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If celebs swear by all-natural beauty techniques, it must be good for you, right? Not necessarily.
Models and beauty moguls like Molly Sims and Miranda Kerr exfoliate their flawless-looking skin by way of dry-body brushing—a technique used to slough off dead derma with a bristle brush.
"Dry body brushing is an integral part of my daily regime," Miranda wrote on her KORA Organics blog in 2014. "It's a great way to get the circulation going, remove dead skin cells, aid lymphatic drainage, detoxify your system and keep your skin smooth all over."
Not only does dry brushing avoid any chemical-based products—some even see the simple technique as a holistic treatment, citing that it can also help reduce cellulite. However, is dry brushing all that its hyped up to be?
Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, is not a fan.
"I do not recommend dry brushing, as it is too abrasive on the skin," said the expert. "The technique will result in dry, irritated skin for most people—especially if performed prior to a shower."
However, if you are going to try the celeb craze, here's what you need to know.
Don't shred the skin: "Using a dry, stiff brush to exfoliate can lead to tiny cuts in the skin, which can allow in bacteria and lead to skin infections," said Dr. Piliang. "For exfoliation, I recommend chemical exfoliators, [which] are ingredients such as alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), lactic acid and salicylic acid. Many of these have the added benefit of moisturizing the skin. They work by gently dissolving the dead cells."
If chemical ingredients are completely out of the question, try massaging some coconut oil onto the skin after brushing.
Movement Matters: Stroke the brush in upward motions, concentrating around the inner thighs and under the arms. It goes without saying, but never brush over open wound or inflamed or ultra-sensitive skin.
It's Not a Cellulite Cure-All: Research indicates cellulite (which "results from bands within excess fat tissue ") and lymph congestion are related. Brushing may help break down these fatty blocks in your blood stream. "Treatments to reduce fat and loosen bands may help with the appearance of cellulite," said the dermatologist. "However, there is no evidence that dry brushing does either of these. There may be temporary swelling of the skin after dry brushing, which may mask the appearance of cellulite."
There's an Alternative: "From a skin-care standpoint, chemical exfoliation or very gentle massaging with a washcloth or soft brush would provide similar effects with less damage to the skin," noted Dr. Piliang. "Skin is delicate and requires gentle care. For dry skin, the best thing to do is apply a good creamy moisturizer twice a day and follow gentle skin care practices."
Elemis Skin Brush, $48; Mio Skincare Natural Dry Body Brush, $20