Can a Natural Boar Bristle Brush Be Used for Skin Brushing?

A skin brush helps remove dead skin.

Photo: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Your body replaces the cells of your outer layer of skin every 28 days, meaning you have a lot of dead cells to shed. Dry skin brushing can help you slough off these dead cells that can make your skin look dull and dry. A natural bristle brush, such as one made of boar’s hair, does not scratch the skin but effectively exfoliates your body.

About Skin Brushing

In addition to helping get rid of dry, old skin, dry brushing with a stiff, boar bristle brush may help stimulate circulation. It also feels good – like a gentle massage for your epidermis. Some advocates of dry brushing claim it can eliminate cellulite, clear you of toxins and boost immunity by triggering the lymphatic system. Dr. Andrew Weil points out that no scientific proof of these benefits exists. While you will not do yourself harm by dry brushing, you cannot rely on it to be a cure-all.

Boar Bristle Benefits

Boar bristle brushes are all-natural and do not irritate the skin like synthetic bristles sometimes do. Boar bristles are stiff enough to encourage sloughing – synthetic bristles tend to be softer and may not exfoliate as well. Boar bristles tend to be densely packed, helping to trap dirt and dead skin effectively. Boar bristles are easy to clean – simply massage in a bit of shampoo and rinse in warm water.

Technique

Brush before showering so you can rinse off all that you loosen in the process. You should move your boar bristle brush in small circles, starting at your feet and working up toward your heart, recommends Terri Trespicio, senior editor at “Whole Living” magazine. Follow with your hands, arms, torso, neck and buttocks.

Considerations

Some people find a boar bristle brush stiff and uncomfortable. If your intention is to slough, you may have to endure the stiffness. Plant-based bristles may be gentler than boar bristles, but are completely safe for your skin. Other options are naturally sourced loofahs, which may still exfoliate effectively but feel more gentle on the skin.

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