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How to dry brush your face

Face brushing is the experts’ shortcut to gorgeous, glowing and healthy skin. Here’s everything you need to know about the movement, including the best techniques. By EVIE LEATHAM


What is dry brushing?

Beauty insiders have been urging us to use the ancient art of dry brushing on our bodies for years, and now the logic is being applied to the skin on our faces. Like mini body brushes, but with much softer bristles, facial dry brushes are used on dry skin after cleansing to exfoliate and boost circulation and lymphatic drainage, helping to depuff and define the face. Similar to body brushing, it sweeps away dead skin cells so gently that it’s suitable for sensitive skin, too.

“I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years, and while the products and ingredients I favor have chopped and changed, dry face brushing is the one constant in my beauty regime,” says beauty industry expert Tracey Woodward.

How do you dry brush?

“I prefer brushes with rounded heads for creating a circular skin-flicking action, a technique much like whisking eggs, but it’s down to preference and practice,” says Woodward. Brush dry, cleansed skin from the décolleté upwards, working in small circular motions, continuing to work the brush upwards and outwards until you’ve buffed it over the entire face, making sure to avoid the delicate eye area. Woodward spends three minutes every night doing this before applying her normal facial oil and says it’s become “a holistic, meditative part” of her skincare regime.

To incorporate dry brushing into your own morning and evening routines, begin as you normally would, with either a single or double cleanse. Pat your skin dry and then use your facial brush using the technique described by Woodward. Don’t be alarmed if your skin flushes and becomes a little red – it’s just evidence of your blood coming to the surface of your skin. Next, follow with your usual serums and moisturizer.

Dry face brushes are not to be confused with cleansing brushes, however. These are most often electrically powered and are designed to be used in conjunction with cleansers to deep clean, exfoliate and soften skin. If you want to switch between cleansing and dry skin brushing, Sisley’s gentle manual brush is a good place to start, as it can be used wet or dry.

Is it right for your skin?

Most skin types will benefit from some gentle dry brushing, even if it’s just once a week to stimulate lymphatic drainage. But if you have very dry skin, brushing might dry it out even more by over-exfoliating the skin’s protective barrier. If your skin ever feels tight, irritated and sensitized after brushing, it’s not the right technique for you. Likewise, for skin prone to inflammation, including rosacea and acne, brushing can irritate and exacerbate it and so it’s best avoided. Instead, pair a gentle chemical exfoliator (like Indie Lee Radiance Renewal Peel Pads) and facial massage to achieve similar results.



The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown