Body brushing is one of those things you always mean to do, but can easily forget in the rush and chaos of everyday life. But that’s one of the reasons you should try to incorporate just a few minutes of dry brushing into your daily routine, because quite apart from the benefits to your skin and circulation, it makes you slow down for a moment and make time for a little self-care, which is always a good thing.
In the winter when you might be feeling a bit sluggish and skin can look and feel dull, grey, and generally a bit grim, this is when body brushing really comes into its own (although it’s a great idea in summer too.) Our walnut wood brush has sisal bristles and an ergonomic design to make it super easy to use. We asked Cowshed Educator Jess to explain how she uses hers at home and the role it plays in our spa treatments too.
Why Do It
‘Dry brushing has so many benefits: it helps stimulate lymphatic drainage and boost circulation (that tingle is exactly what you need in cold weather) as well as exfoliating and smoothing skin, giving it a healthy glow. Sloughing off dry skin stops limbs looking dull and keeps ingrown hairs to a minimum. It also preps your skin for self-tan so it sinks in better and lasts longer. The brushing action feels like a little massage. In terms of cellulite, everyone has it, it’s normal and dry brushing won’t ‘get rid’ of it. But it will improve the texture and tone of your skin so it looks its best and the cellulite isn’t such a big deal. I love it is because it’s quick, there’s no mess at all and it’s something that fits into a daily routine. You can leave your brush next to the shower, or in your bedroom, it doesn’t really matter when you do it.’
How To Do It
‘You can do just two or three minutes on each leg. Always make sure you’re working towards the heart, starting from the ankle work up to the hip, go round your hip, then up your arm. Circular movement are good if you want to get rid of dead skin and fake tan, but I like to stroke upwards with my main hand pulling the brush followed by the other hand smoothing the skin because I feel like you get a better rhythm and a stronger pull on the circulatory system. Then you can get in the shower or into bed, it doesn’t matter – that’s why I love it. Do it consistently and always follow with some sort of moisturiser, whether it’s lotion or body oil, because you’re losing that layer of dead skin, to lock in the moisture and for extra silky-smoothness. Ours is a strong brush especially when it’s brand new. Be careful if you have very sensitive skin, go gently, don’t apply too much pressure. The natural sisal bristles might feel harsh at first, but eventually they’ll feel energising and invigorating.’
In the Spa
‘In spas we dry brush the client before every leg wax to make sure all the hairs are lifted up , there’s no ingrown hairs and you get better results with the wax. We also incorporate dry brushing into our Bespoke Body Treatment too, if detoxifying is something the client wants to address. It’s going to stimulate the lymphatic system to help the body remove any waste products, it will also boost circulation which improves cell turnover, making the skin look more rejuvenated.’
Look after your brush
‘Tap and brush it vigorously to shake free dirt and dry skin (sorry!) and if you have any product residue on the bristles brush on a mild anti-bac. Store it with the bristles facing upwards.’