4 Benefits of Dry Body Brushing That Will Have You Hooked on This Ayurvedic Practice

Have you heard about dry body brushing? This simple wellness practice has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to support the health of the body and skin.

Here are 4 benefits of dry body brushing that continue to make it such a popular practice… and will have you totally hooked on brushing your bod!

Originally Published on March 6, 2014 | Updated on July 23, 2020

It seems like everyone from supermodels to yogis has been singing the praises of dry body brushing recently.

… and I’m definitely among them!

The next time you book a massage, you may even see it listed on the spa services menu.

So what is dry body brushing? Why is this centuries-old wellness practice still so popular? What are the benefits? And how can you get started!?

Let’s break it all down!

What is dry body brushing and what are the benefits? Let's explore the far-reaching health and skincare benefits of this traditional wellness practice.

First things first: what is dry body brushing exactly?

On the surface, dry body brushing is exactly what it sounds like: brushing your dry skin with a dry brush.

But the benefits of dry body brushing are far-reaching!

It enhances the health and appearance of the skin while also working below the surface to support lymphatic flow.

It’s no wonder this whole-body wellness and skincare practice has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.


These four benefits of dry body brushing will have you hooked on this traditional Ayurvedic practice:

1. Dry body brushing provides a great exfoliation, leaving skin soft and smooth

Dry body brushing exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells to reveal incredibly soft, smooth skin.

This also helps improve the effectiveness of topical skincare products, which can penetrate deeper. Hence why I suggest dry body brushing in tandem with using your Body Unburdened body oils — the oils will be better absorbed and those protective-antioxidants more about to do their job!

Exfoliation also help prevent ingrown hairs and so can also be extremely helpful for those who struggle with keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin.”

2. Regular dry body brushing helps firm and tone skin

Since exfoliation increases cell turnover and collagen production, regular dry body brushing can help firm and tighten the skin.

For this reason, it’s even been said to help decrease the appearance of cellulite! (Though to be totally honest with you: I’m still waiting on this one *sigh*)

3. Dry body brushing aids the body’s natural detoxification process by stimulating lymphatic flow

When done in a specific manner, dry body brushing helps stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluid beneath the skin, thereby supporting this key detoxification pathway and component of the immune system.

It was only when I learned about the lymphatic system and the benefits of manually stimulating the flow of lymph, that I finally understood the whole-body benefits of dry body brushing.

The lymphatic system is one of the body’s primary detox pathways, as well as a key component of the immune system — lymph flows through the lymph nodes, which filter out bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other impurities.

The lymphatic system runs throughout the body similarly to the circulatory system. But unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump (reminder: the heart is the circulatory system’s pump!).

And so, lymph can easily get stagnant. When this happens, the bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other impurities in the lymph can’t effectively be removed.

Fortunately, lymph is quite easily stimulated by light touch and massage. And this is where dry body brushing comes in: dry body brushing helps stimulate lymphatic flow.

4. Since the lymphatic system is a key component of the body’s immune system, dry body brushing supports immune health as well

The lymphatic system filters bacteria and viruses in addition to toxins and impurities.

Plus, lymph contains infection-fighting white blood cells, which the system transports throughout the body.

And so it’s important that lymph continues to flow and doesn’t get stagnant!

By encouraging lymphatic flow, dry body brushing supports this key aspect of the immune system.

This is why in Ayurveda, lymphatic massage and dry body brushing have traditionally been used to support healing in those with any sort of sickness or disease.


Ready to dry body brush!? (I thought you may be!) Here’s how to do it.

It’s easy to get started and such a simple practice, though there is a technique you must follow to best support lymphatic flow.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

*It’s best to replace your brush about once a year.

The benefits of dry body brushing are far-reaching! This simple practice supports inner wellness and skin health. Here's how.

THE TECHNIQUE

  • Always brush towards your heart (the direction the lymphatic fluid flows), lightly moving the brush in a in long strokes from your hands and feet in towards your torso.
  • Avoid any cuts, scrapes, or rashes as the brush will irritate them.
  • Dry brush before showering to wash away impurities and exfoliated skin cells.
  • After showering, immediately moisturize (otherwise your skin will be very dry and tight). Remember to use an all-natural moisturizer — like the Body Unburdened Body Oils!

NOTE: If you have active eczema, extremely sensitive skin, or any rashes, best to avoid dry body brushing or be extremely gentle while you see how your skin responds.


What is the best dry body brush?

Look for fairly stiff bristles to effectively exfoliate the skin, plus stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow.

You’ll find dry body brushes made with either boar bristles or plant fiber bristles.

For sustainability reasons, recommend choosing a brush made with plant fiber bristles and without any plastic pieces… like the Body Unburdened Dry Body Brush, which is made with wood, agave fiber, and a cotton strap!


How often should you dry body brush?

Should you dry brush everyday? Every week? How many times a week should you dry brush your skin!?

For best results, aim to dry body brush 1-2 times a week.

Since dry body brushing exfoliates the skin, it’s important not to over do it as over-exfoliation can cause irritation, skin dryness, and skin peeling.


DO YOU DRY BODY BRUSH?

Have any tips or questions? Please share them below in the comments!

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  1. Sorry for commenting twice but I forgot to thank you for all the great info you provide and ask if you know anything that might help a skin condition called “sticky skin syndrome” or “aquired cutaneous adherence”? I have been experiencing this uncomfortable condition for the last couple of years. I don’t know if it is a year round problem as wearing more clothes in the winter may obscure the condition but during the summer it is really bad even right after showering and I really need to find a solution. I just started body brushing so I don’t know if that will help yet. Thank you for any advice.

  2. I purchased 2 of the Purest Palm Body Brushes (one for me and one for a friend) but we both found the bristles too stiff and painful to use anywhere on our bodies except for the soles of our feet and palms of our hands. I have very sensitive skin buy my friend does not so it isn’t just me. Am I missing something? Is there a way to make them softer? Is there a softer brush you could recommend?

  3. Hi Nadia,

    Do you have a DIY body wash or bar recipe? Or could you recommend one I can purchase?

    Thanks so much for your help!

  4. Just wondering what brand you would reccomend ..natural dry brush
    Not sure where to look
    Thanks!!

  5. Hi
    Just wondering if you can reccomended a good natural brush for dry brushing…not sure where to look!!!

  6. Hi, Dolores! I totally understand what you’re asking and think it makes perfect sense! It is definitely unanimous that you should brush towards your heart. From some more research, it seems that this is because the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, and it’s important that you brush in the same direction.

    Thanks for this question – I will edit the post to help clarify!!

  7. So not sure if this is a dumb question but the body’s blood flow doesn’t go directly to the heart in every direction, you know its like a loop because of how it all works in the vascular system so my question is, if you recommend going with the flow of blood wouldn’t we work our way down on one side then up the other side of our bodies, eventually leading to the heart… This is an honest question so I hope you can help me better understand this process because I am all about finding good ways of naturally detoxifying my body 🙂 Thanks for your time 🙂