Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like: you take a body brush (like this set that I have) and lightly brush the skin, usually in long strokes towards the heart.
If I can demonstrate dry brushing on live video, I promise you can do it in the privacy of your own home!
5 Benefits of Dry Brushing
Dry brushing benefits the skin and the lymphatic system and is even reported to help break down cellulite. It’s a great addition to your overall wellness routine.
1. Beautiful Skin
Lightly brushing the skin helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, which can help to minimize the appearance of pores. The exfoliation process lifts dirt and debris from the pores, leading to cleaner, smaller pores. Many dry brushing enthusiasts report softer, tighter, and more radiant skin.
2. Healthy Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is basically the body’s internal drainage system, and it plays a major role in the function of a healthy immune system. A network of vessels (like veins) and nodes run throughout the body, carrying fluid to and from different tissues and blood vessels and removing toxins from the body.
Many of these lymph vessels run directly beneath the skin, so it makes sense that applying light pressure with a brush (similar to a light massage) can help to stimulate proper lymphatic function.
3. Better Circulation
The pressure applied through dry brushing can help to stimulate blood flow, which is also related to proper lymph flow and immune function.
4. Energy Boost
Dry brushing is like a 5-minute mini-massage that helps to increase energy and reduce stress. Because of the energy boost (perhaps because of increased circulation?) it’s probably best to incorporate dry brushing into your morning routine and avoid doing it at night.
5. Reduced Cellulite
Fans of dry brushing claim the practice can reduce cellulite, though the evidence is mostly anecdotal. Again, this benefit seems to be related to proper lymph flow. Apparently cellulite can result when the lymph system cannot drain properly, which is also tied to unhealthy, clogged pores.
How to Start Dry Brushing
Anything we can do to help the body eliminate toxins properly through the lymphatic system and through clear, healthy skin (the body’s largest organ) is a win, right? Especially if it can be done in just a few minutes per day.
A few tips to get you started:
First, you’ll need a dry brush! Here’s the brush set I use: 3-piece Dry Brush Set.
1. Aim for daily brushing, or at least a few times per week. Daily brushing takes about 5 minutes but it’s a good idea to spend 10-15 minutes on a more thorough dry brushing session about once per week.
2. Dry brush right before your shower or bath. Stand in the shower without the water turned on.
3. Make sure both your skin and the brush are dry.
4. Use a light touch so as not to irritate the skin, but it’s totally normal for your skin to be pink after you brush.
5. Brush with long strokes toward the heart. Avoid brushing back and forth, scrubbing, and harsh circular motions.
6. Start with the soles of the feet and work your way up each leg to the waist line, including the inner thigh area and rear end.
7. From the belly button, brush up towards the heart.
8. Ladies, avoid the breast area, ouch! Brush very lightly on the chest and neck area to avoid skin irritation.
9. From the neck, brush down towards the heart.
10. Brush the palms of the hands, the backs of the hands, and work your way up the arm towards the underarm.
11. Don’t skip the underarms! This is an important area, especially for women, because of the lymph nodes located there and their proximity to breast tissue.
12. Your brush should have an attachable handle to help you reach your back. Brush from the waistline up toward the shoulders (the heart area).
13. Use a soft brush on the face and brush very lightly in gentle circles. (My dry brush set includes a special face brush.)
14. Optional: add a few drops of Slim & Sassy essential oil blend to your brush bristles before brushing to increase the detox and metabolic benefits!
15. Finish up by washing off in the shower or bath. Use a washcloth or loofah to finish the exfoliation process.
16. Be sure to moisturize your skin after drying off!
Have you ever tried dry brushing? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Kathleen Henderson is the Yankee behind the Homestead, where she keeps up with Mr. Native Texan, three busy boys, a large dog, an assortment of chickens and an organic garden on three beautiful acres in Northern Virginia. Yankee Homestead is where she organizes her tips, tricks and resources for a healthy life. Favorite topics include real food recipes, gluten-free living, essential oils and home remedies, all things natural and nontoxic, plus mommy musings and homeschooling resources. Find out more on the About page