Brush it off: Make your skin glow through dry brushing
04/15/2017 // Frances Bloomfield // Views

The secret to good skin may be hidden in a brush. Known as “dry brushing”, this is the practice of gently sweeping a brush over your body to exfoliate your skin. Though it may sound odd to combine your moisturizer with bristles for softer skin, reports that there are many people who swear by it. From spa pros to dermatologists, there is a good number of people who believe in the efficacy of making dry brushing a part of your skincare routine.

Why dry brush?

The most popular benefits of this spa technique are the exfoliation and detoxification of your skin.

“Gentle dry brushing will slough off dead, dry skin, improving its appearance and allowing it to hydrate more efficiently when moisturizer is applied afterward,” Dr. Francesca Fusco told Another dermatologist, and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Mona Gohara, notes that the dry brushing method is a more effective and a less-messy method of exfoliation. The brushing also allows moisturizers and creams to more effectively penetrate the skin.

Robin Jones, Spa Director at the Lake Austin Spa Resort, states that dry brushing is comparable to massage, saying that “the light pressure against your skin and the direction in which you brush helps move lymph fluid into the lymph nodes so this waste can then be eliminated.” This is a natural process, but dry brushing is supposed to speed it up while boosting circulation at the same time.

In addition to the detoxifying and exfoliating benefits, dry brushing has also been touted as a good way to improve your energy levels and remove toxins from your body. Some have even claimed dry brushing helped them with acne and digestive issues. (Related: Learn more ways to heal your body naturally by following the articles at


How do you dry brush?

The key to dry brushing lies in the brush itself. Brushes with natural bristles are ideal because those with synthetic bristles can be too harsh on your skin. Whether you should go for the extra-soft bristles or extra-firm ones is entirely dependent on how much your skin can handle, according to Karen Reed of Long-handle brushes are recommended because they're easier to manage around your whole body, though they can be a bit pricey. Brushes without handles will also suffice if you have no problem reaching all parts of your body with your hand. Facial brushes are best for sensitive areas like your face and elbows.

Dry brushing is best done during the morning, just before you shower. You can do this once a week, all-year round. Gohara notes that dry brushing may be the most effective during the coldest months of the year.

Begin by dry brushing your feet in long, overlapping strokes towards the heart. Do this 10 times, making circular or back-and-forth motions. After you're done with your feet, move on to your leg. Remember to make 10 long strokes on each leg. From your legs, move on to your arms and the palm of your hands. Afterwards, move on to your abdomen, chest, and back. Finish off with your face and neck. Once this is all done, shower, and moisturize your entire body.

The most your skin should be afterwards is a slight pink because of the exfoliation. Red skin means you over-brushed. You want to avoid over-brushing your skin because, according to Dr. Carolyn Jacob of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, over-brushing can thicken your skin. If you have any cuts or skin inflammations, hold off on dry brushing until your skin has healed.


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