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 June 8, 2021
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!
First things first…
What is dry body brushing?
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 give it a try!? (I thought you may be!)
How to dry body brush: the proper technique
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
- Your naked bod!
- A natural-bristled dry body brush like the custom-made Body Unburdened Dry Body Brush made with wood and agave fiber*
*It’s best to replace your brush about once a year.
- 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 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, I 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 BRUSH YOUR SKIN?
Have any tips or questions? Please share them below in the comments!