Dry Brushing: Benefits + How To


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During my teenage years I didn’t worry about my skin much at all — I went to the tanning bed (I know.. ugh!), slept with makeup on after a long night, didn’t care about exfoliating or moisturizing, etc. As I’ve learned more about nutrition and health, I’ve realized that taking care of our skin should be a priority.

Of course, eating a nutritious diet and hydrating with plenty of water are both key to keeping our skin healthy but I’ve found a few others things that are helpful as well, especially during the winter months when my skin is insanely dry. One of my top skin saving tricks (that I’ve talked about many times before), is unrefined coconut oil. I have a jar in the bathroom and use it as my daily moisturizer (in the morning and at night) for my face and body. Once applied the oiliness goes away quickly and leaves my skin silky smooth. It’s been a game changer for me!

Dry brushing 101 -- How To + Benefits

Another game changer = dry brushing.

I first heard about dry bruising and all its benefits many years ago while attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I was intrigued and looked into buying a dry brush but never got around to it. While Christmas shopping with friends this year, I randomly came across a dry brush in Nordstrom Rack for $9.99. Kind of random, but I took it as a sign that I needed to start dry brushing so I picked it up and have been using it ever since.

I try to remember to dry brush every day before showering. I’ll admit, it was hard to remember at first but lately I’ve been leaving the brush out on a little table beside the sink in our bathroom so that I remember to do it. And I’ve been loving it so far —  the process gives me goose-bumps, which feels like I’m waking up my skin cells and energizing my system. Plus my skin is softer than it’s ever been!

Benefits of Dry Brushing -- reduce cellulite, tighten skin, increase blood flow, stimulate lymph, detox

So what the heck is dry brushing and why is it good for us? Here’s the deal:

What is dry brushing

Brushing your skin with a dry body brush that is designed to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.

When should you do it

At least once a day. It’s great to do it right before showering so that the dead skin cells can be washed away, but you can also do it first thing in the morning or right before bed. If you’re just starting out you can start brushing three times a week and work yourself up to doing it daily.

How to do it

Start by brushing the soles of your feet and then begin working your way up your body, brushing your skin gently with long strokes toward your heart, which is the way the lymph system flows naturally. Once you’re done brushing your legs, move up the arms, shoulders and down the back, then brush your stomach using a clockwise motion. Don’t apply too much pressure or use a scrubbing motion at any point. Skip your face (unless you have a brush specifically for the face) and do not do any dry brushing over cuts, rashes,varicose veins or other areas of irritated skin. The whole process should take between 2-10 minutes, depending on how much time you have.

What does it do/what are the benefits

Dry brushing can make you feel more energized from the increased blood flow, help strengthen your immune system and keep your skin glowing by removing dead skin cells and opening clogged pores. It will also help increase circulation of the lymphatic system which promotes the elimination of toxins from the body while aiding in digestion and kidney function. It’s also known for helping to tighten skin and reduce cellulite… apparently it was the most effective home remedy for cellulite in a study done by Huffington Post.

Where to get a brush

Most health food stores sell them and you can also find dry brushes online. Apparently, you can also find them at Nordstrom Rack on occasion. 🙂

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Sources used: http://www.huffingtonpost.co

Have you ever tried dry brushing? What’s your top remedy for dry skin in the winter?

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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  1. I totally want to start doing this – I’ve wanted to try for at least a year now!!! Will totally have to pick one up 🙂

  2. Such a good reminder! I used to do this all the time (as well as tongue scrapping) when I first started at IIN but here I am 4 years later and I know I need to get back at it!

    1. Yes!! I almost mentioned tongue scrapping in this post. My scrapper is hidden somewhere in my bathroom. I need to find it! 🙂

  3. I’ve never heard of dry brushing before! Do you know if there are any studies about the benefits to the lymph system? (I’m a nerd and love reading things like that). Also when you were at the IIN conference did they make any mention about eczema? Would it be beneficial or hurtful?


  4. Ahhh I used to be a tanning bed junkie too!! What were we thinking?! Time to take care of our skin 😉

  5. I recently got a dry brush on amazon and I am OBSESSED! My skin feels amazing and it is such an invigorating process. Love it!

  6. I’ve been dry brushing for a few years now – I love it! My skin always feels so soft and looks so polished after I dry brush! 🙂

  7. I’ve been wanting to try dry brushing & now I think I have to. I bought a tongue scraper 2 years ago & LOVE it. So I bet I’ll love dry brushing, too.

  8. I’d been meaning to try it for quite some time and began just last night. And while it felt great at the time, and I did take my shower immediately afterwards to wash off the toxins–just a short time later, I felt absolutely exhausted. Fortunately I didn’t have to be anywhere today because I slept a few hours longer than I usually do and, when I actually did wake up, I was still a litttle tired. And, about a half hour later, I became so ill that I thought I was going to faint. While this passed within the hour, I hadn’t seen anything about these possible side effects when I first started researching dry brushing but, when I changed my research focus to possible adverse side effects, I found that I was far from the only one who had experienced problems when they first started. Now I think that it must work a lot like getting a massage and that a shower doesn’t always wash all the toxins away. I am definitely going to continue dry brushing but, for a while anyway, I am going to drink a lot more water afterwards, just as I do after a massage.

  9. I’ve been dry brushing for a month now…I look forward to it every morning! I get goosebumps, too! It definitely has improved circulation. The proof is when I got a large, deep bruise on my tush (I am such a clutz)…I thought it would be around forever. It disappeared…(yes!) completely after two weeks. I’m a believer!

    1. I’m so glad you commented on this post because you’ve reminded me that I need to get back in the habit of dry brushing!! 🙂

  10. I just tried dry body brushing for the first time, and in the shower straight after I felt very ill and dizzy! I also fainted as soon as I stepped out of the shower. I know how good dry body brushing is for your skin, but is there any way I can avoid this??