Dry Brushing Demystified: Unlock the Secret to Vibrant Skin

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Find out all the benefits of dry brushing for your health

Have you ever wondered how to achieve that natural, radiant glow for your skin? The answer might be simpler than you think. Welcome to the world of dry brushing – a traditional practice turned modern beauty trend. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about dry brushing, from its impressive benefits to a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it right.

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Read this ultimate guide to dry brushing. Benefits, Step-by-step guide and FAQs

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What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a centuries-old technique involving a dry, stiff-bristled brush to gently exfoliate the skin. Originating from ancient cultures, it has gained popularity in the wellness community for its simplicity and remarkable benefits.

In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine which places strong emphasis on prevention and maintaining health through balance in life, diet, lifestyle, and the use of herbs, dry brushing is known as “Garshana.” This practice aligns well with a holistic approach.

Garshana, typically performed with a silk or wool glove, is revered for its ability to stimulate and invigorate the skin and lymphatic system. In Ayurvedic practices, this is more than just a skin treatment; it’s a therapeutic ritual that enhances skin health, boosts circulation and helps in the body’s natural detoxification process.

Dry brush in a relaxing and peaceful spa-like atmosphere

Benefits of Dry Brushing:

  • Exfoliation:
    • Removal of Dead Skin Cells: Dry brushing effectively sloughs off the outer layer of dead skin cells. This process aids in unclogging pores and helps in the shedding of old skin, leading to a more radiant and smooth skin surface.
    • Improvement in Skin Texture and Tone: By removing dead skin cells, dry brushing can contribute to a more even skin tone and improved texture. This can be particularly beneficial for areas prone to roughness, like elbows and knees.
    • Preparation for Skin Treatments: Exfoliation through brushing prepares the skin for better absorption of moisturizers, serums, or other skin treatments, enhancing their effectiveness.
  • Boosts Circulation:
    • Enhancement of Blood Flow: The motion of the brush against the skin stimulates blood vessels, promoting increased circulation. Improved blood flow brings more nutrients and oxygen to the skin, which can contribute to a healthier appearance.
    • Detoxification Support: Enhanced circulation can also aid in the body’s lymphatic system, which helps in removing toxins. Good circulation is crucial for effective detoxification and can support overall skin health.
  • Stress Relief:
    • Meditative Aspect: The rhythmic motion of dry brushing can have a calming effect, similar to a massage. This repetitive action can be meditative, helping to clear the mind and reduce mental stress.
    • Sensory Experience: The sensation of the bristles on the skin can be soothing and may stimulate the nervous system in a way that reduces stress and promotes relaxation.
    • Self-Care Ritual: Incorporating dry brushing into a self-care routine provides a dedicated time for personal care and relaxation, which can have a positive impact on overall well-being and stress levels.

How to Dry Brush: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose the Right Brush: Opt for a brush with natural, firm bristles and a long handle to reach all areas of your body.
  2. Start from the Feet Up: Begin at your feet and move upwards in long, smooth strokes, always brushing toward your heart.
  3. Use Gentle Pressure: Apply enough pressure to stimulate circulation but not so much that it hurts.
  4. Don’t Forget the Arms: Start from the hands and work upwards, following the same principle.
  5. Be Careful with Sensitive Areas: Avoid broken skin, sensitive areas, and the face.
  6. Timing: Best done before a shower to wash off dead skin cells.
  7. Frequency: Aim for 2-3 times a week for optimal results.

My Personal Experience with Dry Brushing

As a health enthusiast and soon-to-be holistic wellness coach, I have tried various skincare routines, but dry brushing stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness. Within weeks of incorporating it into my routine, I noticed my skin was softer and had a natural glow.

I also find the act of dry brushing to be very soothing. The massage-like experience is quite enjoyable, and I feel very invigorated afterwards. It’s like having a spa treatment right in your home. Therefore, this has become an integral part of my self-care regimen.


Expert Opinions

According to Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist from the Cleveland Clinic, dry brushing can be beneficial for exfoliating dry skin and may contribute to a more radiant skin glow.

The practice is often recommended for its potential to detoxify the skin, primarily through unclogging pores and stimulating the nervous system. Additionally, this practice is believed to promote overall skin health. However, it is crucial to use the correct technique to prevent skin irritation. Employing gentle strokes and avoiding too much pressure are key aspects of this technique, ensuring a balance between efficacy and safety.

Choosing the Right Brush

Here’s a concise guide to choosing the right dry brush:

  • Natural Bristles: Opt for a brush with natural bristles for effective exfoliation.
  • Stiffness: Choose bristles that suit your skin sensitivity – softer for sensitive skin and firmer for normal skin.
  • Handle Length: A long handle helps reach all areas of your body, including your back.
  • Skin Sensitivity: For very sensitive skin, consider a soft brush or a dry washcloth.
  • Avoid Sensitive Areas: Don’t use the brush on your face or any inflamed, broken, or sensitive skin areas.

Here are a few great dry brushes you can try:

Metene Shower Brush with Soft and Stiff Bristles

Metene Shower Brush with Soft and Stiff Bristles

Belula Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush Set

Belula Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush Set

Ithyes Dry Brushing Body Brush

Ithyes Dry Brushing Body Brush


1. Does dry brushing stimulate the lymphatic system and thus help in detoxifying the body naturally?

While dry brushing is celebrated for its potential to stimulate the lymphatic system and detoxify the body, it’s important to approach these claims with a discerning eye. As of now, there is a lack of scientific studies definitively proving that dry brushing can actively stimulate the lymphatic system or lead to natural detoxification. The lymphatic system is indeed a crucial part of our body’s natural detox process, but whether or not dry brushing significantly impacts this system remains unverified in scientific literature.

2. Does dry brushing help with cellulite?

Similarly, when it comes to reducing the appearance of cellulite, there is no concrete evidence to support the claim that dry brushing can effectively treat cellulite. Cellulite is a common skin condition, and its appearance is influenced by various factors including genetics, diet, and overall lifestyle. While dry brushing can enhance blood circulation, leading to a temporary plumping effect that may make skin appear smoother and less dimpled, this alone does not constitute proof of its effectiveness in permanently reducing cellulite.

3. Who should not use dry brushing?

Dry brushing, while beneficial for many, may not be suitable for everyone. Particularly, individuals with sensitive skin or those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis should avoid this practice.

Additionally, it is not recommended for people with open wounds, rashes, severe varicose veins, or skin infections. Given that brushing can be somewhat abrasive, it could exacerbate these conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider if there are any concerns about the suitability of dry brushing for your specific skin type and condition.


Dry brushing might seem like a small addition to your skincare routine, but its benefits are too significant to ignore. From improving your skin’s appearance to promoting internal health, it’s my favourite holistic approach to beauty.

Have you tried dry brushing? Share your experiences in the comments below or on our social media pages. For more health and lifestyle tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.


  1. Alice Gerard says:

    I’m going to look into getting a brush. Probably a nice soft one. I have sensory processing disorder, and brushing is really good for tactile defensiveness.
    Great post, with lots of detailed information about the benefits of dry brushing!

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Yes, I think that’s such a great idea. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post and thank you for visiting the blog.

  2. Nadya says:

    As a Virgo, I love practices like this!
    Several years ago, I knit a little cloth/mitt of nettle yarn from Tibet, which I sometimes use before my shower. I also enjoy doing facial and body Gua Sha using natural stones, and the Sonic Slider tuning fork.

    One suggestion for enhanced lymph flow is to do about 6 minutes of exercise like using a rebounder, or the Japanese morning exercises! This activates the lymphatic system, so other movement throughout the day is more effective as well!

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Oh, I’ve been meaning to look into Gua Sha so thank you for reminding me of that. I’ve never heard of the Japanese morning exercises so I’ll have to look into that too. Thanks for those great suggestions Nadya. Have an awesome day.

  3. Kebba Buckley Button says:

    Kasia, I admire your enthusiasm, but this technique wouldn’t be for me. Especially with the risk of irritating or breaking the skin, or stimulating keratosis production. I’m very happy soaking in a therapeutic bath with Epsom salts, and smoothing off dry skin with a nubby cotton washcloth.

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Absolutely, Kebba. I completely understand. This practice isn’t for everyone. You have to know your body and know what it needs. Thanks for checking out the blog. All the best.

  4. Fransic verso says:

    That’s great you share step by step guide and also include your experince. Surely people will learn a lot from your informative post. Thank you for sharing!

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Thank you very much.

  5. Katy Trott says:

    Ooh, I’ve been meaning to give body brushing a go. I do tend to neglect my body skincare in comparison to my facial skincare, so this has convinced me!!

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Amazing, so happy to hear that. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

  6. Angelia says:

    Great post! Thank you for the tips.

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      My pleasure.

  7. Julie says:

    I need to get a brush! Do you have any recommendations for one that you can reach your back with? My back is always itchy!

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Hi Julie, the one I have is from the Martina Collection and I found it here: https://www.nationalnutrition.ca/martina-collection-bath-brush-with-sisal-bristles-oval-1-brush.html?gclid=CjwKCAiAlJKuBhAdEiwAnZb7lSJTsbPT_sVGy9sSsbg9lhJotwxzGq9WuM5AKkSKBTH-OUnN0NQlqhoCm5QQAvD_BwE or you can try the one I mentioned in the article:Belula Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush Set They both seem long enough and should help you reach all the necessary places.

  8. Lani of lifestylerelated.com says:

    I dry brush. But Im just all over the place. Good to know I need to start from the feet up. I wanted to find out though how often should I do this and for how many minutes.

    1. thesavvydreamer says:

      Awesome you already do this. I only dry brush once or twice per week. It really depends on your skin if you can handle more than that. And I only do it for a couple of minutes to get through all the parts. You don’t have to do it for too long. Go with your comfort.

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