As someone who suffers from a painful and uncomfortable skin condition, I am constantly seeking out new ways to help my skin. I had been hearing of dry brushing benefits for some time now — different sources say it's supposed to be good for things like exfoliation (duh) and detoxing, and it's also said to help reduce cellulite (although there are plenty of reasons to love your cellulite). So I was curious to see if dry brushing could make a difference in my skin.
I trekked on over to the every-trusty Amazon.com and purchased the Swissco Bamboo Collection Double Sided Body Brush. Through some minimal research, I found that dry skin brushing is something that has been practiced for centuries and is an awesome way of gently shedding excess dead skin (I know, gross, but we all have it) without removing important natural oils.
Additionally, dry brushing is a great way to cleanse the lymphatic system. What, you ask, is the lymphatic system? Well, it's a major part of our immune system — something that my skin condition (Netheron Syndrome) undoubtedly affects, and it is primarily where toxins are stored. By brushing the skin, we are stimulating the lymph vessels that are just below the skin, and this helps the body to detox.
Those all sound like good things, no? I thought so anyway. So when I got my brush, I read the directions and took action. Basically, the way you do this is by brushing the skin upwards toward the heart. You can do this in circular motions or just simply brush in a straight line. It's best to do the brushing before your shower (or take a bath!) when your skin is, well, dry. Also, I made sure not to brush too firmly because my skin is sensitive and I know dry brushing can irritate even normal skin if not done gently.
After doing this before my nightly bath (treat yo self) every day for two weeks, I have definitely noticed a couple of benefits to dry brushing. It has probably helped me more than the average person with normal skin, but I do think dry brushing could help anyone. Without further ado, here is what happened.
1. See Ya Later Dead Skin
After just the first time using the Yerba brush, I noticed that excess dead skin I wasn't even totally aware I had just falling off. To be honest with you, it was a tad gross but also satisfying, kind of like popping a pimple — but also different because popping pimples is bad for your skin.
For me, this was amazing because something that my skin condition does it makes it so that my dead skin produces twice as fast as someone with normal skin. That doesn't sound cute, but I swear I'm not walking around with skin falling off me. It does, however, make it so that I have to exfoliate every night as opposed to someone who exfoliates maybe once a week.
Dry brushing has made things so much easier! Now I don't have to vigorously scrub in the bath with a dumb wash cloth. Instead, the bristles of the brush pick up the dead skin with little effort.
2. Buh Bye Skin Scars
Skin scars aren't something that most people suffer from, but what I can compare them to is dark spots that you might get from the sun (especially when you're older). Sometimes, after I have a big flare up, the rash will leave brownish scars that are infuriating and can take a while to go away. The dry brush has been a total miracle on this front.
When I started using the brush, I actually had some light scarring left, but after dry brushing for a week, they were completely gone! After my mom saw that it had this effect on me, she decided to purchase a facial dry brush to see if it would get rid of some of the sun spots she accumulated over the years from lying in the sun sans sunscreen (she grew up in the '70s). And she noticed a difference, too! So if you have sun spots, I think chances are pretty high that dry brushing will get rid of them.
What I noticed overall from dry brushing for two weeks was that I had clearer, softer skin. And what is really better than that? I'm not sure if it helped to detoxify my skin, but it absolutely exfoliated the hell out it.
I am so happy to have found a solution to my pesky skin scars because they were uber frustrating. It's also so satisfying to have an easier way to get the dead skin off at night. I would highly recommend dry skin brushing. I know I will continue doing so, especially throughout the summer.
Images: Author's Own; Giphy