How & Why to Dry Brush |
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How & Why to Dry Brush

Sarena-Rae Santos October 7, 2022

By Sarena-Rae Santos, contributing writer

Dry brushing is something I learned about a few years back, and I absolutely love how I feel when I am consistent. I found dry brushing helped with my energy levels, lymphatic congestion, and swelling, made my skin feel nicer, and I even got a closer shave. 

Whether you’re looking to improve physical health or looks, chances are, dry brushing can help.

4 Key Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing helps exfoliate the skin into a smoother state while providing an array of benefits not just for the appearance of your skin but also for your overall health and well-being, especially when practiced consistently. Dry brushing helps stimulate and encourage lymphatic drainage by using a coarse, natural-fiber bristle brush to brush the skin, stimulate blood flow and help the body release toxins (1).

#1: Exfoliates The Skin and Improves Skin’s Appearance

Have you ever gotten out of the shower, scratched your arm, and had a bunch of dead skin under your nails? That’s because you’re not exfoliating often enough. When you’re showering, you should wash away all those dead skin cells, and the best way to do that is by dry brushing before getting in the shower.

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin by using several methods, in this case, an exfoliation tool (2). Gently brushing your skin with an exfoliating tool such as a dry brush is a form of physical exfoliation that removes these dead skin cells and leaves the skin looking and feeling smoother with a youthful glow (3).

#2: Increases Blood Circulation & Energy

Dry brushing helps detoxify and encourage lymphatic drainage by increasing blood circulation (4). There is no scientific proof that dry brushing is energizing, but many people feel invigorated and energized after a dry brushing session (5), myself included. Maybe it’s the extra self-care, or perhaps it’s the increased blood circulation, but something about dry brushing helps energize me, so I’m sure not to dry brush too late in the day.

#3: May Help Break Down Cellulite

Cellulite is a skin condition that causes lumpy, dimpled flesh to accumulate on the thighs, hips, butt, and abdomen (6). Some say cellulite occurs due to built-up toxins in the body, usually made worse by poor body circulation (7). The improvement of blood circulation may be why some people successfully break down cellulite after dry brushing compared to the assumption that it’s due to a temporary skin texture change after exfoliation (8). Still, maybe it’s only temporary because we live in a toxin-filled world, and toxins end up back in our bodies just as fast as we rid them.

#4: Encourages Lymphatic Drainage, Stimulates The Lymphatic System & Detoxes The Body

It’s important to recognize signs of lymphatic congestion. Lymphatic congestion or dysfunction occurs when the lymphatic system stops flowing correctly, leading to many health problems due to the buildup of toxins in the body (9).

Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion

Lymphatic congestion can cause an array of issues and isn’t always easy to identify, but some symptoms of lymphatic congestion may be:

  • Skin changes
  • Skin discoloration
  • Blisters
  • Fluid leaking from the skin
  • Fluid retention
  • Feeling heavy or tight
  • Infections
  • Limited range of movement
  • Problems breathing
  • Problems swallowing
  • Problems talking
  • Drooling
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Chills (10)

Dry brushing is an ancient technique to help detoxify the body by pumping the lymph system and helping move those toxins that typically cannot be transported and eliminated out of the body. The buildup of toxins in the body often results in swelling, skin issues, cellulite, and a weakened immune system (11).

How To Properly Dry Brush

Dry brushing is popular for both lymphatic health and exfoliation. This is where you use soft bristles to brush all over your body. The gentle but brisk movement helps encourage the flow of the lymphatic system. Dry brushing is discussed in great detail in the What No One Tells You About Hormone Balance guide, but here are the steps to get you started:

Step 1: Get a Dry Brush

Start by ordering a dry brush. I also recommend a soft bristle toothbrush for the underarm area.

Step 2: Put Down a Towel

After you gather your supplies to start dry brushing, ensure you are over the bathtub or a towel and completely dry and nude.

Step 3: Start at the Feet

Start at the feet and brush the bottoms of the feet before moving up the legs in long strokes first, then short strokes. Brush each section 5-10 times before moving to the next area of skin. Remember, you’re supposed to be brushing towards the heart, where the lymphatic system drains. You should apply slight pressure but not so much as you break the skin. Your skin may turn a little pink, but it should never be red, stinging, or broken.

Step 4: Dry Brush the Legs & Arms

You can move to the arms when you completely dry brush both legs. Repeat the same process of long strokes followed by short strokes starting at the palms and hands before working up the entire extremity. Again, be sure to brush each section 5-10 times before moving to the next area of skin.

Step 5: Dry Brush the Underarms

After you’ve dry brushed your arms and legs, you will want to dry brush the underarms with the recommended soft bristle toothbrush in a circular clockwise motion.

Step 6: Dry Brush the Stomach, Abdomen & Back

After you’ve dry brushed your underarms, you’ll want to follow the same steps for the stomach, followed by the abdomen and back but use the regular dry brush on these body areas.

Step 7: Use a Jade Roller on the Face & Neck

The entire dry brushing session should take about 10 minutes if done correctly. Be sure to avoid dry brushing the face; use a jade roller for the face and neck area.

Step 8: Shower

After completing your dry brushing session, you should get into the shower to rinse and wash away all the dead skin cells from your dry brushing session.

Step 9: Lymphatic Cream

Lastly, and most importantly, follow up with Earthley’s Lymphatic Cream. This lotion gently encourages drainage, reduces soreness, and improves overall wellness. Great for detox, pesky drainage, and pain related to allergies, colds, and even lymphatic congestion.

⚠️ These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.

Have you ever tried dry brushing?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos is the founder of The Holistic Hipppie blog, dedicated to natural health and plant-based eating. Her journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.
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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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