You've heard of dry brushing and you kinda know what it entails, but not really. Allow us: dry brushing is just what it sounds like—you take a body brush and use it to gently massage your body in an upward motion. Body brushing has so many benefits ranging from exfoliation to stimulating your body’s lymphatic system and removing dead skin cells to allow your beautiful skin to shine through. With the recent launch of OUAI Body Crème and Body Cleanser—two body products you asked for that we made using luxe formulas, fresh fragrances and skin-loving ingredients—we thought this would be the perfect time to let you in on five reasons to starting dry brushing now plus how and when to do it. Scroll ahead as OUAI director of sales and education, Diana Barnao, breaks down her dry body brushing guide for dummies.
Dry Brushing Benefits
1. Absorbs Lotions and Oils Better
If hydration is something your skin is craving, dry brushing before you moisturize can really help. Dry brushing opens up the pores allowing for product, like OUAI Body Crème, to penetrate deeper and work more efficiently.
2. Stimulates Lymphatic System and Increases Circulation
Your body has hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubes which exist throughout the body to carry cellular waste into the bloodstream for elimination. This process is known as lymphatic drainage. When this process is not functioning properly, waste and toxins can build up, causing you to become sick. Body brushing is a powerful detoxification aid in stimulating that system to keep inflammation and disease at an all-time low. It also helps stimulate blood flow as well, which in turn helps to eliminate metabolic waste.
3. Reduces Cellulite
Body brushing can also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite by eliminating toxins that break down connective tissues. This is also said to help by softening hard fat deposits and distributing them more evenly, overall working to reduce the appearance of cellulite. For stretch marks, it's similar. The dry brushing helps the skin produce more collagen and helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
4. Relieves Stress
Especially when done in a quiet setting, the act of dry brushing can be a very meditative process—helping to relieve muscles tension, calm the mind, and relieve stress. Think of it as a light full-body massage that you’re giving yourself.
5. Removes Dead Skin Cells
Dry body brushing removes the dry dead skin cells from your skin’s surface, unclogging your pores and improving overall appearance.
When to Dry Brush
- Dry brushing is one of those rare things that feels just as good when you do it yourself as when someone else does it to you, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine. Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning, rather than before bed, because they believe it has energizing qualities
- Some people use the brush on its own; others put a bit of body oil on the brush before they use it
- Shower before dry brushing if you’re using an oil on the brush
- If you are dry brushing with no product, shower after dry brushing, then apply oil or lotion (this is our favorite method)
How to Dry Brush
- To dry brush by yourself, start at your feet and brush upward toward the heart
- When you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward
- Use firm, small strokes upward, or work in a circular motion
- For the stomach, work in a clockwise direction
- Harsh exfoliation is never the point; be sure not to press too hard or use a brush that’s too stiff
- Any kind of brushing or exfoliation should be gentle and should never break the skin
- Choose medium-soft cactus bristles for your skin brush for gentleness; the skin should never be scratched or damaged
- Dedicate at least three to five minutes to brushing
- Apply OUAI Body Crème after from head to toe