I am so, so guilty of putting all my effort into my skin care routine for my face, not doing much more than the bare minimum for the rest of my body. A couple areas that I’m trying to pay more attention to are my thighs and upper arms. I have a mild case of Keratosis Pilaris on my upper arms, which is a condition that causes small bumps around the hair follicles. It was a lot worse as a kid, and probably isn’t super noticeable to an average person anymore, but causes a rough feel to my skin. I used to have it on my thighs too, but it has pretty much disappeared from the area. Although, my thighs are the spot I get the most noticeable dryness and irritation in the colder months.
When I discovered dry brushing a couple years ago, my interest was piqued. Dry brushing sweeps away dead skin cells while also stimulating the lymphatic system and detoxing impurities. It also helps reduce ingrown hairs. Some people say that it can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, though it hasn’t been proven. It’s just like it sounds: you use a brush and sweep it along dry skin several times per area. The result is smooth, even and renewed skin with just a small addition to your routine.
I started dry brushing back in April when I was having a bad case of ingrown hairs on the back of my thighs. I used the Daily Concepts Detox Massage Brush, and was loving the results. Not only did it clear up my clogged hair follicles, but I started to see the other benefits over time, too. The brush has stiff bristles to help polish the skin with silicone touch points for a thorough massage. I feel like the touch points also help me avoid over-brushing. This brush is also very easy to hold with a burlap handle that lets it sit right in your palm for maximum control.
I use the dry brush before a shower, in long strokes in an inwards direction (toward your heart). It is an easy addition to my routine that doesn’t take up much more time— I usually do it while the water is heating up. I focus on my arms, legs, and heels, but I also like using this on my elbows if they’re in particularly rough shape during dry months. I run the brush over my skin about ten times per section while standing in the tub before moving on with my normal shower routine. When I’m out, my skin feels infinitely softer and over time has started to look and feel more even and smooth. I’d say the biggest difference is the amount of ingrown hairs I experience on my legs now— very few compared to when I started this routine.
Some people prefer to do their dry brushing routine after the shower, with the addition of a bit of body oil for moisturizing. I honestly don’t prefer this method just because I feel like it gunks up my brush, but it definitely feels nice and can make the roughness of the brush feel less harsh for sensitive skin.
You can pick up this affordable dry brush from Daily Concepts at Ulta Beauty.
Is dry brushing part of your beauty routine?
I had a severe case of atopic dermatitis for years and years, many doctors….. but my latest and last Dermatologist cured me in 3 weeks…. No more flares, ugly itchy bumpy skin. This was her treatment plan: (she said dry brushing should only be done 2x week or 3 if you think your skin really needs it. You run the risk of damaging the skin barrier.
The dermatologist said “NEVER USE HOT WATER”. Use warm to luke warm and try never to shower more than 10 minutes. Dry brush just before bathing. Her words were: get in the shower but don’t start the water yet. Dry brush while the skin is dry. Afterwards , turn on shower preferably warm (NOT HOT) and wash your skin with your HANDS ONLY using an antibacterial-antimicrobial skin cleansing solution. Her recommendations were: (1) Hibiclens Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution 4.0% w/v Skin Cleanser which prevents skin infections which has antiseptic activity and persistent antimicrobial affect with rapid bactericidal activity against an extremely wide range of microorganisms. **ingrown hairs, stopped up hair follicles, clogged pores, cellulite, bumps, skin conditions as eczema, dermatitis, acne and more. (2) was Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body & Face Cleanser (my favorite). These can also be used to cleanse wounds, cuts, surgical scrub or general personal hand cleansing. Always PAT DRY… never rub skin with towel. Immediately after showering use: 1) CeraVe Moisturizing Cream which has 3 essential ceramides to help protect and restore the protective skin barrier. 2) Eucerin Advanced Skin Repair Lotion, 3 Ceramides to strengthen skin barrier and provides immediate and 48 hour moisturizer and, 3) Cetaphil (my favorite). These are non-comedogenic and DO NOT CONTAIN: Fragrances, Perfumes, Parabens, dyes. Always beware of ingredient listings that contain Fragrances, Fragrance Carrier Perfumes….. as these contain PEG, polyethylene glycol which can be toxic if used a lot. It’s usually alcohol based which is not quite as bad. It is preferable to stay away from ALL PEG products and there’s just too many to count. It’s not always listed in ingredients label. In fact FDA and CDC is investigating the possibilities of cancer and many other diseases
A hot water shower for your skin might feel like a warm shower to another’s. What feels warm to your skin might feel too cold to another. Your skin is the same: it has an exfoliation tolerance similar to it’s sensitivity to water’s temperature. So which “temperature” or level of exfoliation is right for your skin? Answer: It VARIES. Think of these “Levels” as cold, lukewarm, warm, and hot, and, of course, choose accordingly. @wizkerskin
Very true! Great insight.