Dry Skin Brushing

by lydia on February 21, 2012

I have been dry skin brushing for quite some time now. I have grown to love it and really look forward to it. Since I don’t shower every day I don’t dry brush as often as I’d like. I am considering trying to make it a daily habit because the benefits are so wonderful. In my studies through NTA, we are currently learning about detoxification of the body. Dry brushing is one way to help detoxify, so this practice is fresh on my radar. (I feel another month long challenge coming on – anyone interested?) In his book, ‘Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care‘, Bernard Jensen explains the benefits of dry skin brushing;

No soap can wash the skin as clean as the new skin that you have under the old. Our bodies make a new top layer of skin every 24 hours. Skin brushing removes the old top layer and lets this clean new layer come to the surface.

The skin is one of the five main elimination channels of the body, throwing off about two pounds of toxic material each day in the form of perspiration. The skin has been called the third kidney because of it’s ability to rid the body of toxic waste material. Do not hinder the skin by using oils, creams or other noxious glop that serves only to clog it in the name of beauty. Instead, see what regular skin brushing can do for you.

Skin brushing is accomplished using a natural-bristle brush with a long handle to reach those hard-to-get-at-places. The whole body (except the face) should be brushed one half hour after rising and prior to the morning bath or shower. You may wish to skin brush again before retiring for the night. Note the powder that comes off your skin as you brush. These are crystals of uric acid and other dried waste products that came out with the perspiration.

Always brush the skin when it is dry, and never expose the brush to water. Although the bristles may seem a bit stiff at first, this is because the brush is new and your skin is not yet used to the brushing. If you find the brush is too stiff, you may, just once, hold the bristles in hot water for no longer than one minute and no deeper than one-half inch. This will soften the bristles a little. However, it will not be long before you desire a stiffer brush! Your skin will love you for brushing it regularly, and you will love the way your skin feels and looks too.

How to Dry Brush Your Skin


Use a natural bristle brush about the size of your hand or larger.  The brush should have a long handle so you can reach all parts of your body.  If unable to find a natural bristle brush, satisfactory substitutes are a loofah mitt, or coarse bath gloves.

Tip:  It is advisable to start with a less harsh brush and brush gently at first, until the skin is “seasoned”; then switch to a coarser brush.

Starting with the soles of the feet, brush vigorously making rotary motions, and massage every part of your body.  Press brush against your body as much as you can comfortably stand.  Sensitivity of the skin varies with every individual.  Also, various parts of the body vary in sensitivity.  Brush in this order:  feet, legs, hands and arms, the back, abdomen, chest and neck, the face.

Here one of the dry skin brushes that I currently use. I also use this one to reach my back more easily (amazon affiliate links included).

How about you? Do you dry skin brush? What benefits have you received?


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ Delicious Obsessions February 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I’m down for a challenge – I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile. However, it won’t work for me in the mornings. I have to be to work at 7am, so I leave at 6:30am, and I’m sorry, but I just can’t work getting up a half hour earlier than I already do just so I can skin brush. If I do it at night only, does that at least help? On the weekends, I could do it for sure. So, I guess 3 out of 7 days, I could do it morning and evening. The other 4 days, I’d only be able to do it in the evenings.


lydia February 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Jessica – it only takes 2 minutes! It’s just a matter of getting naked and brush, brush, brush! But yeah, fit it in when you can, I don’t think the time of day matters too much, morning would likely be optimal. But doing it at all is better than not! Find a groove you like and do it girl! I’ll launch the challenge March 1st!


diane laganaro-nestor February 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I’m in. Orally oiled and dry brushed. Hope there’s nothing else I have to do.


Tammy Rodriguez February 22, 2012 at 8:12 am

already doin’ it!


Ann February 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

I can totally vouch for dry brushing. A wonderful help to your body’s detox pathway of the skin!

Great post! :)


Julie February 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

I have been dry brushing off and on, but I want to do it as my daily routine. I got my skin brush from Teresa Tapp’s website, ttapp.com. She recommends a slightly different order of brushing than you, but I think it still works. She claims that dry brushing is beneficial in eliminating cellulite. Thanks for the good advise about when to dry brush. I tend to do it at night after exercise and before showering, but maybe I should try the morning routine during the month of march and see how it works for me. One thing that hinders regular dry brushing for me is the cold winter months and hence the cold temperature of the bathroom. Brrrrr. I think I need to toughen up.


Lore February 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

I have had a dry brush for years and have done it on and off. I have the long handled brush that you are considering and I like it very much. I see a BIG difference in my skin when I do it regularly. I have dry skin. I was instructed to brush everything towards the heart but I don’t have any facts for that statement. I don’t do the bottoms of my feet or my face. I guesss I”ll have to take the challenge…


Starlene February 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Lydia, is the one you link to that you use the “less harsh” brush that you mentioned a person should start with? If not, is there another you recommend for a beginning? I have heard about dry brushing before, and I guess if it takes only two minutes then I should take two minutes each morning and at least try it. @Julie – we don’t run the heater except for a couple of days each winter (we’re in Arizona and it’s an “I’m not a wimp” thing in our household – I’m the only woman amongst my husband and our two sons) but I keep a small heater in the bathroom so that I’m not freezing every morning getting ready for work when it’s cold. Mine cost about $20 from Walmart. Thanks for writing about this, Lydia.


Joy at The Liberated Kitchen February 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I just started dry skin brushing last month on the advice of my naturopath. I’m really liking it. For me the thing I notice the most is that it helps with my sensory issues. I normally am so easily annoyed by all sorts of things.
I was doing great then kind of got forgetful about how good it made me feel and stopped being so consistent about it.
So I’m joining your challenge!


Sarah @NapClan February 29, 2012 at 12:46 am

I am so excited to see this article. I have heard of dry skin brushing before but never really had a chance to look into it. This would be a great habit I would love to start.

Is it good to do on my kids too? I think they would love it but just want to make sure there isn’t anything special I need to do. Thanks


Tracy March 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I started today. I also started the oil pulling. Can’t wait for even the slightest improvement….I sure need it.


Joan June 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

My husband and I both skin brush each morning upon arising. I have skin brushed for several years and he just started recently, motivated because my skin is so soft. We use Yerba skin brushes. I have noticed lately that my skin is much tighter than before and our skin together is amazing! I encourage all of my friends to brush and recently purchased a bunch of Yerba skin brushes as gifts for my friends.


kathy March 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I’ve been dry brushing for 2 weeks and have already noticed a change in skin softness. But the main reason is because of the slight rash or eczema on my face that has almost disappeared. In the beginning of this article it says don’t do the face, but the end stated doing the face last. I haven’t done my face. Should I?


Kay June 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I think you can do your face no problem. I do mine and love my skin now!


Kay June 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

My brush is starting to look really dark and dirty. How do I clean it?


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