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What Is Dry Brushing and Does It Help For Cellulite? | Benefits of Dry Brushing & How To Do Dry Brushing?

What Is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a natural technique that helps in exfoliation of dead skin and can stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic system.

The dry brushes come in various shapes and sizes and the bristles are soft enough to be swiped across the face and body. It also has a long handle to reach places that are otherwise hard to be reached.

Dry brushing has several benefits. It may even be effective in diminishing the look of cellulite but is not able to treat or reduce it.

Dry brushing has been a part of Ayurvedic traditional medicine for centuries.

Dry Brushing and Cellulite

Cellulite is a normal condition. It is observed that around 80-90 percent of females develop cellulite around their hips, buttocks, or thighs after puberty.(1) It is caused by taut bands of connective tissue that attach the skin to the underlying muscle tissue. If there is a fat cell build-up in this space, the skin is pushed out, with the tense connective tissue staying in place.

The push-pull of the fat cells and connective tissue leads to dimpled skin with an orange peel-like appearance. This is known as cellulite.

Dry brushing has many benefits, but its effectiveness in treating, reducing, or eliminating cellulite is not scientifically supported.(2) The increase in blood flow might plump the skin a bit but the effect is temporary.

It does not help relax the connective tissue under the skin; hence does not benefit cellulite much.

If looking for a cellulite reduction treatment, there are various other options such as:

  • Radiofrequency treatments
  • Laser therapy
  • Subcision
  • Electromagnetic shockwave therapy
  • Anti-cellulite creams

These treatments are effective in reducing cellulite.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing does not reduce cellulite or redistribute fat but can be helpful in the following ways:

  • Stimulates circulation
  • Gives a relaxing and invigorating feeling
  • Removes dry and dead skin cells and is a great exfoliant
  • Gives a natural energy boost by increasing blood circulation

How To Do Dry Brushing Safely?

There are a few steps that help you know, how to practice this ancient method safely.

  1. For dry brushing choose a brush made with sisal, boar, and cactus, as they are the popular choices. Always test the brush before using it. Make sure the bristles do not leave red marks, scratches, or welts on your skin.
  2. Dry brushing is done on bare skin.
  3. You can dab the bristles in coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, or any of your favorite essential oil if you like fragrance.
  4. Always start from your feet and move upward with gentle strokes. Brush up the front, back, and thighs of one leg and then continue the same with the other leg.
  5. Brush the hips and buttocks in circular strokes.
  6. After that, brush one arm at a time, starting from the hand and moving up towards the shoulder. The long handle of the dry brush helps you reach the shoulder.
  7. While using a brush on the stomach, use it with care as the skin is tender there. Do not brush the nipples.
  8. For the face and neck, you can use a small brush.
  9. Plan to brush right before you bathe or take shower, as the skin that gets loosened can easily be washed away.
  10. Those suffering from psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, acne, and broken skin should not try dry brushing, as the skin in such condition is very sensitive.
  11. Dry brushing may not be effective in treating cellulite but can surely help get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow.

Those looking to boost skin health with dry brushing, choose a brush with soft bristles, use gentle strokes, and work it up from feet to face. Make sure you do not irritate the broken or sensitive skin places.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 24, 2020

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