Dry Brushing Skin

Dry brushing can be a simple addition to your body care routine. By gently sweeping and massaging a body brush over your skin, you can buff away dead skin cells, improve circulation, and invigorate your body. Brushing the body also stimulates the lymphatic system which can help to move fluids through your body more easily.

Dull skin can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, a buildup of dry cells, and/or a lack of vitamins and nutrients. While drinking water and eating balanced diet aids in improving your skin’s appearance, you might be left wondering what else you can do. This is where dry brushing comes into play!

woman facing camera in towel prior to dry brushing

What are the benefits of dry brushing skin?

So, you primp and prime your skin with a mix of oils, butter, and creams. You stay hydrated and always cover up with sunscreen. But your skin still lacks luster and appears dull-why?

There are historic accounts of the dry brushing practice used by Scandinavians, Russians, ancient Greek athletes after a competition, and in ancient Japan before traditional baths. And it must work since it’s still around today!

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The Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing the skin is excellent for exfoliation; getting rid of those layers of dead cells that can build up. Proper exfoliation allows the skin to hydrate more effectively when a moisturizer is applied. We know fans of the practice say that their skin has been the smoothest and softest it’s ever been. Some have even reported using dry brushing techniques to combat cellulite.

While you’re working off all those dead skin cells, the brushing helps your body’s circulation and cleans out those pores. This brings blood flow to the skin, which boosts radiance and improves the turnover rate of new cells.

Dry brushing can help your body eliminate toxins, especially by boosting the lymphatic system. This is where the way you brush comes into play. Brushing can help encourage normal lymph movement, aiding the body’s natural detoxification method. One of our own worker-bees here is a fan and says that dry brushing has helped to reduce water retention.

Dry brushing leads to a healthy glow

  • Supports skin exfoliation
  • Improved circulation and lymph movement
  • Clears pores
  • Increases energy
  • Supports digestive system
  • Relieves stress

Let’s get started!

First and foremost, it is important to be plenty hydrated and start with a dry body. Dehydrated skin will be dull, and no matter how much you brush or moisturize, you’ll not notice much of an improvement. It’s best to brush your skin when it is dry to help remove any superficial cells-if you choose to do it while your skin is damp, add a bit of body oil to the brush first.

a collection of dry brushes to encourage dry brushing skin

Steps to dry brushing skin

  • Start brush at your foot and work toward the heart (up the leg) with long strokes
  • Do other foot/leg
  • Brush from your hand (up arm) toward your heart with long strokes
  • Do other hand/arm
  • Move to the top of your shoulder work toward your heart
  • Brush the backside of the body, all with long strokes in the direction of the heart
  • Move along the digestive tract in the direction that food travels, with gentle pressure, using clockwise circular strokes

How to dry-brush skin

We’ve put together this simple primer on how to dry brush skin to support your better health. Dry brushing has been used throughout the world for centuries to cleanse the skin. By gently brushing the skin, you’re exfoliating, increasing circulation, and stimulating the lymphatic system. Dry Brushing also helps reduce the appearance of cellulite with regular practice when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The basic principle is to brush from the outermost points of the body (hands and feet) towards the center heart area. Start by brushing your feet and then up your legs with smooth gentle strokes. Brush your hands and up your arms. Brush across your upper back and down the front and back of your torso. Cover the entire surface of the skin except for the more tender skin on the face and breasts.

The best time to brush is in the morning, right before a shower, with dry skin. If you wake up just a few minutes earlier each day, that is all the time you will need. It’s easy to integrate this process into your daily routine. Start by finding the right brush. It is important that the bristles are made of natural fiber, firm but soft to the touch. A long handle is helpful for getting those hard to reach spots.

Instructions on How to Dry Brush Skin

Step 1. 

Start at your feet, brush in an upward direction moving up your legs, keeping in mind to always work towards your center. Make sure to get the backs of your legs, tush and any place that is prone to cellulite.

The strokes should be light but firm. Brushing isn’t meant to hurt your skin and make sure to avoid cuts, rashes or skin irritations.

 Start at your feet, brush in an upward direction moving up your legs, keeping in mind to always work towards your center. Make sure to get the backs of your legs, tush and any place that is prone to cellulite. The strokes should be light but firm. Brushing isn’t meant to hurt your skin and make sure to avoid cuts, rashes or skin irritations.

A slight flush due to increased blood circulation is normal and shows that your skin brushing is working. Be careful not to brush so hard that your skin is irritated or turns bright red.

Step 2. 

When you reach your stomach, start brushing in a circular motion, clockwise motion, the direction that food moves through your intestines. This helps to kick-start and aid digestion. When you move around to your back, make sure you begin to brush up towards the heart again. Downward from the shoulders, and upward from the lower back.

Step 3. 

Moving towards your chest, keep in mind that your heart is the center of the brushing. For arms, start at the fingertips and continue brushing upwards. Pay attention to under your arms, where your lymph nodes are located.

Step 4. 

Once you reach your shoulders and chest, stroke down and sideways towards the heart.

When you’re done, go ahead and admire your soft and touchable skin! The increase in circulation will help to wake you up. Follow with a shower and a full exfoliation session by using a natural body scrub. Salt scrubs and Salt Soaks are especially helpful in providing skin minerals that it may be lacking.

After your shower treat your skin to a deep moisturizing session. We suggest Winter Butter on that damp skin right out of the shower. Enjoy in bliss!

A dry brush being used on the legs in a bath tub

About the Author


Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learned and continues to learn about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more.

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