If you have an interest in natural health and wellness, you have probably heard about the health benefits of dry brushing your body. The goal of dry brushing is to get rid of dead skin cells, improve lymphatic drainage and increase circulation. It is an easy and affordable self-care method that can bring some extra glow to your skin and keep it free from congestion and dullness.
While dry brushing may seem like a new trend, it traces back to ancient times. Dry brushing was practiced by the ancient Indians, Greeks and Japanese and was known as an important beauty secret for achieving everlasting youthful skin. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, dry brushing, also known as garshana, is performed using a silk cloth that rejuvenates and exfoliates the skin.
While less common, did you know that dry brushing your face and neck also offers a variety of excellent health benefits? Dry brushing not only reduces cellulite on your body, but, when done on your face, helps increase circulation and tones your facial skin. In addition, it can help to exfoliate your skin, help reduce skin puffiness and brighten your complexion.
In this blog post, we will explore the concept of dry brushing your face and neck, the benefits of doing so, and how it differs from dry brushing the rest of your body. We will also set out a step-by-step guide to properly dry brushing your face and neck and conclude by discussing safety precautions to be followed when doing so. By following this guide, you can achieve radiant glowing skin by stimulating your lymphatic system and increasing your blood circulation.
Dry Brushing Your Face and Neck
As the name suggests, dry brushing involves brushing your skin in a specific pattern using a dry brush, preferably before bathing. It is a way of detoxifying your lymphatic system and is also known to help reduce cellulite.
Although dry brushing is commonly focused on the upper and lower body, it can also be used on your face and neck. When this is done, the dry brushing process gently exfoliates your skin, and cleanses and prepares it for your skin care routine.
In general, a normal body dry brush is quite different from a dry brushing face brush. The latter is typically a unique tool made with soft, ultrafine bristles, which is necessary because the skin on your face and neck is much more thin and delicate than the skin on the rest of your body. While a dry brushing face brush will generally be much softer than a normal body brush, it will still be somewhat firm. In particular, it may feel like a stiff makeup brush. Using a facial body brush creates a subtle massage on your face which should make you feel good without any irritation or discomfort.
How Facial Dry Brushing Works
Dry brushing is a gentle massage that helps to stimulate your lymphatic system, which in turn helps to remove built-up toxins and blockages. These toxins are often the reason for puffiness or swelling of the face. Dry brushing also helps to increase circulation and exfoliation of your facial skin.
Facial dry brushing works by using ultrafine bristles. These bristles thoroughly clean and remove the dirt, oil, makeup and dead skin from your face. Generally, our outer skin layer sheds all of its dead cells every 20 to 30 days. But, with aging, these dead cells begin to accumulate, making your skin look dull and unhealthy. Dry brushing helps to remove these dead cells and allow new cells to generate. This makes your skin look fresh and healthy.
Dry brushing makes your facial skin look brighter and more rejuvenated by:
- Increasing the blood circulation and supplying more nutrients and oxygen to your facial skin; and
- Freeing up your face from toxins by stimulating your lymphatic system.
Benefits of Dry Brushing Your Face
Dry brushing is an effective skin exfoliator and makes your skin feel great. With enhanced cleanliness, your skin looks brighter. It is beneficial for all skin types. In fact, a study conducted has revealed that facial cleansing with a brush balances your skin by removing debris.
Some of the benefits of dry brushing your face include:
Stimulates lymphatic drainage - The lymphatic system is an important part of our body’s defense system. It is made up of organs, ducts and vessels which run just below your skin. Dry brushing helps to stimulate the lymph flow of your face which, in turn, leads to natural detoxification.
Exfoliates your facial skin - Dry brushing naturally exfoliates the skin and helps to remove dead skin cells. When a person is young, the cells turnover regularly on their own. However, as a person ages, that turnover process slows down and the old cells cling to the surface longer, resulting in a dulling of our complexions. Exfoliating with a facial brush increase the rate of cellular turnover, allowing your skin to look more like it did during your younger years. The firmness of the brush’s bristles helps loosen and remove the dead cells. This enhances the overall appearance of your facial skin and helps keep it smooth and glowing.
Opens up the facial pores - Facial dry brushing also helps awaken and open your pores by removing dirt, oil and other impurities from your pores. As we grow older, our pores look larger and become more noticeable. Dry brushing your face helps increase your skin’s softness, allows your skin to breathe by clearing clogged pores, and makes your pores less noticeable by helping your skin look smoother and tighter.
Increases blood circulation to your face - Gentle strokes with a facial brush helps improve the blood circulation of that area. Increased blood circulation to the face and neck helps your skin appear youthful and supple. Increased blood flow also tightens up your skin and helps to restore youthful skin. This is because brushing brings blood to the surface of the skin, which in turn carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells and thereby nourishes your skin.
Strengthens facial muscles and prevents facial sagging - Facial dry brushing stimulates the muscles which lie beneath the skin of your face and neck, much in the same way as a facial massage. This stimulation triggers the flow of blood and nutrients to these facial muscles, which keeps them conditioned and active. This ensures that your facial muscles remain in good form, which prevents facial sagging as you get older.
Dry brushing helps you relax - It helps to detox your entire body, reduces stress and makes you feel relaxed.
Helps remove fine lines and wrinkles - Regular dry brushing of your face has immense anti-aging benefits. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles on your skin and also slows down wrinkle formation. By stimulating sweat and oil glands, it also keeps the skin moisturized.
Reduces acne and blackheads - When dirt and impurities get trapped in your skin, it can lead to the growth of bacteria and the formation of acne and blackheads. Dry brushing your face removes dirt and dead cells and results in clear skin.
- Prepares your skin for skin care routine - Dry brushing prepares your face for using skin care products more effectively. You can moisturize your skin after dry brushing and your beauty products will work better on your clear skin.
Dry Brushing Your Face: Before and After
For the reasons described above, dry brushing your face can have a very significant impact on your health and physical appearance. The following photos illustrate the before and after caused by facial dry brushing.
The Best Dry Brush for Your Face
As noted above, there are significant differences between dry brushing your face and dry brushing the rest of your body. It is important to choose the right brush when it comes to dry brushing your face. Choosing the wrong brush can result in irritation on your face and neck, while choosing the right brush can make your skin soft and vibrant.
Your facial skin is very delicate so you can not use the same brush for your body and face. Find a brush with gentle non-synthetic bristles specially meant for facial use.
There are many facial brushes specially formulated for the face and neck and which are designed to gently push the lymph fluid into its vessels facilitating the lymph flow. In general, these facial brushes are made with gentle natural bristles. Often handcrafted goat hair bristles or natural hog bristles are used to manufacture these brushes.
One new kind of facial body brush is the charcoal bristle face brush. It contains charcoal-infused bristles meant for deep cleansing your face. It helps to clear your pores, brush away impurities and brightens your complexion. It works gently, even on sensitive skin. Charcoal helps to pull dirt, pollutants and other impurities from out of your skin, which, in turn, makes it an excellent medium for a facial brush.
Another option, which is ideal if we are looking to avoid spending too much money, is to dry brush your face with a toothbrush. Each person’s skin is different, so you will need to experiment to find the right size, shape and firmness of toothbrush for your skin. When you start, it is recommended that you use a small, soft bristle toothbrush.
Dry brushing your body can be done every day but facial brushing every day might result in irritation. Try not to overdo your facial dry brushing. Once or twice a week is enough to keep your skin glowing. Dry brushing of the face is more gentle when compared to dry brushing of the whole body.
How To Dry Brush Your Face
Initially one or two dry brushing sessions in a week is enough to shed off the dead skin cells. Depending on the response of your skin to this new treatment, you can increase the number of sessions per week. The best time to brush your face is in the morning before showering.
The following guidelines and diagrams can help you dry brush your face properly:
Step 1: Cleanse and dry your face
Start by wetting your face and neck with warm water. For the greatest effect, try to apply a warm washcloth to your face for several minutes to open up your pores. Then, make sure to cleanse your face and ensure that you remove all makeup. Allow your face to dry. Your skin must be clean and dry before starting to dry brush. The brush you are using also needs to be completely dry. Once you are ready to begin brushing, tie your hair back or put on a hairband if needed before you begin dry brushing your face.
Step 2: Starting from chin move upwards
Image credit: Skin Brushing
Start brushing your chin towards the hairline from one side, then move to the other side. Use gentle upward strokes. The movement should not cause any irritation.
- For your cheeks, make a circular motion in an outward and backward fashion.
- For your upper lip, start from the center and brush outwards.
- For your nose, use small circular motions starting from your nose tip towards the middle of the brow area.
- For your eyes, use light strokes encircling your eyes in a circular motion.
Make sure to be very gentle when brushing, particularly around the eyes. As you brush more often, you can use more pressure, but begin very slowly and gently.
Step 3: Do not forget your neck
Your neck is also an important part of your body for dry brushing purposes. Repeat the brushing process, starting from your chest and moving upwards towards the chin across your neck.
Step 4: Wash and moisturize with oil or serum
Wash your face and moisturize with oil. You can also take a warm shower to remove the dead skin cells. Applying oil or moisturizer helps supply nutrients and moisture to your open pores, helping to hydrate your skin.
After completion of the dry brushing, drink a glass of water to hydrate yourself. Also, clean your brush and wash it using a gentle soap. With regular practice, you can complete the entire dry brushing process within ten minutes.
Even with light pressure, your skin may look red after you have finished dry brushing. This is normal and merely a sign that the brushing has been effective, so there is no need to be concerned. The redness should subside naturally within a few minutes, but, if you are still red after an hour, you either brushed with too much pressure or your skin may be too delicate for dry brushing. Always begin brushing with very little pressure. If it has positive results for you, you can gradually increase the pressure over time.
How to Clean Your Face Brush
You should regularly clean your brush. Use tea tree oil and gentle liquid soap to clean your brush. Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Rinse your brush and let it dry face down on a towel. Avoid any prolonged dampness in your brush to avoid bacterial growth and make sure you dry it thoroughly. You can also dry your brush outside in the fresh air with the benefit of disinfecting sunlight.
Dry brushing your face is a safe procedure but taking some precautions can help you to avoid any discomfort. We recommend the following:
- Always use lighter strokes while brushing. Facial skin is very delicate and thin, hence you need to be careful, especially around your eyes. Never try to stretch or pull your skin. Exfoliation and stimulation of your skin are beneficial but try not to overdo it.
- If you experience any redness or irritation, then stop dry brushing. Try to be more gentle and reduce the number of times you brush per week.
- If you have very sensitive skin or any allergies, consult your health practitioner or dermatologist.
- Use a brush that has soft natural bristles.
- Do not share your brush with someone and do not use any chemical exfoliant immediately after dry brushing.
- Do not dry brush on an open wound or inflamed skin.
Dry brushing is not recommended for people who have skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or extremely dry skin. Dry brushing can aggravate these skin conditions, often leading to painful irritations.
As long as you follow the right procedure without ignoring any discomfort, dry brushing your face can greatly benefit you.
Dry brushing is a way of treating your skin with a gentle massage which makes it soft and radiant. It is a simple self-care routine for healthy and glowing skin. You will look flawless with fewer blemishes and brighter skin. Dry brushing your face improves your skin texture and, when done regularly, can bring some significant changes to your skin, giving you all the more reason to glow.