Spoiler: It worked
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From salicylic acids to gua sha’s, the beauty world has seen a lot of action in recent years. No longer can drinking water and giving your face a going-over with a face wipe be considered a beauty regime. Bedtime routines would rival military procedures, and just as soon as you feel you’ve mastered a beauty trend, a new one comes around and throws a grenade at your meticulously planned skincare steps.
One beauty trend that has been gaining traction recently is the dry brushing trend. With all of the granola-crunching, chakra-finding celebs doing it, I decided that I wanted in. After a little research I drew up the conclusion that this seems to be hailed as the juice-cleanse of the beauty world, but without the rumbling tummy and bathroom visits, so yeah, as I said, I definitely wanted in.
First of all, what is dry brushing you might ask?
Well, simply put, it’s the act of taking a brush, and instead of using it on somewhere you would traditionally associate it with like your hair or teeth, you brush your skin. Beginning from your feet and working all the way up to your neck in both long stroke and clockwise motions, it’s recommended that you do this 2-3 times a week for best results. The stiff bristles against the skin claim to exfoliate it to within an inch of its life, and coming from someone who generally ignores their legs in the shower (sorry, I am that person who thinks suds that make their way down onto my legs from my torso counts as washing them) I thought it was high time I gave the skin that’s not on my face a little attention.
But aside from a light exfoliation, dry brushing your body on a regular basis also promises to improve poor digestion, the appearance of cellulite, eliminate toxins and stimulate the lymphatic system. Yeah, nonsense I thought. Well, that was until I tried it.
Allured by the promise of gaining a balanced lifestyle through this one simple act, I marched my little unexfoliated legs down to my nearest chemist. Purchasing myself a body brush, I was willing to dedicate one month of my life to buffing my body to good health.
So, what happened next?
Filled with apprehension that this magic brush was going to fix all of my beauty woes, I threw all caution to the wind and began brushing that very day, assuming that nothing mystical was going to happen to my skin within the next 30, days so why not just start now? Sticking to the golden rules of dry-brushing (we’re sure our lord and saviour of wellbeing Gweneth Paltrow wrote them), I lightly brushed my body in long and circular motions just before hopping into the shower, sticking to a routine I did this roughly 2-3 times a week, making sure to moisturise afterward too.
The first two weeks of brushing showed no signs of well, anything. My skin was still my normal skin, it jiggled a little, had some cellulite, and as far as I was concerned my lymphatic system was the same as it has always been (are you supposed to be aware of it?!). During my research, I had read that week two of brushing is often referred to as the ‘peeling stage’, which as you can probably guess, is the point where your skin suddenly develops a thirst that cannot be quenched. Beauty guinea pigs before me warned of the effects of the peeling stage, where your body proceeds to shed an entire layer of old skin, similar to that of a snake, before restoring back to its factory setting. Fully prepared to go to battle, I had the big guns on reserve, willing to drink well over my 2 litres of water a day and douse myself in E45 morning, noon, and night.
But, for some bizarre reason this stage never arrived for me. I suspect that either I was doing something very wrong or I was doing something very right, but either way, without delving any deeper, I’m grateful to have not peeled like an onion for a week straight, so left things well alone.
Week three and four were when the fruits of my labour began to grow. After putting in the graft results were finally beginning to show, and I noticed a clear radiance from my skin. Did I lose weight? no, did my cellulite disappear? also no. But my skin, in particular, my chest and legs, glowed in a way that I’ve never seen done before. I then learned that applying fake tan to regularly dry-brushed skin is nothing short of a dream. Never in my life had an extra-dark mousse applied to my skin with so much ease, with not a dry patch, or dodgy area in sight. My tan was even, long-lasting, and washed off with ease.
And will I be keeping the brushing up?
Although I admit that throwing in dry-brushing to an already exhausting beauty regime seems excessive, over the course of the last 30 days I’ve learned that this step is as essential as brushing your teeth or combing your hair. While we focus so much of our attention on our faces, we often neglect the skin on the other 95% of our bodies, which is crying out for a little TLC also. As with most things in life, I learned that a little bit of patience and perseverance goes a long way with brushing, you can’t expect results to show overnight. After spending one-twelfth of a year entrenched in the trend, I can conclude that the small differences brushing made to my body had a big impact on my self-esteem and though it took a little while to get there, I don’t think I’ll be packing away the dry-brush anytime soon.
Summer 2021 I’m comin’ for ya.