Hopefully your summer has been filled with beach days, hours by the pool, and skin-slathered sunscreen. Now that you’ve pampered yourself, it’s time to pamper your body. And while traditional body exfoliants—the kinds made with sea salt, sugar, coffee grinds, you name it—are a shower staple, there’s a more cost-friendly method you could be adding to your routine.
Meet: dry brushing. All you need is one brush and a few minutes before you turn the water on to enjoy the perks. Let’s break down the basics.
What is dry brushing?
Think of it as a body massage but instead of hands you’re using a dry, stiff brush.
What are the benefits?
While it’s been touted as a tool for aiding digestion and minimizing cellulite, there haven’t been conclusive ties. What’s for sure is it’s an ideal exfoliator, especially if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients in store-bought products. Dry brushing also increases blood circulation, which can temporarily plump up your skin. (If your skin is red post-brushing, that’s just the blood flowing.) Finally, it can help prevent ingrown hairs, as the exfoliation promotes cell turnover.
How do you do it?
Make sure your skin and brush are dry (brushing under hot water can dry out skin). Then start at your feet, rotating the brush in a circular pattern moving up toward your heart. Ease into it to make sure your skin doesn’t get irritated or overly dry. If you’re sunburned or have eczema, be extra careful.
What kind of brush do I need?
Look for a long brush—great for getting those hard-to-reach areas—made of natural bristles, like cactus fibers, jute, or sisal. And make sure to keep it clean! Wash it with a mild soap and let it air dry. Once it’s dry, get ready to brush again!