Now is the perfect time to add dry brushing to your skincare routine

With all the extra time you have on your hands, adding dry brushing to your skincare routine is a good call, especially if you’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. It’s become a popular skincare technique, particularly on Instagram, where the hashtag #DryBrushing has racked up 45,000 posts. But its origins go back to Ayurvedic science, where Garshana has been an essential technique. “The word ‘Garshana’ literally means ‘friction achieved by rubbing’. It is traditionally performed by using raw silk gloves, or a brush with long handles,” says Dr Arun Pillai, wellness director of Dharana at Shillim. “The easy DIY lymphatic massage helps to tone and shape the body,” says Gita Ramesh, a doctor and managing director of the Kairali Group. “It also improves blood circulation and makes the skin look fresher,” she says.

The relevance of dry brushing in ayurveda

The stimulation detoxification therapy is meant to flush out the ‘ama’ in the body, which refer to the metabolic toxins that build up. “The long strokes over limbs and circles over the joints assists in not only exfoliating but also to balance the lymphatic system as lymphatics don’t have a pumping mechanism even though they play a key role in immunity,” says Dr Pillai.

According to Dr Taruna Yadav, the Senior Ayurveda Doctor at Forest Essentials, spring (particularly the months of March, April and May), is an important time of the year to detoxify the lymphatic system. “During this time, the Kapha qualities like heaviness, water retention, bloating and toxins build up, are common. Dry brushing reduces this imbalance, leaving you feeling energised for the warmer months,” she says. Dry brushing is a part of Ayurveda’s recommend springtime skin regimen, says Dr Pillai, as during the change in seasonality, viruses, are more likely to hunt for favourable hosts whose immunity is low or compromised.

How do you dry brush?

“Dry brushing helps to exfoliate the skin, leaving cellulite reduced, and skin brighter and more radiant. It also unclogs pores,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, making it a great addition to your routine if you have body acne.

Dry brushing should be done vigorously to stimulate the skin while focusing on two types of movements—circular movements over the joint areas and long strokes over the bones. “The direction of the strokes should always be towards your heart and against the hair follicles so it can help to drain the lymph,” says Dr Pillai. “It’s best to start before your morning shower on dry skin that does not have any lotion or oil applied prior. Gently massage your feet and soles and move upwards in long smooth strokes, towards the centre of your body. Repeat the same process with the hands. Start with the palms and tips of elbows, and brush in long strokes towards the centre of your body. Once you’ve dry brushed, you can hop in the shower,” confirms Dr Yadav.

“Since the stomach, abdomen, back, and armpits tend to be more sensitive, lighten up pressure as needed,” advises Dr Gupta. Avoid dry brushing over any damaged, irritated or infected skin, she suggests.

In general, pressing too hard may do more damage than good. “Ayurveda is all about balancing and wellness from the inside out,” says Michelle Ranavat, founder and CEO of Ranavat Botanics. “It’s in sync with DIY remedies because it’s fairly easy to implement at home! You can use a washcloth even if you don’t have a dry brush—anything that creates friction and can provide exfoliation will work. But don’t overdo it with the pressure,” she signs off.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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