I recently had a back breakout (which was highly unlike me) and was torn on what to do. I started with an exfoliation body scrub, then I tried a salicylic acid soap, and then started applying benzoyl peroxide daily… none really cleared it up. I went to my esthetician and got a hydrafacial on my back which helped significantly but nt completely; however, my big question was how to I KEEP it clear? She brought dry brushing to my attention… interesting because my initial reaction to this awhile back was “how could this possibly exfoliate my body- it feels like I'm just rubbing sandpaper across my skin?” Well apparently not the case.
If done correctly, there are a lot of benefits to this, particularly with clearing breakouts on your chest and back. If you’re not sure what dry brushing your skin is, it’s a daily body massage with a dry, stiff-bristled brush. This unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. By unclogging pores, it’s easier for the body to sweat and eliminate toxins in your system. This can definitely give your skin a more even, radiant glow.
Another benefit is that it stimulates the nervous and lymphatic system. Dry brushing stimulates the many nerve endings in the skin, helping to open up the flow of the nervous system and resulting in a feeling of well-being, rejuvenation, and relaxation. It also helps detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage.
You would think ( or maybe this is just me) that exfoliating in the shower would be better because your skin is softer from the moisture and you can use a scrub or soap. Not so much- the hot water actually strippes your skin of moisture. You should actually be showering in tepid water in order to preserve your skin's oils, fats, and proteins. I hate lukewarm showers but hot hot showers can cause redness and itching due to inflammation.
Here is how you should dry brush your skin (before your shower):
- Using a natural bristle brush (or wash cloth if you have sensitive skin), start from the feet or ankles and work your way upward in long, fluid strokes on limbs.
- Next, move the brush in a circular motion on your torso and back.
- Since this process can be a little too much for sensitive areas like the abdomen, breasts and neck, lighten up the pressure as needed.
- A few overlapping swipes per area is all you need. If you go over the same area for too long, you can cause irritation or bleeding.
- Dry brush once a day and shower immediately afterward.
- Then apply lotion. I like AmLactin (the green bottle) because it has lactic acid in it which helps with exfoliation and ultimately has cured my back breakouts.