Dry Brushing: Benefits & How-To

woman sitting on her bathtub dry brushing her skin

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Dry brushing has gotten some much deserved attention in recent years, and for good reason, but this technique has actually been around for thousands of years. This simple self-care ritual has many claimed benefits, but what exactly is dry brushing?

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a technique using a dry natural bristle brush to gently brush the skin. Generally, it is performed prior to taking a shower, when the skin is dry. Showering afterward washes away any dead skin that is exfoliated during the process. A washcloth or exfoliation gloves can be used in place of the natural bristle brush.

What are the Dry Brushing Benefits?

The obvious result of dry brushing is exfoliation, giving your skin a healthy glow. 

While the exfoliation is a nice touch, the theory behind many of the alleged benefits is that it stimulates lymphatic flow. Since healthy lymphatic movement aids the body in removing toxins, dry brushing is often credited for detoxifying the body. While there is little data to support this claim, there’s much to gain and little to lose by using this method as moving lymph fluid is valuable for wellness.

Dry brushing stimulates the skin similar to other forms of touch, like massage, which imparts a relaxing effect on the nervous system, yet leaves you feeling invigorated and refreshed. 

Any practice that encourages self-care is a huge benefit in and of itself.

When to Use Caution

Those that have compromised lymphatic drainage, as is the case when lymph nodes have been removed, should consult a healthcare provider before performing this technique. This technique should also be avoided over broken or irritated skin, and warts (so as not to spread the virus). This should be a gentle technique, moving the natural bristles over the surface of the skin, taking care not to use pressure so firm that it irritates or breaks the skin.

How to Do Dry Brushing

As mentioned above, this ritual is performed directly on the skin, typically prior to showering. Ensure you’re using a clean brush (wash cloth or exfoliation gloves are great alternatives). The direction of the strokes should be either circular or sweeping towards the heart. It’s best to begin by clearing the areas where large clusters of lymph nodes and lymph channels are located (such as the groin and armpit areas) before working your way outwards on the arms and legs. This will ensure more efficient lymph flow. 

  • Start with circular motions in these areas (armpits and groin), and then using sweeping motions towards the heart as you work your way down the legs or arms; beginning at the shoulder or hip and working your way down, ending at the hands and feet. 
  • When you get to the hands or feet, use circular motions on the palms and soles of the feet, and then use long sweeping motions from the hands to the shoulder or the feet to the hips. 
  • On the abdomen and back, use an upward sweeping motion. 
  • On the chest use a circular motion.
  • On the neck, gently sweep downwards. 
  • See video for a step-by-step tutorial.

Dry Brushing Tools

Are you a die-hard Dry Brusher? Let us know what you think about this self-care ritual!  #glowmode

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