Dry Brushing 101

Perhaps you’ve heard of dry brushing - supermodels swear by it, Gwyneth Paltrow sells a dry brush on her GOOP branded website, and many luxury spas incorporate this treatment. Despite the recent popularity, dry brushing has been around for centuries as an ancient Ayurvedic healing technique. Keep reading to find out all about dry brushing, how to do it properly, and the benefits of this amazing modality. 

Called garshana in Ayurvedic medicine, dry brushing is kind of exactly what sounds like. You take a body brush (one with firm but soft natural bristles) and use it to gently massage your body. This technique has been around for centuries in India and provides countless health benefits. 

Dry brushing has many benefits including improved circulation, lymphatic draining, and gentle exfoliation (hello glowing skin!) By supporting the lymphatic system, dry brushing helps stimulate the immune system by ushering the flow of lymph (and immune cells) throughout the body. Lymph vessels and nodes lie just under the skin and, unlike the cardiovascular system, rely entirely on movements of the body to keep everything flowing. Dry brushing provides this gentle movement for the lymphatic system thereby acting as a ‘pump’ that keeps lymph fluids and immune cells circulating freely. 

Dry brushing also exfoliates the skin by helping to loosen and remove dead skin cells. It also helps your moisturizer penetrate more evenly to give you soft, smooth, glowing skin! 

As a whole, dry brushing increases circulation and blood flow, boosts immunity, gives you glowing skin, and is an all-around great addition to your self-care routine. 

How To Do It

Randomly scrubbing your body here and there with a brush isn’t going to cut it here. Dry brushing has a specific (but easy) routine that will help you get the most out of this amazing technique. 

What you’ll need: 

- a firm but soft body brush (I like this one HERE)

- completely dry skin (no doing this during a shower)

How to:

1. Start at your feet and move the brush over your skin using long circular motions

2. Work your way upwards towards your heart

3. On the stomach, work in a clockwise pattern

4. When you get to your arms, work your way up from fingers towards the heart

5. On chest, work in clockwise pattern 

6. Once you are finished hop in the shower and do your thing as usual!

TAKE NOTE — Use firm but gentle pressure - this isn’t an exercise in scrubbing SO HARD that you cause pain. However, it is normal if your skin becomes slightly pink. Scratched skin, on the other hand is a sign that your brush is too hard or you are pressing to hard!

Dry brushing should be done daily - if that’s not happening in your schedule, aim for at least do it 3 times per week.

Every few weeks, clean your brush with mild soap and water and let it dry in the sunshine. 

Enjoy all the amazing benefits of dry brushing!