Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dry Burshing - Why? {Skin Care}

My Cactus Brush (don't ask me if they are real Cactus bristles) [Price: Rs 945]
Of course you must have heard all about Dry Brushing by now. So, today, I wanted to discuss about its benefits and if it actually is worth all the hype it gets. I had bought a body brush (Cactus Brush from TBS to be precise) in February (rather it was gifted) and have been suing it on and off since then. Of course, there have been times when I had completely left it off for days together (not months, though) and I can easily tell the difference now. So, how did dry brushing effect my skin?

What is Dry Brushing?
You have a brush much like a coat brush and your use it to brush your body instead. It doesn't need to be wet like in other cases of exfoliation so it is called 'Dry'. 

Benefits of Dry Brushing
  • extremely soft and glowing skin
  • gets rid of Cellulite
  • removes dead skin cells thereby avoiding flaky skin
  • helps in the skin regeneration process
  • improves skin elasticity
  • improves the blood circulation in the body
  • improves the lymphatic system of the body which helps in getting rid of the body wastes and toxins from the skin
  • it opens up the clogged pores (though pores getting clogged on the body is little difficult)
  • tones up the skin and the muscles
And, many other benefits which I really don't want to recount here coz it will make the post unnecessarily long. But, you can be sure that half of these claims will hold true in the long run. 

How to do Dry Brushing?
Ok, the key to dry brush your body is to move toward the heart from any part of the body. Always remember that and follow that.
  • Start from the toes and move towards the ankle by moving the brush in circular motions. Proceed to the knee in the same circular motions. Once you reach the knee, proceed towards the hip joint along the thighs repeating the same circular motion with the brush. 
  • Once you reach the hip joint, repeat the whole process again starting from toes to hip joint for a finishing touch. Instead of circular motions, this time you can go for long quick strokes with the brush in the upward direction. Don't forget to always work towards the heart. 
  • Repeat this with the other leg. 
  • Now, coming to the stomach area, proceed towards the heart using circular motions horizontally covering the hip, waist and then, the thorax (diaphragm) region. Repeat for second time using the circular motions only. 
  • Work with circular motions on the upper shoulder region but towards the direction of the heart (that is downward). 
  • Breasts should be done carefully because the skin is more sensitive. Use light hand on the breasts and avoid the nipples completely. Gently brush in the direction of the breast. 
Note: It is recommended not to dry brush the breasts but if you are using a light hand and doing it carefully, it can, in fact, help firm the breasts and keep them in proper shape. Be gentle otherwise you might end up with sore breasts. 
  • For hands, start from the palm and move in the circular motions towards the shoulder balls. Once you reach the shoulder, again repeat the whole procedure using long quick strokes (just like the leg) for a second finishing touch.
  • Repeat with the second hand. 
  • Now, come to the back. It is very difficult to dry brush the back even if you have a long-handled brush (which is recommended). Start from the buttocks in circular motion and proceed horizontally to the point where you can no longer repeat the same movements. Then, start with vertical movements along the spinal cord in long quick strokes because circular motion is not easy and moving horizontal is impossible. If you can get someone to do it, that would be great. Finally, end the back brushing by thoroughly brushing the upper shoulder on the back which is the area which is most likely to be forgotten and has most of the flaky skin. Avoid the neck, though. 
This whole procedure would take 15-20 minutes a day and is recommended to be done in the day instead of at night because it makes the body feel alive and awake. 

What kind of a brush should be used?
  • Long-handled so that you can easily reach the back.
  • Natural Bristles instead of Synthetic as they are softer and gentler on the skin and don't tear the skin.
  • The bristles also provide an acupressure massage during the routine. 
My Experience
So, I use the Body Shop Cactus Brush. I had bought it with the intention of being able to wash my back better and this Cactus Brush is not actually a dry brush. Instead, this is what TBS says about it:
Take your lather farther by pairing this handy brush with your favorite shower gel or soap. Leaves skin massaged, smooth, and soft. Pour a small amount of body wash onto wet bristles and brush over the skin in circular movements.
Well, I did try that for the first time but the wet bristles were extremely harsh on my skin. So, next day, I decided to use the brush as a dry brush and it was actually perfect for that. And, also, it is a wooden brush so wetting it everyday isn't an option either. So, now I use it as a dry brish and I make sure that I dry brush myself at least 3-4 days of the week. 

So, how did it affect my skin?
  • It became more smooth and more glowing.
  • I think I had little cellulite patches on my thighs before which I now see are no more so yes for that too.
  • Earlier, I had the impression that dry brushing helps in weight loss but I was wrong, it toned up my skin so my frame looked better, the shoulders and thighs, specially.
  • It does make me feel more awakened if I dry brush myself in the morning and it is a very relaxing routine too.
  • My skin flakes very easily especially on the back and more specifically, the upper back and shoulder region and the stomach area. And, if I don't dry brush everyday, the skin starts flaking off. It did happen whenever I stopped my routine so it was like a wake up call to go back to dry brushing.
  • The oils get absorbed more quickly.
  • My breasts were more firmed up.  
  • Dry patches on the skin are gone. I had a dry patch on my right leg which is not dry any more and the elbows and knees do not trouble me with the dryness.
Well, these were certain things which I noticed. Do not know about the lymphatic system or my blood circulation, though. 

My Advise
Well, I think one should take to dry brushing as a regular routine if not a daily routine. And, yup, investing on a good dry brush does give results in the long term. 

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