How to Dry Body Brush

Dry body brushing is more than just a passing fad. It exfoliates and helps with cellulite too. Here’s how to do it.

Dry body brushing is one of those things you always read about in magazine articles, but have probably wondered if it actually works, or if it’s just another “magic” beauty thing that’s all hype and no substance. Well here’s the thing about dry body brushing: it’s not new at all. In fact it’s been around for centuries, used by the Greeks, Native Americans and Japanese people as an important part of the bathing ritual. In Ayurveda it’s called Garshana and is as common as brushing your teeth. 

However, just like other ancient wellness practices like gua sha and jade rolling it’s resurfaced with gusto over the last decade because we’ve realised just how good it is for you.  Here’s how and why you should incorporate dry body brushing into your daily routine.


The benefits of dry body brushing:

Where do we start? There are just so many! The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it makes sense that we need to keep it in top shape. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • It exfoliates: Dry body brushing will slough off the dead skill cells, which makes way for the new cells. This in turn will make skin feel softer and glowier and make it more receptive to moisturising creams.


  • It detoxifies: The action of dry body brushing, just like any massage, actually increases the circulation of blood through your body, which helps with lymph flow and aids in the body’s natural detoxification process. 


  • It helps create a smooth base for fake tan: By eliminating dead skin cells, your fake tan will apply easier, smoother, and will not “catch” on dry parts of the skin, meaning you’ll have the best fake tan ever.


  • It may help reduce the appearance of cellulite: The stimulation caused by the dry brushing will help distribute fat deposits and tighten the skin which may reduce the appearance of cellulite.


  • It stimulates the nervous system: The increase of circulation stimulates the nerve endings which will invigorate the nervous system (and make you feel great too).


  • It stimulates oil glands: Yes, this is something you want. Because these glands are responsible for the protection of the skin, and its suppleness.


  • It’s perfect for those suffering water retention: If you’ve just taken a long flight, this will sort you right out!



Before you brush:

If you’re sold on the idea of dry body brushing (and let’s be honest, with those benefits, who isn’t?) there’s a few things to know before you jump right in. We spoke to Rebecca Gaspert, owner of Bodecare who specialise in pure plant bristle dry body brushes to give her best tips: 


Avoid inflamed skin: 

Any active inflammation including eczema, inflamed sores, varicose veins, sunburn and open wounds should be avoided as this will increase irritation.


If you have cancer, do not brush: 

This includes enlarged lymph nodes and anyone in an active cancer state.


Bypass breasts and genitals: 

Avoid these extra-sensitive areas that can be irritated easily.


If pregnant, get your doctor’s OK: 

Each pregnancy is unique and it’s best to check with your doctor before you proceed.


Expect a flush

Slight skin reddening (called erythema) is normal when you brush as you are stimulating the blood circulation. However, if it is painful or an allergic reaction occurs, stop immediately and seek the advice of your healthcare professional before you resume.


Remember to wash your brush! 

It is a form of exfoliation, which removes dead skin cells from the body. Therefore washing regularly is essential to clean the brush of these cells.


How to use a Dry Body Brush:

Ready to brush? Here is a simple guide to get you started.


  1. Choose your tool: 

Of course it’s called dry body brushing, so one would assume you need to use a brush.  They can be soft, medium or firm, and should be preferably made of natural bristles, and chosen according to your needs (ie: targeting cellulite or circulation) and also be suited to your skin type (sensitive skins will need a softer bristle). Ones with a long handle are great for hard-to-reach places (like your back) but the smaller, handheld ones offer more control.


  1. Do it in the morning, before you shower: 

This is the dry component. You brush dry (and free from lotions) because that’s how the exfoliation works, and it’s typically done in the morning so you can shower off the dead skin cells after and it both stimulates and energizes the body. It’s also the optimal time to flush the skin of all the waste that sleep helped to heal. 


  1. Go from the ground up: 

Following ayurvedic tradition, you should always start at the soles of your feet and brush in an upward motion towards the heart (for best circulation). Use long, medium-firm strokes, and do the body in sections, each side at a time. When it comes to the joints, bum and the stomach, use circular, clockwise motions. Increase the pressure on thicker skin, and be gentler on more sensitive areas. When it comes to the neck, start at the back, brushing towards the front of the face. 


  1. Moisturise: 

Post-shower your skin will be in it’s most optimal condition for moisturiser. The fresh exfoliation will leave skin cells able to hold moisture better, and it will need to be replenished after the rigorous workout. Plus, while your skin is still slightly damp, moisture from a lotion will be able to penetrate better, and trap the moisture in for longer-lasting skin hydration.

And now, you officially have the perfect fake tan base! So whip out your The Bronzer Self Tanner, and marvel at how long your natural fake tan lasts.

Your Cart