dry brushing
Photography courtesy of The Detox Market

Are You Dry Brushing Yet? Here’s Why You Should

In preparation for winter, we break down the benefits of dry brushing and how to do it safely and effectively.

Here’s an icebreaker question for you: Do you dry brush your body? Unorthodox as it may seem, of all the skincare fads you may partake in because the internet told you to, dry brushing should *actually* be one of them. So here’s another question: What are you waiting for?

Come winter and its frigid, drying temperatures, our skin is exposed to an abundance of unwelcome yet unavoidable threats. Which means there is much to be done in order to nurture and protect it — cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing. Maybe the occasional massage. Well, this is your sign to make room for dry brushing in your regimen, because this practice is the extra step that delivers revitalized winter-proof skin.


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This sensory act of self-care is co-signed by celebrities with stakes in the wellness space like Goop mogul Gwyneth Paltrow and supermodel Miranda Kerr, not to mention aesthetician to the stars Joanna Vargas, whose clientele includes Vanessa Hudgens and Tessa Thompson. “Dry brushing is my favourite method of body exfoliation because it’s multitasking: it’s actually incredible as a cellulite treatment, it increases blood flow and it dramatically increases elasticity, so it’s great for lifting and toning a problem area,” Vargas told New Beauty earlier this year.

For the lowdown on how to buff your way to smoother skin one stroke at a time and why you should start dry brushing, read on.

What is dry brushing?

Simply put, dry body brushing is an energizing and detoxifying skincare ritual with cultural roots that date back to ancient Ayurvedic history. A common practice in Ayurveda, the natural system of medicine that originated in India thousands of years ago, dry brushing is also known as garshana, which translates from ancient Sanskrit to “friction by rubbing.” It involves using a body brush in firm strokes and circular motions on dry skin, upwards from your feet to your neck.

@sruthi.jayadevan Have you tried dry brushing? #ayurveda #morningroutine #wellnesstok #healthyliving ♬ original sound – sruthijayadevan

What does dry brushing do? 

This act of dry brushing one’s skin is beneficial for several convincing reasons, from increasing blood circulation to encouraging lymphatic flow. Working also as an exfoliant, dry brushing improves skin texture and can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Most of all, it’s a near-therapeutic experience that feels good for both the body and the mind. Taking five to ten minutes of me time to participate in invigorating body brushing provides necessary time to reset and detox.

@oseamalibu Dry Brushing 101 ✨ #oseamalibu #drybrushing #drybrushingroutine #drybrushingtechnique #drybrushingforcellulite #undariaalgaebodyoil #undariaalgaeoil ♬ wash – favsoundds

How do I use a dry brush? 

To embark on your exploration into dry brushing, you’ll want to shop for a natural fibre body brush — like this long-handled one, this viral plant-based handheld brush from OSEA, or this dry brush from The Detox Market that can be used handheld or with the long removable handle attached. To reap the best circulation benefits, you want to brush dry, bare skin, starting at your feet, and brush in upward motions towards the heart. Around your joints, work in circular motions and brush in a clockwise direction around the stomach, as per Goop’s guide. You can work this step into your self-care routine, either before you step into the shower or afterwards if you’d like to use a few drops of body oil along with your brush. Keep in mind that this is a refreshing and energizing practice, which could mean you’ll opt to start your mornings with this technique instead of brushing before bed. When you’ve completed these steps, follow up with your favourite moisturizer to lock in all your skincare efforts.

What should I not to do when dry brushing? 

Our skin is delicate and in this case it’s also dry, so you’ll need to exercise caution when brushing. Avoid scrubbing vigorously, and remember that this should be a relaxing and beneficial supplemental step in your skincare routine — not working against you to cause micro-tears or irritation. Brush firmly but gently, and steer clear of any brushes that may be too hard or stiff. Lastly, be wary of over-brushing. Depending on your skin type and its sensitivities, you may want to engage in this wellness exercise daily (following Vargas and Kerr’s footsteps) or simply one to two times a week, if your skin is more sensitive.

With your new dry brush in hand and five minutes to spare, we hope you take a little time to connect with your mind and body as you uncover a plump new layer of skin, and a new you.