Dry Brushing 101

Dry brushing has become a goop-approved beauty practice that a lot of celebs swear by (*cough Kim K cough*). While there are tangible beauty and health benefits to dry brushing, we like to approach it from a different perspective—ones that focuses on the ritual of it.

Dry brushing is a practice that’s been around for centuries. It was used in places like ancient Greece, Egypt, and Japan, and manifested in many different forms. While nowadays its claim to fame is allegedly combatting cellulite, we like it because it gives you a solid 10-15 minutes to yourself. We like to think of dry brushing as a full body reset—both internally and externally. You’re literally sloughing off skin, but also shedding and removing anything that doesn’t serve you mentally. When you’re done, take pride in the fact that you focused so intently on your skin, and that you were able to carve out specific time for your wellbeing.

If you’re new to dry brushing, there a few things to know before you get started. First, you’ll need a brush. We like this one for a more bristly, full body option, and this softer one for more sensitive areas. It’s called dry brushing because you brush dry skin, so it’s a ritual best performed in the morning before you hop in the shower. We like the idea of putting on some relaxing music and getting to work. As far as technique, it’s quite simple: start at your feet, and brush upwards towards the heart. You can either do short strokes or circular ones, just make sure you’re not pushing too hard—it should be a nice, gentle experience.

From a health perspective, dry brushing is so revered because its said to help get the lymphatic system moving, which is what manages the removal of waste and toxins in your body. So the more you brush, the “cleaner” you actually feel. It’s also a great way to boost energy because it increases circulation, which promotes the flow of oxygen-rich blood. We recommend doing some simple stretches while you dry brush, to really help you body wake up in the am. A few deep breaths is also a great way to make this more of a meditative practice—you can even come up with your own mantra, something along the lines of: “My mind and body are connected. With each stroke, I say goodbye to the things that don’t serve me.”

Once you’ve worked your way around your whole body, it’s time to jump in the shower. After you’ve rinsed and dried off, a natural, homemade body oil is a great way to seal in moisture, especially now that the skin has been exfoliated. We love mixing a bit of coconut oil with Grapefruit essential oil because the grapefruit helps promote circulation and detoxification—furthering the effects of the dry brush. Your skin should literally feel ALIVE!!

So if you’re looking for a simple ritual to start your day–reach for the dry brush. It gives you a chance to clear you mind before you have to tackle those emails and also gives you a natural pick me up before your first cup of coffee. Most importantly though, enjoy the physical act of brushing your skin, which has been part of wellness rituals around the world for many, many years before you.

Photo by Lauren Leggatt.