TikTok True or False is the solution to your burning queries about the health, beauty, and fitness trends dominating your social feeds. Each story dissects a popular wellness trend with the guidance of experts and scientific research in order to uncover the truth and safety behind the viral “advice” you encounter online. You will never have to question what is truly authentic — or what to disregard — ever again.
You can always rely on social media to convince you to incorporate a “game-changing” product or technique into your regimen. Lately, the beauty community on TikTok, also known as #BeautyTok, has generated a surge of interest in dry brushing before showering, asserting that it is a transformative ritual that leads to radiant skin and improved circulation. With over 125 million views under the #Drybrushing hashtag, people are raving about this technique. But is it genuinely as advantageous as it appears?
To uncover the truth behind this trend, we consulted dermatologist Dr. Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD, the owner of The Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City and an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Continue reading to discover more about dry brushing and whether it is truly worth incorporating this hyped-up step into your pre-shower routine.
What is Dry Brushing? Are There Any Advantages?
Dry brushing is an ancient ritual commonly associated with Ayurvedic Medicine. The method entails using a brush with firm but gentle bristles to exfoliate the surface of the skin, which can lead to a smoother and more luminous texture. Dr. Akhavan confirms that “dry brushing can assist in the removal of dead skin cells, unclogging of pores, and promotion of a smoother skin texture,” which can enhance the effectiveness of skincare products.
The technique is also linked to wellness benefits such as improved circulation and lymphatic drainage. However, he advises against relying solely on dry brushing for broader health advantages, as “there is limited scientific evidence to support the claims of enhanced overall circulation and lymphatic drainage.” Specifically in terms of blood circulation, he highlights that the benefits derived from dry brushing are temporary. So, while dry brushing offers both beauty and wellness benefits, there may be more viable solutions in certain cases.
Who Should Try Dry Brushing? And Who Should Avoid It?
Despite the allure of its potential advantages, dry brushing is not a one-size-fits-all practice. According to Dr. Akhavan, certain skin types should abstain from dry brushing entirely. Individuals with active skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, or those with sensitive or damaged skin, should avoid dry brushing as it may exacerbate these conditions.
Conversely, individuals with extremely parched skin may derive greater advantages from this method as it can assist in exfoliating and eliminating dead skin cells, unveiling a smoother texture,” clarifies Dr. Akhavan. He emphasizes the significance of replenishing the skin’s moisture after dry brushing, recommending to “ensure to moisturize your skin afterwards to preserve skin barrier function and prevent dryness.”
Aspects to Take into Account
If you’re contemplating incorporating dry brushing into your pre-shower skincare routine, Dr. Akhavan advises you to proceed cautiously. Firstly, frequency is crucial to evade skin irritation. “Constrain dry brushing to 2-3 times per week,” he declares. The technique you utilize also plays a pivotal role, with the recommended approach being to brush in long, sweeping motions towards the heart—it’s worth mentioning that direction matters, particularly when dry brushing for lymphatic drainage. Lastly, always follow up with a moisturizing product to replenish the skin’s moisture and preserve its health in the long term.
Choosing the appropriate brush is another critical factor. Dr. Akhavan recommends opting for a brush with natural, medium-firm bristles, cautioning that excessively stiff bristles can harm the skin. As a reminder, if you have any specific skin concerns or medical conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating dry brushing into your regimen. This practice can offer some skin benefits, but he emphasizes it’s not suitable for everyone and may worsen certain skin conditions.
The Final Decision: Should You Dry Brush Before or After Showering?
Unfortunately, there’s not a fixed “true” or “false” answer to this question. According to Dr. Akhavan, the answer is more intricate than a simple yes or no. “Dry brushing is a matter of personal preference. It can be an effective method of exfoliation and can serve as a soothing self-care routine,” he says. However, for more significant health benefits, he advises seeking the assistance of a trained professional. Anecdotally, many people prefer to dry brush before showering to exfoliate dry skin, then rinse off any debris and replenish moisture via a moisturizing body wash followed by skin oil and moisturizer.
While dry brushing may provide certain immediate benefits like exfoliation and a temporary circulation boost, its effectiveness in providing lasting health benefits is still subject to scientific debate. Always remember to consider your skin type, consult a dermatologist, and listen to your body, especially before trying trends you see online. After all, skincare, health, and wellness are deeply personal journeys, and what works wonders for one may not be ideal for another.
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