We brush our teeth; we brush our hair; why not brush our skin?
Face dry brushing is one of many skin trends that promises to brighten complexion, even out skin tone, and improve the look of wrinkles by boosting the skin’s natural regenerative processes. Dry skin brushing is relatively inexpensive when compared to other popular skin treatments and products.
This article provides a general overview of dry face brushing, how the process works and how you can do it at home, and what benefits you can expect.
Scroll down to see a few face brushing before and after photos.
How does dry brushing work?
Our bodies shed the outermost layer of our facial skin every 20-30 days. As we grow older, this natural process becomes slower and more difficult. As it becomes harder for our bodies to dispose of dead skin cells, our faces look unhealthy and dull. The buildup of dead skin cells makes skincare products less effective.
Face brushing helps remove the dead skin cells to make way for the younger, healthier skin beneath.
Unlike body brushing, face brushing should be gentle. The skin on the face is very delicate, so it’s important to use light strokes. Don’t ever stretch or pull your skin while brushing.
People with normal skin or dry, aging skin should brush twice per week. If you have oily skin, we recommend four times per week.
People sometimes compare face brushing to massage, which can also detoxify and boost circulation. However, it is also a way to exfoliate – which reduces pore congestion and increases the absorption or skincare products.
How to dry brush
We recommend brushing first thing in the morning. You can cleanse your face either before or after brushing, but make sure your face is clean and completely dry before you start.
Brushes with synthetic bristles are cheaper, but can damage your skin. Look for brushes with natural bristles.
Using light strokes, begin at the collarbone area (décolleté) and move up to the neck and then up towards the forehead. Do five strokes per area. Make sure to stroke upwards.
The image at left shows the general order in which you should brush. The entire process will take about 10 minutes.
Make sure to moisturize after you’re finished brushing. We recommend using a nutrient-rich serum or oil. Dry face brushing will make your face a little more sensitive to the sun. Make sure to wear sunscreen.
It’s very important that you clean your brushes regularly. Use warm water and a nontoxic soap to wash your brushes at least once per week. Let the brush air dry in a clean place to avoid collecting bacteria or mildew.
To keep the brush clean between washes, we recommend misting it lightly with a solution made of 1 part tea tree oil and 2 parts water.
- Never brush the face too hard
- Reduce the number of times you are brushing if your skin becomes red, irritated, or dry
- Ask a dermatologist before brushing if you have a skin condition
- Never share face brushes or cosmetics with other people
- Don’t brush in combination with a manual exfoliant or peel
Can dry brushing cause breakouts?
While it can significantly help regulate oil production, reduce the appearance of existing acne, and even prevent future breakouts, there is a chance that dry skin brushing will cause your face to (sometimes massively) breakout.
This will occur during the first week of use, and it’s completely normal. Continue brushing (only once or twice per week in the beginning), and your skin will return to normal.
Click here to learn more about caring for dry skin.
Face brushing benefits
Dry brushing is a gentle form of exfoliation that removes dead skin cells and toxins from the surface of your skin. It also boosts circulation and stimulates the skin, which brings important nutrients to your cells and improves tone.
Face brushing assists with sinus movement and lymphatic drainage.
Dry skin brushing can help prevent acne, especially for people with oily skin. Brushing helps release toxins and bacteria that could otherwise get stuck in your pores. Mae sure not to brush over any cuts, open sores, or blemishes (whiteheads and blackheads are ok).
Anti-aging benefits of dry brushing & face brushing for wrinkles
As many exfoliants do, dry skin brushing gives your face that “instant glow” that makes you look younger. As I mentioned above, it can improve complexion and tone by boosting your skin’s natural healing and regenerative processes and by improving circulation in the area.
Over time, regular brushing can speed up cell turnover and help delay and minimize future signs of aging.
More anti-aging benefits of dry skin brushing:
- Prevents the body’s natural breakdown of collagen
- Restores natural elasticity
- Leaves skin fresh and supple
- Improves dry, cracked, and sensitive skin
- Helps lighten the dark area beneath the eyes
- Reduces the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles
- Prevents and reverses sun/environmental damage
Dry brushing is good for people who struggle with acne, as it can remove blemishes and prevent future breakouts by keeping the skin healthy, clean, and free of toxins.
It is a much gentler form of exfoliation than many other acne products, and is a good option for people with sensitive skin.
Face brushing helps to regulate your body’s sebum (oil) production, which can reduce that “greasy” look and minimize acne.
- Helps fade existing acne scars
- It can also reduce inflammation/redness caused by acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis
Who is dry brushing good for?
Face brushing is a good option for people struggling with acne – but for whose conditions are not so serious that they require a doctor’s prescription. It is appropriate for people with sensitive skin, oily skin, aging skin, and chronic skin conditions like rosacea.
It is good for people with fine lines and wrinkles (not deep wrinkles) and other signs of aging including light scarring, age spots, and sun damage.
Dry skin brushing is a great option for DIY folks who are looking for an inexpensive option when it comes to facial treatment. Keep in mind: you must be willing to stick to a skincare routine for face brushing to work.
Click here to learn more about scar removal treatment for softer, smoother skin.