Are You Brushing Your Skin?

Dry Brushing for Skin Are You Brushing Your Skin?

This is a topic I touched on when I wrote about reducing cellulite naturally, but I’ve gotten several emails about it lately so I figured it deserved its own post.

If you’ve never heard of dry brushing for skin, you’re probably thinking “Why on earth would I want to brush my skin? I already have to brush my hair and my teeth.”

I shared this attitude for a while…

What is Dry Brushing?

The basic concept of dry brushing is using a coarse, dry brush to brush the skin in a particular pattern. Though I haven’t found any scientific research supporting it, there is a ton of first hand information from people who have tried it and swear by it.

Benefits of Dry Brushing:

Supporters of dry brushing claim that it can stimulate the lymph system, help the body rid itself of toxins and increase circulation or energy.

I’m not completely sold on all of those benefits, but this definitely falls in the “can’t hurt” category and I have personally noticed that my skin is softer (and possibly firmer, though this is hard to measure) from dry brushing. It is very invigorating, and it can’t hurt, so it has become part of my routine.

Especially during pregnancy, I found that dry brushing seemed to help keep me from getting stretch marks and also seemed to help tighten skin after pregnancy.

What to Do:

  • Use a natural bristle brush.
  • Start on dry skin before bathing.
  • Start at the feet/ankles and brush in long circular movements up toward the heart.
  • Always brush to the center of the body.
  • On stomach and armpits use a circular clockwise brushing motion.
  • Brush softly at first and eventually work up to firmer pressure.
  • After dry brushing, shower (cool water or alternating cool and hot is best)
  • If needed, moisturize after showering. I use a homemade body butter.
  • Repeat daily or as needed.

Do you brush your skin? Have you noticed any benefits?

Reader Comments

  1. Jessica Pless says

    I’ve been dry brushing for a couple of years. It has definitely helped boost my immune system. I went from chronic sinusitis to very few sinus problems over the past year and I feel that dry brushing has been a contributing factor. Thanks for the link to that particular body brush. I’ll order one with my next Amazon order.

  2. says

    Thanks for the reminder. I used to dry brush – every day for a while – but it seems to have gone to the wayside for reasons I can’t figure out. I’ve got a healthy immune system anyways, but in the winter it’s the only thing that keeps my skin from getting so dry that I scratch my legs raw.

  3. says

    I have been dry brushing my skin every day for the past year and have noticed profound improvements in my skin tone, and reductions in scarring and stretch marks. Also, I have a few large, intricate, and colorful tattoos and the dry brushing really keeps them bright and beautiful. If nothing else, the dry brushing feels fantastic.

  4. Merica Weber says

    I have a question about dry brushing as I am new to doing it, is it important to dry brush before showering? Also does it make a difference when you do it, ie, I shower at night instead of the morning? Thanks in advance! By the way, I love your blog, I have learned so much!

  5. lily says

    hi, i am wondering if there is a difference between dry brushing and wet brushing. i usually brush my skin in the shower, about once a week. i have noticed that my skin is smoother because of it. thanks!

    • Designed For Detox says

      Yes, dry brushing is meant for dry skin with a dry brush not in the shower.

      It helps to exfoliate the skin, lesson scarring / stretch marks and to stimulate the lymphatic system and your circulation. It can take a bit of getting used to as it will feel odd in the beginning but there are plenty of examples of people dry body brushing online. Many people see really soft smooth skin as a result also for people with KP dry body brushing their skin and applying coconut oil after the shower normally reduces / eliminates the problem. It also helps prevent in-grown hairs because the built of dead skin cells flake are not clogging the hair follicle. Hope this helps ~Chelsea

  6. Mariah says

    I’ve been dry brushing for at least 5 years now. I totally miss it if I don’t do it. I don’t feel as “clean” so to speak. Love, love love!

  7. Rebecca J. Geohagan says

    I have a younger sister with low functioning autism. When she was very young & having difficulty mastering movement, I would help my mother dry brush up and down her legs, focusing on her joints. From what I remember, my mom explained to me that it helped synchronize my sisters mind with her body. As a kid myself I recognized how much it improved her activity. I also remember how smooth her knees were. Haha

  8. says

    Interesting! I just got through reading about dry brushing on NW Edible life.She swears it is as good as coffee in the morning (though I don’t think she’s given up the coffee as a result, LOL).

  9. Rebecca Rogers Hoy says

    I just wanted to add that I was diagnosed with lipidemia, and when I discussed dry brushing with my lymphatic massage therapist, she said it was fine as a therapy, but actually it was really vital that you start with the neck, then do shoulders, then do arms, etc. basically start at the neck and as you go down, brush upwards on your arms until you are working on your trunk and get below your heart. (Not sure if that makes sense, it is hard to explain. Basically: brush your neck first. Then your shoulders. Then your arms. Then your armpits. Then your trunk. When you get to your groin area, you start brushing upwards and start at the top of your legs(brushing up) and working your way to your feet.

    • Katy says

      This method makes sense from what we’ve learned in Physical Therapy School. If you started at the distal extremities like your hands or ankles it takes more effort to push past everything in your upper arms and shoulders. (Just like you brush long hair from the ends to the top) You are still brushing to the center of the body, but I think you’re right that it’s best to move it from the shoulders, arms, hands in that order. That’s how we were taught to decrease swelling.

  10. Sarah says

    what is something to help for inside of the ears i have psoriasis inside them and i have no clue how to make the infection go away and drs cant seem to help and sadly peroxide only helps a tiny bit. but they r getting really infected. any cheap at home remedy

    • Jay Giles says

      People with psoriasis are usually gluten Intolerant. I recommend removing all gluten from your diet and be psoriasis free :)

  11. Kelly says

    Love it – I’m brand new to it, but it feels nice; my skin looks good… May be having a slight detox experience in the GI area (don’t mean to be graphic).

    Enjoying reading everybody’s experiences with it too.

  12. Tenaya says

    I’ve always wanted to try if. Last week my Son’s occupational Therapist ( he struggles with Sensory processing issues) started doing therapeutic dry brushing with him. We do it every two hours through the day. He loves it. And it seems to help him and his muscles. But now I want to try dry brushing on me.

  13. Kari says

    Is it necessary to shower afterwards? I assume the shower helps remove the dead skin just brushed, etc. but is the dry brushing not as beneficial if you don’t shower afterwards? And why cool water as opposed to a hot shower?

  14. Jarin says

    I always try to do skin brushing every day before I go for shower. Benefits which I get that are
    1. Helps to get rid of cellulite.
    2. skin to tighten.
    3. remove dead cells and increase blood circulation
    7. Rejuvenates the nerve system

  15. kathy says

    I have never herd of such a thing….I can say after reading all the comments…..I am so trying this out….I have dry skin and hahaha some cellulite , and making the body feel good is what this girl is about,,,,Thank you ladies,,,

  16. Julianna says

    Just bought my first dry brush at TJMaxx for $6. Made of vegetable fivers from crushed cactus leaves. Didn’t know they had leaves, haha. Anyway I was wondering about dry brushing your face. Good idea? Help with acne and acne scars maybe?

  17. Samantha says

    I realize this post is old, but i haven’t seen any comments on cleaning your brush which is important with all of the skin cells your collecting over time! I have been dry brushing since 2009 and love my brush! i bought an extremely expensive cactus brush off of a carnival cruise and i still use it. I keep it clean and nice by spraying it with a mixture of Tea Tree oil and Eucalyptus, and then running the brush over a micro fiber towel a couple of times and letting it air dry! Hope this helps!

    Also<< Ive never used it on my face. My facial skin is much more sensitive than the rest of my body. Instead i use coconut oil and sugar as a scrub, sometimes i add lavender or tea tree oil.

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