Why You Should Start Dry Brushing Your Body Every Morning

The one reason I will brush my body head to toe every day from here on out.


Long-handled brush is crucial. | Shutterstock.

“Do you dry brush?”

This was what my sister asked me the other day, as casually as one might ask whether or not you floss. My eyes almost rolled out of my head. What are you supposed to brush? And when did “dry brush” become a verb? (Turns out, a few years ago, when Miranda Kerr mentioned that she did it.) The health benefits sounded too good to be true: lymphatic drainage, increased energy, immunity boost, firmer skin. Then my sister mentioned ‘cellulite breakup,’ and I was in. One trip to Rite Aid and a few days later, here’s what I discovered.

What it is: Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like – gently brushing your dry skin.

Why it works: According Penny Ordway, Eviama Life Spa owner and naturopath enthusiast, the technique is based on the idea that we used to run naked through the woods foraging for food, with branches and leaves naturally brushing our bodies, exfoliating and bringing blood flow closer to the surface of the skin. Nowadays, we lead a more sedentary lifestyle, which leads to a host of problems including cellulite buildup and poor blood circulation, sticky issues that can cause digestive issues, a weak immune system, dry and blemished skin, even memory loss. Gulp. Skincare experts confirm that dry brushing increases lymphatic drainage, a procedure that removes the stagnant toxins in the body that eat away at connective tissue and cause cellulite. Lymph circulation throughout the body will speed up your internal detox process, boosting your immunity and energy over all so you can fight off those scary issues that come with the sedentary life.

How to do it:  Always use a natural, not synthetic, bristle brush, preferably with a detachable long handle like mine (not quite the same as forest twigs but whatever). Gently sweep the skin in strokes towards your heart. Pro tip: Dry brush in the tub or shower to catch the, um, fallout. Avoid the face, but be sure to exfoliate there in other ways.

Okay. But does it actually work? The first thing I noticed: Dead skin cells came off in a big way. The brush’s rough bristles made my skin flush instantly and start to tingle after a few seconds, definite signs of blood circulation. The greatest part? The insane energy boost I got. I first tried dry brushing right before bed. Big mistake. I usually fall asleep immediately, but after dry brushing, I lay awake for about an hour, restless with the urge to be productive.

For this reason alone, I am a dry brush convert, except it’s now part of my morning routine. Penny also pointed out that the body actively cleanses at night (that’s why you sometimes wake up with gross phlegm), so dry brushing in the morning gives the lymphatic system one final push to flush out your body’s cellular toxins and start the day right.

I’m pretty jazzed about this natural, easy technique to exfoliate and firm my skin, boost my immunity, and help me say no to that morning coffee.