Dry brushing is something you might have seen among the other myriad wellness techniques flooding your Instagram account, or perhaps you’ve seen a dry brush among the other skincare tools on display at your favorite shop, its firm bristles resembling something you think might be used to comb through horse hair, not an item you brush across sensitive human skin. But all wellness tips and tools aside, you really should be dry brushing. Dry Brushing is a centuries-old pre-bathing ritual believed to have been first used in ancient Greece, and later in the bath houses of Turkey, Russia, and Scandinavia.
To sum it up in one word, the main benefit of regularly dry brushing is detoxing. When you’re dry brushing correctly, it aids in draining the lymphatic system, helping to release toxins from the body and to promote lymph circulation. Lymph is a fluid that exists in vessels that circulate around the body. It carries immune cells that help the body’s cells survive, but this fluid also carries metabolic waste, which dry brushing can help eliminate from the body. Dry brushing has also been known to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and exfoliates and sloughs off dead skin cells for brighter, firmer skin.
The key to harnessing all of these benefits, however, lies in correctly dry brushing your body. It’s not difficult to do, but there’s technique and attention involved so that you’re actually able to promote circulation and drainage in your lymphatic system.
Here’s our guide to dry brushing from head to toe:
As a ritual, we like to dry brush before we get into the bath or shower. Make sure your skin is dry and product-free before brushing.
Begin by brushing upwards towards your heart (in the direction of natural lymph flows) using medium pressure. We start at our feet and brush up in short, small strokes as we move up our legs. Follow this same motion on your arms using short, small strokes towards your heart. For your stomach, chest, and bottom area, brush in a lighter, clockwise motion.
Jump in the bath or shower to get rid of dead skin cells you just exfoliated from your body. Cleanse with a light, gentle cleanser with moisturizing benefits. If skin feels sensitive directly after brushing, try using warm rather than hot water in your shower.
Once you’re dried off, make sure to follow up with a body oil or moisturizer. Dry brushing can be drying (unsurprisingly), so take some time to replenish your moisture barrier and to lock in that softness and glow your skin just got from the dry brush. We like to use our Restorative Oil after a shower because it’s particularly good for hydrating and soothing dry skin.