Detox with Dry Brushing

Detox with Dry Brushing

Your skin is your largest organ and keeping this important real estate clean and debris-free could be essential to your overall health. Dry brushing is the daily practice of doing basically what it says, sweeping your dry skin with a brush.

Like many traditional remedies, thousand year old observational studies will have to do as there is little scientific evidence that proves or even disproves the effects of dry brushing. Yet, millions benefit from this simple, ancient practice and so can you.

A Cultural Way

Cultures from all over the globe have incorporated dry brushing into their daily health regiment.

Mother Earth Living reports that,

“Dry skin brushing has been practiced by many cultures for centuries, from ancient Greeks to Native Americans, to remove dead skin. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, dry brushing (garshana) was completed every morning, prior to bathing, to stimulate blood circulation.”

The Bristled Accouterment

Using the proper dry brush is essential. It is recommended to choose a natural bristle brush with a long handle. Many basic shower brushes work, but make sure the bristles are not synthetic as they won’t be as beneficial in being applied to your skin. A long wooden handle is also important as the natural material coincides with the natural bristle, plus the extended handle length helps with hard to reach places.

Health Enhancements

Dry brushing can be beneficial to so many aspects of health. Some of these include:

  • Stimulating the lymphatic system – The lymphatic system is responsible for ridding the body of toxins. Light dry brushing opens many ducts, vessels and nodes that may otherwise take time to remove toxins.
  • Exfoliating skin – Dry brushing helps loosen and remove dead skin cells that would normally slough off your body over time. However, brushing expedites this process allowing for healthier skin “breathing” and enhancing softer more supple skin.
  • Helping the body rid itself of toxins – Stimulation of the lymphatic system helps remove toxins that may take longer to excrete without brushing. This detox process is an excellent adjunct to an internal detox program.
  • Increasing circulation – With the recent testament, “sitting is the new smoking” circulation is a major concern. By dry brushing daily you can increase circulation and enhance overall health.
  • Increasing energy – Through increased circulation and detoxification, inevitably, energy could strengthen especially when a healthy diet and exercise program is implemented as well.
  • Helping to break down cellulite – There is no evidence that dry brushing will rid you of cellulite but as dead skin cells are removed, circulation increases and skin appears softer cellulite may, according to many anecdotal accounts, lessen.

Doing It

Implementing dry brushing into your daily routine is as easy as brushing your teeth. Actually, it’s easier as it requires nothing but you and your dry brush with no additional creams, oils, soaps or anything else needed.

Mother Earth Living lists the best approach:

  • Choose a natural-bristled brush, and consider one with a long handle to help you get hard-to-reach places, such as the back.
  • Start at the feet and move upward, toward the head, using a circular motion, brushing toward the heart to increase blood and lymph flow.
  • Dry brush prior to bathing, preferably in the morning as this practice has been known to deliver a boost of energy.
  • Avoid areas with wounds, rashes or other sensitivities.
  • There is no need to brush too hard. Your skin should be a healthy pink after brushing not a deep red or presenting a sting.
  • Replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. Also, washing the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells is recommended.


Although dry brushing is not a research supported practice it just may be something that, regardless of scientific studies, surprisingly enhances your health. It is inexpensive, easy to do, and an excellent addition to many other body awareness and optimal health activities such as massage, acupuncture and yoga. Treat your skin the way it should be treated, as a vital organ that is front and center when it comes to the many daily onslaughts of everyday living. Then, dry brush it everyday to give your skin the attention it really needs.