I got into dry brushing around this time last year because I wanted something that could help reduce the cellulite on my body naturally. But, while researching a good quality dry brush to buy, I came across so many other benefits!
Dry brushing can help with unclogging pores and removing toxins that may get caught beneath the skin.
My naturopath recommended it to me as a way to assist with detoxification. So now, not only do I brush my hair and my teeth, but my skin, as well.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing involves using a firm, bristled brush and “sweeping” it across the skin, from toe to head. It’s called “dry” brushing because while you’re scrubbing, both your skin and the brush are completely dry. It’s often done before hopping in the bath or shower.
When you dry brush, you usually brush towards the heart, beginning at the feet and hands and working your way to the chest. This pushes blood (carrying lymph fluid) towards your lymph nodes, helping with lymphatic drainage and removal of these toxins. As the dry brushing improves circulation and increases the rate of blood pumping, this helps filter the lymph through the body more quickly, thus removing toxins and pathogens at a faster rate. It also helps to sweep away dead skin cells, improving the appearance, and softness, of skin.
So, why do it?
Here are just a few reasons…
1. Reduces cellulite
Cellulite is the appearance of rippled or cottage cheese-like skin, usually seen on the butt, legs, stomach and back of the arms. It’s often caused by toxicity, lack of circulation, increased body fat, reduced levels of collagen, hormonal imbalances, genetics, medical conditions, poor diet and fluid retention.
According to Dr. Axe;
Dry brushing may help stimulate the cells and break down toxins from beneath the skin, which may act as a natural remedy for cellulite.
2. Aids lymphatic drainage and the removal of toxins
The lymphatic system plays a major role in proper immune function, as well as the elimination of toxins (detoxing). It’s made up of lymph nodes, organs, ducts and vessels that transport lymph (a fluid containing white blood cells) throughout the body. Many of these lymph nodes run just below the skin, so the act of dry brushing regularly can help stimulate normal lymph flow within the body and assist with detoxification.
The firm bristles can brush away dry, dead cells from the skin, naturally exfoliating skin and leaving it softer and smoother than ever!
Note: When dry brushing, it’s important that you do it gently so that you do not tear the skin. This can irritate sensitive skin and possibly cause infection. Exfoliating too much can also dehydrate skin (no need to do it more than once a day for 5 minutes).
4. Clears Pores
By exfoliating the skin is it helps to remove dirt, oil, and residue from clogged pores. You’ll need to use a smaller, more gentle brush on the face as the skin is much more delicate (do not use the firmer body brush for your face). Pores may also become less noticeable.
Choosing a Dry Brush
When looking for a dry brush, select a natural bristle brush with a long handle so that you can reach all areas of your body. Avoid synthetic brushes. I went with one from Bodecare that was vegan, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. Bodecare dry brushes:
- Haven’t been sprayed with harsh chemicals but instead, have been Heat Treated to ensure that, while you’re ridding yourself of toxins, you’re not putting more back into your body as you brush
- Are made with Certified FSC Timber, promoting the responsible management of the world’s forests
- The bristles are made from genuine Tampico plant bristle, from the Agave plant, and are cleaned with boiling water before being inserted into the brush.
- The timber is finished with a natural oil to protect the wood.
I wash my brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells. It’s recommended to replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out.
How to Dry Brush
- Do before showering. Begin at the feet and start by brushing the bottom of the feet and work up your legs in short, smooth strokes. I usually brush each section of skin 10 times (as a rule of thumb). Always brush towards the heart/chest area where lymph drainage happens (you always want to brush toward the centre of the body). Stroking away from your heart can place extra pressure on veins and lymph vessels, potentially leading to ruptured vessels and varicose veins.
- Repeat process for arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm towards the heart. Again, brushing each section approx. 10 times.
- When you reach the armpits and stomach, brush in clockwise circular motions OR continue with short, smooth strokes, moving towards the heart area. Repeat for the abdomen and back, brushing toward the centre of the chest, and then switch to your face, making sure you use a more delicate brush.
- I use jojoba oil or my body butter after my shower.
See here for an in-depth live tutorial on how to dry brush.
Note: Skin may turn slightly pink after brushing. This is natural as it’s simply a result of the increased blood circulation in those areas. However, don’t brush too hard. If your skin is red and irritated, or if it hurts at all, use less pressure.
A Note for Sensitive Skin
When starting out, test a small area of skin to make sure your skin doesn’t react to the process. If you have a history of sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or other skin issues, you may want to avoid skin brushing altogether. Vigorous skin brushing can irritate sensitive skin over time.
A detox bath can be a gentler alternative to skin brushing for those with sensitive skin, and can aid in removing toxins from the body without irritating the skin.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction to it.
Have you tried dry brushing before? What benefits did you notice? Comment below.
Lots of love,
Wells, Katie. (December 8, 2018). Dry Brushing for Skin: 5 Benefits & How to Do It the Right Way. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/26717/dry-brushing-skin/
Oliver, Kyra. (June 22, 2017). Start Dry Brushing to Reduce Cellulite + Toxins. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/dry-brushing/
The Truth About Dry Brushing and What It Does for You. (May 3, 2021). Health Essentials. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-truth-about-dry-brushing-and-what-it-does-for-you/
Gordon, Ronni. (Updated: September 29, 2017). The Benefits and Risks of Dry Brushing. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-brushing
Flinn, Allie. (Updated: June 2, 2020). Dry Brushing 101: Everything You Need to Know for Glowing Skin. Byrdie. Retrieved from https://www.byrdie.com/dry-brushing-body
How to Dry Brush—and Why It’s So Potent. Goop. Retrieved from https://goop.com/beauty/skin/how-to-dry-brush-and-why-its-so-potent/
Palmer, Angela. (Reviewed: March 22, 2021). Dry Brushing the Skin. Very Well Health. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/dry-brushing-the-skin-4177763
Engler, Alexandra. (Updated: June 29, 2020). Dry Brushing: A Step-By-Step Guide + The 3 Best Skin Benefits. Mind Body Green Lifestyle. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12675/a-stepbystep-guide-to-dry-skin-brushing.html