Benefits of Dry Brushing Your Skin | How to Dry Brush


(image courtesy of

In line with continuing our conversation on chemical free [healthy] personal care products, and as a precursor to tomorrow’s post, I wanted to touch on a subject still not well known in the mainstream of our society: Dry Brushing.  I want to talk to you about What it is; Why do it [i.e. benefits to you] and How to do it.  So, strap on your seat-belts and let’s go for a ride.

Benefits of Dry Brushing: Help Your Body Detox!

What  is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is brushing your body with a brush made specifically for skin, while your body is dry, to get dead cells off your skin.

Simple enough?

I personally discovered Dry Brushing about two years ago and enjoyed it ever since. It helps my body wake up in the morning and gives me a kick start, especially if I did not have enough time to exercise to get my blood flowing. It really is like a mini-exercise!

Now, let’s get to the details.

It will cost you very little—about $10. But a good, natural bristle brush will last you a long time! Can you handle the splurge?

What You Need For Dry Brushing: A Dry Brushing Brush

Use a soft natural fiber brush with a long handle. The handle will enable you to reach all areas of your body. Get a brush with a detachable head [some have straps for your hand].

Here is a brush like I personally use:

(Available from health food stores or your local Co-op, or Amazon)

Look for a brush with natural bristles—nylon and synthetic fiber brushes are too sharp and may damage skin. Make sure to find something that will feel right for your skin—dry brushing SHOULD NOT hurt. In the beginning, since you are not used to dry brushing, your skin might be a bit more sensitive. However with time, as you become accustomed to the feel of the brush, and with bristles softening a bit, you will get to enjoy the process.

How long does it take?

Dry brushing can take as little as 5 minutes to as long as 10-15 minutes a day, or a couple of times a week. It is up to you!

Why Dry Brush?

Benefits of Dry Brushing
• Detox your body
• Lose weight
• Lose cellulite
• Feel better

Dry brushing will not solve ALL of your problems, especially if you are not taking care of yourself in other ways, such as diet and exercise. However, it is a great way to supplement your personal care.

Dry Brushing Facts

  • Skin is the largest body organ you have. In the average adult it covers about 3000 square inches and weighs around six pounds, which is nearly twice the weight of the human brain or liver.
  • The skin receives about one third of the blood that circulates through the body.
  • The skin can regenerate and repair itself under most conditions, but it does need good building blocks to help with this task.
  • Our skin is the first agent that comes in contact with the outside world and protects our bodies, as much as it can, from chemicals and bacteria. Skin is slightly acidic to kill off bad bacteria and prevent it from entering our body.
  • The skin is also responsible for dissipation of sweat and allows secretion. Sweat brings out toxins from our body which end up on our skin. As such, skin is responsible for ¼ of the body’s detoxification each day! Just how much is that? About 2 lbs [about 1 kilo] of waste acids daily, most of it through sweat glands.
  • The skin is also known as our third kidney due to its responsibility to get rid of toxins in your body.
  • Our skin is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency.

Wouldn’t these facts lead you to believe that skin is one of the most important organs of your body? It sure looks like that to me!

But wait, there is more to it!

If we are not careful with our diet and are bodies and blood get clogged with poisonous toxins which we cannot properly eliminate, our skin takes the beating and tries to expel those toxins.

We, humans, love our skin! We pamper it, we shower it, we put make up on it—we want it to look fresh, glowing and flawless—like baby’s skin. Learning the secret of taking care of your skin, however, is going to be the best gift you can give it and yourself.

How to Take Care of Your Skin

The best way, of course is through great, nutrient rich, unprocessed whole foods, enzyme rich organic diet. But you can also lighten the toxic burden on your body and your skin by skipping over chemically laden, non-organic skin care products and household items.

For more on this topic refer to previous posts:

  1. Natural Skin, Hair, and Oral Care Products {Why It Matters}, and
  2. Chemical Free Laundry Options {Living Healthy}
  3. Homemade Glass and Surface Cleaner Recipe]

So, if you consume a clean diet and help to unload undue burden off your body by eliminating toxins around you, you can help your skin eliminate toxins faster and more efficiently.

Simple enough? It things are still a bit fuzzy to you, let’s get you some more information.

How Dry Brushing Helps Your Body to Detox

Detoxification is performed by a number of organs, including the skin, gut, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, and mucous membranes.

Dry brushing reaches out to all of these organs in one way or another by stimulating blood circulation!

Dry Brushing, although highly unknown in the States, is very popular in European spas and many cancer treatment centers today. The Russians, Turks and Scandinavians have used this treatment for centuries. Dry brushing stimulates skin renewal and makes it soft to the touch. It also allows us to brush off dead skin cells that are filled with toxins off our bodies and lighten its toxic load. However, the benefits don’t stop there.

Here are some of the other, VERY important benefits of dry brushing:

  1. Cleanses the lymphatic system
  2. Removes dead skin layers
  3. Stimulates circulation
  4. Strengthens the immune system [by getting extra toxins off your body]
  5. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
  6. Removes cellulite [this specific goal will take a bit more of dry brushing and the results might be evident in about 5 months]
  7. Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
  8. Tones the muscles
  9. Improves the function of the nervous system
  10. Helps digestion
  11. Invigorates your whole body for next to nothing!

I will now explain some of the in further detail, so it really makes sense.

Dry Brushing cleanses the lymphatic system

Lymph is a part of our body’s immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathe our cells, bringing our cells nutrients and removing their waste.

All detoxification occurs first through the lymph.

Our bodies contain more lymph than blood. Dry brushing moves the lymph containing large proteins and particulate matter that cannot be transported in any other way back into circulatory system. If these proteins stayed outside the blood vessels, they would attract other fluid, which could lead to swollen ankles, limbs and eventually we could even be leaking fluid out our skin [lymphedema].

Lymph vessels have their own pumping mechanism which sense when the vessels have more fluid in them or in the interstitial fluids. The body pumps the lymph along its path back to the heart. Removal of proteins from the interstitial spaces is an essential function. Without it taking place we could die within 24 hours. Dry brushing allows us to speed this process by massaging our skin toward the heart. Other ways that help are: contracting our muscles [strength training] and moving our bodies [exercising].

Dry brushing removes dead skin layers

Dry skin brushing removed dead skin cells, which improve skins health and cell renewal. Dry skin is a sign of detoxification—by removing dead skin cells off we are lightening our body’s toxic load, so it can operate more efficiently.

Dry brushing stimulates circulation

Our skin has pores and actually breathes! Dead skin cells clog the pores along with un-removed waste excreted through perspiration. Dry skin brushing does not only removed dead cells but also other dead matter, encouraging your body to discharge metabolic wastes. Dry brushing encourages increased blood flow, thus creating an increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated. By activating the circulation you can also prevent varicose veins.

Dry brushing strengthens the immune system

By clearing extra toxins off your skin and improving blood circulation Dry Skin Brushing may reduce duration of infection. For this reason Dry Brushing is used in many holistic centers for cancer and other serious illnesses treatments. The lymph vessels get stimulated and drain toxic mucoid matter into organs of detoxification, thus purifying the entire system. [It is possible, after several days of dry brushing, to notice a gelatinous mucoid material in your stools. This is a normal sign, because your intestinal tract is renewing itself.]

Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands

Dry brushing also stimulates the hormone and oil glands.

Removes cellulite

[If you have this in mind as your goal, you should be aware that it might take a bit of dry brushing so see the results, which might not be evident right away. It might take up to 5 months to see the results. But the best way to get rid of cellulite is always a great diet, followed by a great exercise regimen.]

Cellulite is toxic deposits of subcutaneous fat material and fibrous tissue that are not able to be eliminated and which cause a dimpling effect on the overlying skin.

What causes the toxins? Opinions do differ on this, and there are a couple of different schools of thought. People of all sizes and shapes can get affected by this unpleasant phenomenon.

Some of the best ways to get rid of cellulite are: brushing, connective tissue massages, clean healthful alkaline diet and exercise. These techniques, along with working though emotional issues that could cause the toxins to stagnate, will break down the unwelcome toxic body deposit.

Tightens the skin preventing premature aging

Tones the muscles

Dry skin brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes individual muscle fibers to activate and move.

Improves the function of the nervous system

Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin.

Helps digestion

Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.

Invigorates your whole body for next to nothing!

Interesting Fact: If your skin [your largest body organ] isn’t improperly maintained, the elimination duties of the skin are forced on the kidneys. Chemical analysis of sweat shows that it has almost the same constituents as urine. If the skin becomes inactive, its pores choke with millions of dead cells, uric acid and other impurities which will remain in the body putting extra stress on the liver and kidneys.

How to Dry Brush

Dry brush your dry and naked body before you shower or bathe. You will want to wash off the dead cells and impurities from the skin.

You can start dry brushing on the soles of your feet, gently massaging you skin in a circular motion, brushing off dead skin in the process. Use long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction help drain the lymph back to your heart. If you are a female, avoid brushing your breasts.

Apply brush strokes toward your heart. Stroking away from your heart puts extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels and can cause ruptured vessels and varicose veins.

Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.

Skin brushing should be performed once a day, or at least a couple of times a week, preferably first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing can take 5-10 minutes, but any time spent brushing prior to bathing will benefit the body. You can also dry brush areas of cellulite 5 to 10 minutes twice a day to achieve cellulite dissolving but the technique needs to be done consistently for a minimum of five months.

Avoid sensitive areas and anywhere the skin is broken such as areas of skin rash, wounds, cuts, and infections.

Finish up with your regular shower.

After getting out of the shower, dry off vigorously and massage your skin with pure plant oils such as olive, avocado, apricot, almond, sesame, coconut, cocoa butter or one of the wonderful Vegalicious Body Creams I will talk to you about tomorrow.

Clean your skin brush using soap and water once a week.

NOTE: Any well designed program will take about 30 days to see and experience the changes. Please be patient and keep up the program! For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, perform skin brushing daily for a minimum of three months.


Now that you have learned all you can about Dry Brushing it is time to start applying the technique and benefit from it as much as possible.

As always, remember that a clean, unprocessed whole foods, plant-based diet is the best way to stay healthy. It is followed by a great exercise routine and affordable techniques such as Dry Brushing that can be done in the comfort of your… bathroom!

If you have thoughts on Dry Brushing, or have learned tricks to make it even more fun and enjoyable, do share right under this post.

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