What Is Dry Brushing & Why Should You Do It?

I often get questions about how you can improve your skin all over your body—not just on your face. There are a lot of ways that you can improve your skin’s look and feel, and one of my biggest recommendations is dry brushing. If you’ve never heard of dry brushing—or if you have but only have a vague idea about what it is—I want to take some time to explain how it can improve more than just the look and feel of your skin.

Dry brushing your skin is really popular in some of the best spas in the country and uses a combination of massage and brushing to exfoliate the skin and promote blood flow throughout the body. The first thing you’re going to need is a good dry brush (here is one that I recommend). You can also find dry skin brushes in most health food stores like Whole Foods if you prefer to shop in person. A good dry brush will be stiff and made of natural bristles, that way you can get the most out of it without using something made of plastics or toxic materials. Using a brush with a long handle will allow you to get those harder to reach places like your back.

Dry Brushing For Inner Health

Dry brushing your skin isn’t just good for the surface of the skin. While it does exfoliate the dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling softer, it also stimulates circulates and helps improve lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system is our body’s complex system of lymph nodes, organs and tissues that help our bodies transport metabolic waste. Stimulating this system by dry skin brushing helps support healthy cleansing for the body.

I tell my patients that dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate the skin, which will leave it feeling softer, and it helps improve blood and lymphatic circulation throughout the body It will also leave you feeling more energized, which is why I always recommend that you use it in the morning before you shower. Once you’re done showering, apply a clean non-toxic lotion or almond oil  to hydrate the skin. I do not recommend dry skin brushing on the face because it is too harsh and abrasive for the delicate skin. Instead of dry brushing, for the face, I recommend using a gentle facial exfoliate. Products like this one are great in that they exfoliate without inflaming and irritating facial skin.

To use a dry skin brush, start at the feet. I recommend making long, fluid strokes and brushing toward the heart to support lymphatic drainage. Brush each section of the body ten times, and don’t brush too hard. Using light pressure will give you the most benefits without hurting yourself or brushing your skin raw. Before you start dry brushing, I recommend taking my skin quiz to find out what skin type you are. The quiz is completely free and will give you recommendations for how to treat your skin based on your individual results.

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Reader Interactions

  1. I don’t take showers in the morning. I always take a shower after I come home from work because I am sweaty, smelly, and usually covered with something from the bakery, like glaze or chocolate, etc. I don’t feel it is appropriate to dry brush before I take my shower since I am am so sweaty. Can I dry brush after taking a shower? Or can I dry brush in the morning without taking a shower afterwards?

    • Dry brushing is best before taking a shower. Dry skin brushing stimulates circulation and lymph flow as well as exfoliating the skin, so it’s best to follow with a shower.

  2. I find this very interesting. Kathy Ireland mentioned something similar to balance the ph levels in the body. If I recall correctly, she had said to massage the legs in the shower.

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