Dry Brushing Skin: 7 Easy Techniques

How to dry brush skin.

Dry brushing is a practice that has become quite popular in mainstream media ever since Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned the technique on her lifestyle and wellness website, Goop.

Although Goop has been the source that brought dry brushing to the attention of today’s generation, this is an age-old practice that has its roots in Ayurveda.

How to Dry Brush Skin? 7 Simple and Easy Ways for You!

Ayurvedic medicines
Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2017.

Also called Garshana, which is Sanskrit for friction by rubbing, dry brushing has been used not only for exfoliation of the skin but also for facilitating easy blood flow, helping lymphatic drainage, eliminating toxins, and reducing cellulite, among other health benefits.

Avail the benefits of this ayurvedic medicine by knowing the methods to dry brush the skin below!

What do you need to Dry Brush?

Dry brushes
Photo by Monstera on Pexels. Copyrighted 2021.

Dry brushing is a treatment you can get at spas, but it is very easy to do in the comfort of your own home, with half the cost that a spa may charge you. There is no need to buy fancy tools for this, you only need a dry brush and get started.

Try to go with a natural fibre bristle brush with a long handle for dry brushing your body.

A long handle makes it easy for you to reach all the parts of your body, especially harder-to-reach areas like the back. Using a softer brush is advised for people with dry skin.

The facial skin is more sensitive than that of the rest of the body, so dry brushing of the face should be done with utmost care. Use a small dry brush with soft bristles and refrain from using a thick, coarse bristle brush on the face.

Who Should Stay Away from Dry Brushing?

Dry Hands with wrinkles.
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2020.

Like any other skincare practice, dry brushing will only work for some. We all have different skin types and skin concerns. While dry brushing can be a boon for people with normal to oily skin, it could be a little harsh for people with dry skin.

If people with dry skin still want to try dry brushing, they can use a different brush with softer bristles and apply coconut oil to help the brush glide better.

But if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated very quickly and suffers from conditions like Rosacea, Eczema, and Psoriasis, you must stay away from a dry brush at all costs.

People who have an open wound or pimple on the places where they are thinking of dry brushing, should not do it until the skin heals completely from said wound or pimple.

This is because a dry brush can aggravate the wound and prevent it from healing quickly.

How to Dry Brush Skin?

Dry brushing is not a scientific practice, so there is no rule book that you need to follow while brushing the skin.

The process is customizable from person to person, you can add or remove certain steps according to your preference.

There is surely a process to dry brushing that you should be aware of so you can do it right. Here is how to dry brush skin properly.

1. Dry Brush Before Shower

It is called ‘Dry Brushing’ because the skin needs to be completely dry when you start brushing it. Dry brushing removes a lot of dead skin cells.

They can be washed down the drain, or in the shower. Using the dry brush on wet skin will give a different effect. That is why people prefer to use their dry brush before showering.

2. Body Oils with Dry Brushing

Body Oils
Photo by Chelsea Shapouri on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2019.

Originally, there is no mention of using oils before dry brushing but many people with dry or sensitive skin like to have a buffer between the brush and their skin, which the oil provides.

So, it is completely up to you whether you want to use body oils with your dry brush. Do what suits your skin type.

3. Brush Towards the Lymph Nodes

There are a bunch of lymph nodes under the collarbones, the armpits, the naval area, and on the undersides of our thighs. One should brush toward these lymph nodes to facilitate the flow of lymph fluid and facilitate lymphatic drainage.

This is why people start from the toes and brush upward to the insides of the thighs when brushing their legs. Brushing away from the nodes is different from how to dry brush skin.

4. Use Circular Motions Around Sensitive Areas

While dry brushing on the areas like the armpits, stomach, and undersides of the thighs, use gentle, circular motions in the clockwise direction.

On the rest of the areas of the body, use light strokes and work upward in the direction of the lymphatic system, this improves blood circulation.

While doing this, some mild redness is expected because blood comes to the surface facilitating collagen production and faster cell turnover.

5. Pay Extra Attention to Elbows and Knees

Elbows and Knees with freckles.
Photo by Lucaxx Freire on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2017.

Dry brushing removes dead skin cells, which makes the skin of these areas softer and less dry over time. Some areas, like the elbows, knees, and the heels of the feet, are generally drier than the rest of the body.

While dry brushing, pay extra attention to these areas by gliding the brush across them a couple more times.

6. Be Gentle with The Brush

While dry brushing, one thing to keep in mind is that we are not scrubbing the skin with the brush; we are merely brushing it in gentle strokes.

Being too aggressive with the brush will harm the skin more than good. Being harsh or going over the same area too often can cause irritated skin, cuts, and bristle burns. 

7. Dry Brush in The Morning

Many people prefer skin brushing in the morning because dry brushing has energizing qualities on top of other superb qualities like exfoliation, regulating the lymphatic system, promoting new cell formation, and taking care of cellulite.

Some claim that increased circulation and lymph node massages eliminate toxins, and dry brushing wakes up the body.


Body oil
Photo by Ramez E. Nassif on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2018.

After the whole process, you can take a nice hot shower to rinse away all the dead skin that may have shed during dry brushing.

After the wash, you can put on body lotion, and pay extra attention to the legs and arms because they get dry easily. After lotion, if you want to seal in the hydration, you can go in with body oil and massage the body.

The Benefits of Dry Brushing

The proponents of dry brushing claim that there are various benefits of dry brushing. The increasing number of people using dry brushes, from supermodels like Miranda Kerr to Lymphedema therapists, is doing something right.

Although there is no scientific evidence, some possible benefits of dry brushing are-

1. Exfoliation

Dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate the skin and eliminate all the dead skin that could have shed off.

Once the dead skin is removed, the skin feels so much softer, and any products you apply on the top sink in better, like lotion.

2. Reduced Cellulite

People claim to see a difference in the appearance of their cellulite since dry brushing the areas that have them.

Again, no scientific evidence proves this claim to be true, but if you want help with your cellulite, you can try dry brushing.

3. Smooth Skin

bare feet in the water
Photo by Anelya Okapova on Unsplash. Copyrighted 2020.

Skin brushing brings the blood to the surface; this rapid blood circulation promotes more collagen production, which is responsible for rapid cell turnover.

New skin cells that resurface after dry brushing are softer and smoother than the old skin cells that were removed through dry brushing. That’s how dry brushing gives you smooth skin.

4. Lymphatic Drainage

By massaging the nodes with the skin brush, you are helping the flow of lymph fluids. This facilitates lymphatic drainage and ensures that the lymphatic system works well.

This reduces any puffiness and swelling and makes you appear toned.

What Not to Do While Dry Brushing?

Now that you know how to dry brush your skin, it is time to know what not to do while you are dry brushing.

1. Harsh Dry Brushing

Aside from the potential benefits of dry brushing, there can be drawbacks if you put too much pressure on your bristled brush while brushing.

The bristles are already working to exfoliate the skin; by adding pressure, they could scratch the skin and make it sensitive and raw.

2. Dry Brushing on Wounds and Pimples

Dry brushing on top of cuts, bruises, wounds, or pimples can make the situation worse because it takes the bacteria from the problem areas and spreads it around, this can cause infection.

The bacteria from other body parts, trapped in the brush, can cause wound infections and pimples.

3. Dry Brushing with Eczema, Rosacea, and Psoriasis

Certain skin types may not work well with dry brushing. If your skin is dry, dry brushing can exaggerate the dryness.

Frequent dry brushing by any skin type can make their skin dry. Also, people with eczema, rosacea and psoriasis, and other skin problems must stay away from dry brushing altogether .

How to Clean the Bristles?

Cleaning the brush bristles is very easy and very important. All you need to do is put some gentle soap or makeup brush cleaner on the bristles and clean them under warm water.

If you want to go a step further, add a couple of drops of disinfectant like Dettol or Savlon, and let the brush soak in the solution, face down, for 10 minutes.

After the brush has soaked in the solution for the stipulated period, take it out and wash the brush under clean water.

Final Note: Dry Brush Skin

Dry brushing is a great self-care technique that takes only a little time out of your busy day. It can exfoliate, promote elasticity, and a whole host of benefits we have discussed already.

Now that you know how to dry brush skin from the step-by-step guide that we gave you, we hope you will try it out and let us know how you like it.

In case you liked this article, here is something more for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is dry brushing good for your skin?

In the exfoliation process, dry brushing clears clogged pores. Also, it aids in the skin’s detoxification process by enhancing blood flow and encouraging lymphatic drainage.

2. How many times a week should you dry brush your skin?

Overbrushing could undo all the good things you’re doing for your skin, which is the very last thing you want to do. To see and feel improvements, either once or twice a week ought to be adequate.

3. Is it good to dry brush your skin every day?

Although dry body brushing is safe to do every day, it is definitely not advised.



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