Complete Dry Brushing Guide and Wellness Benefits Breakdown
You take care of the skin on your face, but what about the skin on your body?
I moisturize everyday, but recently, I’ve started a new beauty ritual that’s given my entire body the softest, smoothest skin of my life.
It takes between 5-10 minutes, and can also help you destress — while simultaneously giving you a boost of energy first thing in the morning.
It’s called dry brushing, and it’s the simple act of brushing your whole body with a soft-bristle brush in long, sweeping strokes.
Many cultures have been dry brushing for centuries. It’s a popular practice in Scandinavian countries, Russia, Japan, Turkey, and India — and you can find it as an expensive treatment in many European spas.
But there’s no need for a fancy treatment to enjoy the benefits of dry brushing. You can simply dry brush at home for as little as 5 minutes a day.
It’s the perfect self-care ritual that can be tailored to your mood and schedule. Some days it can be quick and invigorating. Other days it can be a slow, meditative process. Either way, it’s a luxurious feeling.
While it doesn’t sound like much, dry body brushing actually has some amazing benefits. Read on below to find out more about them!
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is similar to massage, because the pressure of the brush strokes stimulates blood flow to your entire body.
This increases energy and may even help provide relief from symptoms like arthritis pain and muscle soreness.
Exfoliates the skin
Dry brushing sloughs off dull skin to reveal a smooth, supple skin layer underneath. I’ve also found it to prevent ingrown hairs.
It’s generally more effective than wet exfoliation because water causes your skin to plump up, making it more difficult to shed as many dry skin cells.
Naturally detoxes the body
Your body has a detox system called the lymph system. Lymph nodes are located directly under the skin, and are responsible for ridding the body of toxins and helping your immune system function.
When you dry brush, you help move the lymph along. Because the lymph system flows in only one direction towards the center of the body, it’s important to dry brush towards the heart.
A recent study published in the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews journal confirmed that ritualistic behavior and routines help people cope with stress.
Having something to look forward to every morning (that also feels good!) can help prepare you for the day ahead. Plus, the constant, rhythmic strokes are calming and reassuring.
Here’s How It’s Done
The best time to dry brush is before a shower. This way, you’ll simply wash off the exfoliated layer of dead skin after you’re done brushing.
First, you’ll need to select the right type of brush. Look for a soft-bristle brush with a wooden handle that’s firm, but not scratchy. The brush will soften more over time.
You can buy your brush at stores that sell bath and body products, or online.Start from the bottom of your feet and always brush towards your heart (the same way the lymph system flows).
Use long, gentle strokes to brush over the feet, legs, thighs, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and back (a brush with a long handle makes it easy to reach behind you).
Areas with thicker skin — like knees, elbows, and feet — can handle a little more pressure.
Use light, circular motions to brush over the stomach and chest. Don’t brush around the groin, breasts, or face, as the skin here is too sensitive. Some days I find the stomach to be too sensitive as well, so I skip it.
Brush each section about 7-10 times, but be careful not to overdo it — you’re not scrubbing a pot!
“This is your skin, and you need to be gentle. You’re not supposed to be red or scratched after,” says Santa Monica dermatologist Karyn Grossman.
Hop in the shower afterwards, and use a mild body wash without scrubbing beads since you’ve already exfoliated the top layer of your skin.
And don’t forget to moisturize after! Your skin might feel thirstier than usual, which is normal.
For maximum results, incorporate dry brushing into your routine at least 2-3 times a week.
Precautions When Dry Brushing
Do not brush over skin that is sensitive or broken. This includes sunburn, open wounds, or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Don’t brush over freshly shaved skin either as this can be irritating. Personally, I wait 1-2 days after shaving before resuming dry brushing.
You can see that unless you get too aggressive and scrub too hard, there aren’t any risks with dry brushing.
It gives you plenty of wellness benefits, but my favorite benefit is how smooth it makes your skin thanks to faster cell turnover.
I also love how it keeps my pores clean and prevents acne-causing buildup or ingrown hairs.
And if you decide to try it, don’t worry if it’s a little uncomfortable at first. Your skin gets used to the sensation within the first few times.
So stick with it, and see for yourself!
P.S. Have you heard of this dry brushing or tried it before? What was your experience like?
Let me know in the comments below, and make sure to share this post with a friend who loves skincare! Thanks for reading.