I’m down with physically and chemically exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing my face, but I can’t say dry brushing has made it into my routine… yet.
After a super soft yet firm brush designed for this very purpose and created by Aveda landed on my desk (you can watch their video on it here), though, I started to wonder if I’ve been doing my skin a great disservice because I’m not privy to the exercise.
I mean, I brush my hair once a day, but I wouldn’t think to do the same for my face.
And while I know full well the benefits of dry brushing your body (exfoliation, stimulating the lymphatic drainage system to help with puffiness, and reportedly reducing the appearance of cellulite), I’m completely lost on the facial aspect of the practice. So, as any curious beauty editor who asks 3,343 questions would, I went to a few pros to get the details.
First, dry brushing has a benefit that massage supposedly does not. “Both dry brushing and massage can detoxify and stimulate the circulation,” explains Slone Mathieu, Spa Director and Medical Aesthetician at Dream Spa Medical. "However, dry brushing exfoliates the skins, which defuses surface imperfections and allows pore congestion a direct pathway to purge. This exfoliation process also increases the absorption and efficacy of your products,” says Mathieu.
Products that work better? Yes, yes. I will accept that offer. And anything that can help me unclog my horrific (in my opinion) pores on my nose seems pretty darn great about now. Mathieu also tells me the process could help you get that coveted healthy glow—AKA, you'll look radiant without highlighter.
And exfoliation isn't something to underestimate. Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King tells me that over time, the practice "can speed up cell turnover and help minimize some of the effects of aging."
So now that you know what it does, you'll want to know how to do it, right?
Mathieu says you'll need a soft, synthetic brush, and she prefers this because they're easy to clean. Next, you'll want to apply the brush in upward strokes to a clean, dry, or damp face. Finally, Mathieu notes you should finish with a calming serum and a moisturizer.
Dr. King even notes you can use a wet cleansing brush, like the Instrumental Beauty products, for dry brushing.
However, it's not for everybody. Dr. King says if you have very dry or sensitive skin or prone to rosacea, you could experience irritation or flare-ups, so you might want to talk to your derm before getting started on any dry-brushing practice.
If you're one with normal or oily skin, Mathieu says she would recommend giving it a shot twice a week for up to five minutes.
Dr. King notes that at first, though, you might want to begin at only 30 seconds at a time to see how your skin reacts by repeating the process twice or three times a week. Then, depending on that result, she says you could slowly increase the interval of time dry brushing, but suggests stopping at about three minutes.