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How to Dry Brush Your Body for Softer Skin — And to Keep From Getting Sick

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When you reach for the loofah, it’s usually while you’re under the piping hot stream of water coming from your shower head. But thanks to a beauty trend called “dry brushing,” you can skip the liquid and soap altogether.

Dry brushing, which involves scrubbing a brush over your body on a regular basis, is a great way to keep skin radiant and smooth. And while it may seem counterintuitive, this beauty method boasts many health benefits, including fighting off illness and boosting circulation. It’s no wonder that stars like Renée Zellweger swear by it!

We did a little digging and discovered everything you need to know about this skincare technique on the rise.

What does dry brushing do? 

Dry brushing is meant to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. The added friction of the brush on moistureless skin makes dry brushing a more effective technique than traditional sudsy methods. Plus, it’s a lot less messy.  

How do you dry brush skin? 

The method can be used all over your body, but the point is to avoid harsh exfoliation. Margo Marrone of the London-based apothecary shop Organic Pharmacy warns against brushing too hard or using too-stiff of a brush. The technique can be used on your face, but your pressure should be gentler as the skin is much more fragile here. 

After exfoliation, it’s important to apply a moisturizer to your skin, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. Creams will be able to penetrate the skin more deeply once your skin has been cleansed. 

Are there any precautions I should take? 

A slightly obvious but important tip nonetheless, you should also avoid brushing over cuts so as not to deter the healing process. According to Dr. Jacob, you should avoid over-brushing, as it can actually thicken your skin. It is suggested to dry brush your skin once a week at most. 

What are the benefits of dry brushing? 

Well, there are tons! First, by removing dead skin cells, the technique will leave dry skin feeling soft and renewed. It’s also said to improve the appearance of cellulite by stimulating blood flow, but some experts say it’s unlikely that this surface level treatment is able to affect a condition that is rooted deep in the skin. 

Still, many of its proven advantages are more than cosmetic. At the top of the list, dry brushing  stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for transporting blood flow throughout our bodies and getting rid of the waste our cells produce. If the lymphatic system is congested, a buildup of toxins can occur, which can cause illness and inflammation. By stimulating the surface of the skin, dry brushing motivates the lymphatic system to do its job properly--and keep you healthy! 

Dry brushing is also a great way to relieve stress. According to Julie Karen, MD, the practice of silently massaging yourself for several minutes has obvious soothing properties. 

Try this new beauty technique for yourself, and see what changes it can make in your life. 

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