Many people swear that dry brushing can help smooth out cellulite — those fatty dimples that accumulate on the backs of legs and the tops of glutes. It’s true that dry brushing does have some legitimate benefits, but does it really help to move and smooth out unwanted fat?
Let’s take a look at some promises (and myths) of dry brushing, and decide once and for all if it’s worth the effort.
Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic medical technique where you use a natural bristle brush to gently exfoliate and massage your skin in circular motions. Brushers usually do it before hopping in the shower on dry skin, hence the name.
While it’s true that brushing can certainly increase circulation and therefore reduce toxins, it’s not true that brushing can any significant impact on cellulite. Here’s why.
First we need to understand what cellulite actually is, and then we can better know why its appearance changes after brushing (giving the impression of spot reduction). Doctors don’t really know what causes cellulite, but they know it forms from fat pushing up through fibrous connective tissue below the skin. Basically, fat cells push up against the skin, tough bits of connective tissue pull down, and fat kinda pushes through the netting of the collagen strands. Picture Jell-O pushing through a mesh strainer — a dimpled effect happens as a result of the breakthrough.
Dry brushing for cellulite may not work, but it can certainly help change the appearance of the body
In other words, the only two ways of busting cellulite is to either disintegrate the fat via diet and exercise, or loosen the connective tissue that causes the dimpling. Dry brushing cannot magically loosen that tissue, even if Instagram influencers swear by it. You would need to penetrate much deeper into the skin to loosen that tissue; and even if you could, the results would likely be temporary.
Have you ever seen a deep tissue massage that magically fixes cellulite? Results afterwards are impressive, yes, but that’s because of the blood flow and inflamed tissue underneath the skin. The cellulite is not gone; it may be slightly redistributed, but it’s mainly just being covered by natural swelling. And to think…dry brushing doesn’t go nearly that deep. It’s just not the answer for cellulite.
But that doesn’t mean dry brushing has no benefits. Very much the contrary, actually. Dry brushing can exfoliate, protect against ingrown hairs, eliminate small red bumps, and stimulate the lymphatic system. Just be sure to always move blood and lymph towards the heart. The body’s many lymph nodes will collect the movement along the way no matter which extremity you are brushing.
You don’t have to brush hard to experience the benefits, and afterwards, be sure to take a relaxing shower and rub on some coconut oil. With regularity, your skin will look firmer, cleaner, and more hydrated — almost as if you have less cellulite!