You brush your hair, why not your skin? Dry body brushing has existed for centuries, but it recently made a big comeback on TikTok (isn’t that how it always goes?). You may have tried it before or you’re hearing about it for the first time now. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Let’s get to the basics and how body brushing can give your skin that oh-so-enviable glow. 

What is Dry Body Brushing?

Many cultures, from the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Chinese, have used this technique. It involved taking a brush and gently massaging to exfoliate your skin. In China, people used dried fibers from a gourd fruit. In Greece, they used a bronze instrument and oil. Nowadays, you should use a brush made with natural-fiber bristles to remove dead skin cells. Afterward, use your normal body products, which will work more effectively without all those toxins getting in the way.

The Benefits

There’s a reason why people have been doing this for centuries. When done correctly, your skin reaps bountiful benefits. Plus, besides the cost of buying a brush, it’s inexpensive. Here are the benefits you could see.

Exfoliation: Your skin goes through a lot each day so it’s no surprise that it’s covered in dead skin cells which can make your skin feel thick and rough. Body brushing can help remove that top layer and make the skin look smoother.

Open Pores: As you’re exfoliating, you’re also opening pores. This helps the skin absorb moisturizing products that you apply later. 

Detoxification: Using this technique stimulates the lymphatic system, which is crucial to a well working immune system. It’s also related to the body’s fluid balance and digestive system. 

Stronger Immune System: Related to detoxification, the stimulation from the brush helps your body detox your system and helps with a good immune system. The pressure of brushing the skin supports the lymphatic system in moving white blood cells and waste through the body.

Improved Cellulite: Supported by scientific research, using specific techniques for stimulation of the lymphatic system can also help reduce cellulite. 

Relaxation: We love talking about the benefits of self-care and this is no exception. Brushing your body in a circular and smooth motion helps stimulate the vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the body that branches out to many different organs. This nerve also helps you calm down and relax.

Added energy: When you wake up, try starting your day with dry brushing. This relaxing self-care routine can increase your circulation and give you energy for the day. 

The Technique

Now you know the benefits, let’s walk through the proper technique. Experts recommend doing this before a bath or shower to get rid of pesky dead skin cells. But if you have broken skin, inflammation, eczema, or dermatitis, avoid those areas of the body. Remember to use gentle pressure on thin skin, like the armpits, and firm pressure on thick skin, like your heels. So grab your brush made with firm, natural bristles (like wool, raw silk, or cotton) and get that skin looking radiant. 

  1. Start at the feet and move up to the heart. Use circular motions when you’re at the ankles and knees.
  2. Use long strokes up the legs, always moving up in the direction of your heart. 
  3. Then move to the stomach, low back, butt, and hip joint while brushing in a clockwise motion. 
  4. Move from the hands to the shoulder using short strokes. When you’re at the wrists and elbows, use small, circular motions.
  5. At the neck and shoulders, use short strokes. 
  6. When you’re at the chest area, use circular motions.
  7. If dry brushing your face, switch to a different brush with softer bristles and focus on all parts of the face, including your ears, using small circular motions. Move from the center of the face and go outwards. 
  8. After you’re finished, take a shower or bath. Then apply your favorite moisturizer.

This technique should only take up to seven minutes. Make sure you don’t overbrush as that might irritate your skin. Also, clean your dry brush with warm soapy water, rinse, and let it dry when you’re done. If you’re new to this technique, only do it one to two times a week. 

Brush away the struggles of the day and see how your skin shines after using this centuries-old technique for radiant skin.

Tori Tromblay

Tori Tromblay

Special Projects Producer
Tori Tromblay (she/her/hers) is a book enthuisiast, cat lover, and Cincinnati native. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism. After traveling to New York, D.C., London, and Tulsa, she settled back home, where she lives with her husband and two cats. She has worked for Pure Romance for two years and loves to learn and teach about sex education.