead skin and build up in pores. This is the idea behind claims that dry body brushing reduces cellulite. Some scientists would argue that your body exfoliates by itself and so, there are some areas for where dry body brushing is unnecessary as it can cause your skin to dry out as it is more prone to water loss. This is why it's important to moisturise afterwards.
Another reason why we've all jumped on this new ritual is that just like that act of gua sha, dry body brushing stimulates your lymphatic system — our bodies way of filtering out bacteria, waste and toxins in our blood. The thing is your lymph system doesn't have a regular cycle and things like sitting around too much, stress or scar tissue in the fascia can cause it to become sluggish. Enter dry body brushing. It's an effective way of flushing and ridding your body of the things that don't benefit it, say the pollutants in the air we breathe or pesticides in food.
And if you're still not sold, when done in the morning it's also just a really energising routine.
Here are some of our top dry body brush picks:
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