What Actually Is Dry Body Brushing?
Dry body brushing or Garshana, a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘friction by rubbing’, is a traditional Ayurvedic practice popular in the wellness industry.
It involves sweeping a dry bristle brush across the skin and towards the heart to stimulate the lymphatic system, increase circulation and blood flow, make space for a mindful moment in your day, all while giving your skin a good buff.
Think: Gua Sha, but with a brush... and all over the body. Dry.
According to dermal therapist and beauty journalist Yadira Cauchi, "Regular body brushing serves as exfoliation, helping with skin cell turnover. This is especially beneficial as we get older as it slows down."
"It also may help stimulate the lymphatic system (your body's natural waste management system), encourage blood flow and increase circulation."
An important note: There's a lot of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of dry body brushing, which has been around in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. That said, there's little to no scientific or clinical evidence to support dry body brushing as a method of 'breaking down cellulite' or 'helping the body rid itself of toxins'.
A little remember, cellulite and stretch marks are normal and aren't something you have to 'get rid of'. Body brushing is one of those things where if it makes you feel great, go for it, but don't expect it to perform miracles. Or make you dinner.
How to Dry Body Brush.
Technique is really important when dry body brushing because it's part of the ancient practice.
Using a natural fibre brush, work your way from the ends of your limbs in towards your heart in broad sweeping strokes across the skin. Some people find it quite energising too - just don’t scrub too hard. Dry body brushing is an absolute no-no for those with inflamed skin or sensitive skin conditions.
Yads added, "Start at your feet and work your way up, brush in the direction of lymphatic flow/drainage. And don’t forget to moisturise straight after."
Light pressure is key when first starting out, particularly on the areas where your skin is thinner (think chest area). A pinky flush to the skin afterwards is normal, but you don’t want to be scratching yourself. You can increase the pressure when you become more used to it.
My Dry Body Brush Review.
I’ve tried a bunch of different brushes over the years. I’ve used ones with plastic handles, handles that are too long, bristles that feel like nails on the skin and ones so soft, you wonder if it's even exfoliating.
One I’ve been loving lately is the Black Chicken Remedies Garshana Dry Body Brush because it's super easy to use.
The bamboo brush is made from sisal fibres that really help to brush away dead skin and leave me feeling smooth (this is ideal before a fake tan). The handle makes it easy to reach your back, and the string on the end means I can just hang it up in the bathroom when it's not in use.
Just quietly, I'm also a HUGE fan of the Black Chicken Remedies Copper Tongue Cleaner - the Ayurvedic practice involves tongue scraping first thing in the morning to get rid all the bacteria and food build-up off your tongue. It. Will. Change. Your. Life. Trust me.
Back to brushing. I tend to dry body brush a couple of times a week. I believe Miranda does it every day, but sadly, I’m not Miranda and can’t commit to a daily brush, especially when I’m fake tanning.
Sometimes, I use it wet in the shower as more of a lazy but effective exfoliating pre-tan routine, rather than a wellness moment. But hey, it works.
Post-brush and post-shower, I always use a luxe body oil like the KORA Organics Noni Glow Body Oil or moisturise with Kiehl's Crème de Corps 500ml with Pump to emerge from the bathroom glowing like a dolphin skimming the water in the sun.
Do You Need to Body Brush?
The short answer is no. No one needs to dry body brush, but it's OK to want to give it a go if you're intrigued.
Bare minimum, giving your body a once over with the brush serves as an exfoliating and de-puffing body massage and scrub. I personally notice it definitely helps to de-puff. And I’m all about that no-puff life.