I stumbled upon dry brushing while doing research for a different blog post (see Beauty Secrets From Around The World). Dry brushing is more than just a body skin care treatment – it actually has health benefits too (particularly when performed on a daily basis). This subject intrigued me so much that I decided to do further research by speaking to Dee DeLuca-Mattos, Vice-President at Cures by Avance. Here is what I found out.
“Dry-brushing conditions the skin by sloughing off dead cells and keeping the pores open, helping to prevent ingrown hairs and stimulating lymphatic drainage, which removes toxins such as uric acid crystals and catarrh. (Poor lymphatic drainage has been linked to hypertension, arthritis, depression and other conditions.) Dry-brushing improves circulation, stimulates hormone function, rejuvenates the nervous system, enhances immune function and contributes to better muscle tone. It is effective for boosting energy levels and relieving sore muscles. The practice of dry-brushing is even said to be as good for the body as 20 minutes of jogging, though it is not recommended as a substitute for exercise.”
(Excerpt from training materials distributed to all Cures by Avance spas)
BF: How were you introduced to dry brushing?
DDM: I was introduced to dry brushing by working with European brands through our salon. (Beautyfix Tidbit: Although dry brushing is popular in spas around the world, it initially originated in Japan)
BF: Can you give us a step by step dry brushing “how-to”?
DDM: Yes, It is best done before a bath or shower and it can be done at any time of day. Dry brushing is usually done with a natural bristle brush. Start with soles of your feet and gently brush in circular motions upwards towards the heart. Then brush up the arms in a circular motion or short strokes, again towards the heart or center of your body. Pay special attention to knees, elbows and joint areas. Then brush hips, buttocks, and lower abdomen. After brushing thoroughly it’s time to shower. Use shower gel or a liquid cleanser. Do not use soap because it will clog your pores. Use a wash cloth or loofah to distribute the cleanser on your body. End by moisturizing with a finishing cream or algae oil. You can use any kind of moisturizer. The point is to seal everything and to keep your skin refined. Dry brushing can be performed year round. Keep in mind that dry brushing is not a pampering skin care treatment but instead is a medical based process.
BF: What kinds of brushes and products should our members use when dry brushing at home?
DDM: Remember, there are no skin care products used in the dry brushing process. The point of dry brushing is to increase blood circulation. In terms of the types of scrubbing utensils to use, a natural bristle brush is the best. A glove or mitt made out of any natural fiber (i.e. hemp, sisal or jute) or a loofah are great alternatives. You can even use a wash cloth if you have to but stay away from polyester, nylon or synthetic fibers (i.e. bath poofs). They will scrape the skin instead of exfoliating it.
BF: What are the Pros and Cons of at-home vs. professional dry brushing?
DDM: A professional dry brushing session will be more thorough and will be more focused on special areas such as the knees, elbows and the back. At home it’s harder to brush your back and the pressure will not be the same as when a professional does it. Regardless, the benefits of an at home session are the same as from a professional session.
BF: I’ve read that dry brushing is a good way to treat cellulite. Is that correct?
DDM: Cellulite is an internal issue and there is no quick fix for it. Dry brushing will temporarily create the illusion of diminishing cellulite but it is not a long term fix. It creates a cosmetic illusion. One thing you can do is incorporate dry brushing into you cellulite treatment. Finish off an at home session with a cellulite cream or anti-fluid gel. In our spas, dry brushing is the first step before performing any of our cellulite, anti-fluid or detoxification treatments.
Have you tried dry brushing? What benefits have you experienced?