Skin Brushing: Benefits & How-To (It's a Miracle Trick!)


The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

How to detox, boost your skin health, get rid of cellulite, and improve your wellbeing in less than 10 minutes per day using dry skin brushing.


A little-known secret for skin beauty and well-being is being rediscovered today, and it’s called Skin Brushing. Dry Skin Brushing (also known as Body Brushing) is a centuries-old practice that is very simple and powerful. A number of supermodels, celebrity actresses, spa owners and editors are in love with it and more are learning about it every day.

The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

It is simple and fast to do and its benefits are overwhelming.

I came across about it some years ago when studying Ayurvedic information, and fell in love with the way it made my skin feel and glow. I also started to look forward to the happy and energetic feelings of well-being it gave me each morning! It’s been proven to reduce cellulite, help your body to detox, and improve the condition of both your immune system and skin.

What Exactly Is Skin Brushing, Anyhow?

It’s simply brushing your absolutely dry skin (entire body except your face) in a specific motion to support skin renewal; to stimulate the lymphatic system (which in turn helps the immune, nervous and digestive systems); to aid in the removal of toxins; to exfoliate; and to give you a sense of well-being.

Dry brushing is one of the easiest techniques you can add to your daily regime (5 to 10 minutes daily) for the most impact. Although many of us are very busy and over-extended, just know that every minute counts. It is often hard to add something new to your schedule, especially if it is complicated or the benefits aren’t all that obvious. But Skin Brushing doesn’t fall into this category!

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Your Skin

Skin is fascinating. It is forever shedding, renewing and regenerating itself as our largest body organ. Skin is also the largest organ of elimination and responsible for ridding our bodies of about one-third of toxins daily. Our skin is semi-permeable, and the pores should be kept clear for healthy functioning. As we age, we are less able to throw off those dead cells and toxins, and this can make skin look dull and create a burden on the body and other organs. Healthy exfoliation at all ages helps to optimize skin, allowing it to glow and function well.

The fact that younger models are in love with Skin Brushing shows it is not just an anti-aging practice. Skin Brushing is your new secret strategy for better skin, less cellulite, and a healthier body overall.

The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

But Benefits are Not Just for the Skin!

In addition to optimizing skin, there are additional benefits to Skin Brushing that are quite powerful.

Skin Brushing Helps Boost Blood Circulation. This helps deliver important nutrients through the body and gives our circulatory system a nice assist.

Skin Brushing Aids the Lymphatic System. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no natural pump. It relies on movement, exercise, massage or Skin Brushing to move the toxins and lymph along to drain. Skin Brushing aids the lymphatic system, which helps support a strong immune system.

Skin Brushing Can Reduce Cellulite – or Keep it Away. Skin Brushing helps break down the accumulated toxins of cellulite and improve circulation to affected areas. It really helps!

Skin Brushing is Invigorating and a Mood Enhancer. It is a clear aid in stress management. You gain a great sense of well-being after brushing.

The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

A Little History

Skin Brushing and similar forms of exfoliation have been practiced for thousands of years by ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Romans, Indian Ayurvedics, the Japanese and several Native American Indian tribes. Christopher Lepisto, N.D., wrote that Hippocrates demonstrated skin brushing in Greece at the medical school, explaining to brush towards the heart for blood flow, exfoliation and better health.

Athletes in ancient Greece used skin scrapers to improve their circulation and remove toxins from the skin after competitions. Greek citizens – and later Romans who loved their communal baths – would sometimes brush or scrape their skin in preparation for bathing. For centuries the Japanese also used Skin Brushing to ready themselves for traditional hot baths.

The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

Skin Brushing was lost in the medieval ages (cleansing, bathing and attention to the “sinful” body took a nosedive in those centuries.) Fast forward to the 19th Brushing resurfaced in North America. In 1896, an American longevity researcher named F.O. Havens, wrote a book “The Possibility of Living 200 Years” and he writes of three centenarians who Skin Brushed each day. He wrote: “The following directions are adapted to nearly all conditions of life, and if persisted in, will be found sufficient to keep the skin in perfect condition: Before retiring, rub the body vigorously with skin brush, hair glove or rough towel until the blood is brought to the surface.”

Today, models and actresses rave about it. In fact, many celebrities have recently been quoted in magazines talking about the benefits, including: Salma Hayek, Miranda Kerr, Stacey Keibler, and Molly Sims. More spas and wellness centers are adding it every month. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time!

Miranda Kerr says: “You can do it before or after a shower, I like to do it after the shower. It makes your skin super smooth.”

The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look Incredible

How to Skin Brush

First, use a brush with natural bristles only – never use synthetic bristles which can damage skin. The bristles should be firm enough to do the job and not too soft. Most people like to dry brush every morning (though it’s perfectly fine at night or anytime!) You may want to stand in your shower or tub so that dry cells can be washed down the drain. While there are some varying techniques and detox systems with no “hard and fast rules”, the typical technique we suggest is:

1) ALWAYS brush on absolutely dry skin (before moisturizing).

2) ALWAYS brush towards the heart. This is for proper aid to the circulatory system and lymphatic system.

3) Brush with medium length strokes that are firm but not so hard that it hurts. Brushing should feel good! If you brush too lightly, it will be ineffectual. If you have sensitive skin, you may see a little blush after your first brushings.

4) Typically start at your feet and work your way up, brushing everywhere except the face.

5) You can brush your body in about 5 minutes, but some like to take longer – that is OK.

6) DON’T brush over open sores, of course!

7) DON’T share your Skin Brush with others. This can cause spreading of infections or disease.

8) Drink a full glass of water after brushing (or after your shower), and apply a natural body oil or cream to hydrate and nourish.

We suggest starting with lighter strokes (especially if you have sensitive skin) but work up to nice firm strokes. However, it should NEVER hurt. Spend a little extra time on thicker areas (think elbows, heels) and lymph-node rich areas (think inner thighs and armpits).

Here’s a simple video tutorial:

How-To: Face Brushing

The skin on the face is more delicate and requires a slightly different technique. What are some differences between brushing the face and the body?

  • The Miracle Trick That Will Make Your Skin Look IncredibleFace Brushing is done less often than Body Brushing. Dry, aging and normal skin can benefit from 1-2 face brushings per week, while oily skin can benefit from 3 brushings per week. You should NOT dry brush on open sores, cuts or open blemishes (but blackheads & whiteheads OK).
  • Use lighter strokes than Body Brushing. Because the facial skin is more delicate, more exposed and thinner, especially under and around the eyes, you should proceed with a very light touch. Never pull or stretch at skin, either.
  • The tool is smaller. The Face Brush should have natural bristles but the tool is smaller and finer for the face.
  • Direction of strokes. With Body Brushing, we always brush towards the heart in firm strokes that should feel invigorating. But brushing the face is different. Sublime Beauty® offers a downloadable guide with illustrations.

Caveat: Do NOT use your brush in combination with a peel or manual exfoliate – it will be too harsh for skin. We personally recommend that you wait at least a week after doing any sort of chemical peel to be safe.

Keep Up Skin Brushing on Your Vacation for Strong Immune System

When you travel, your diet and schedule may be off, you may be in a new climate, you may not drink enough water, and you may be exposed to new germs and bacteria – a plane ride alone can do this! Keep up your brushing routine while away to help support your lymphatic system!

Fast, effective, inexpensive and simple – what’s not to love about healthy Skin Brushing? It’s is as important as brushing your teeth and hair. Are you Skin Brushing yet?

Kathy Heshelow is the founder of Sublime Beauty®, a quality skincare company that focuses on products and techniques to “Age Younger”. A niche includes healthy Skin Brushes. She has just published a book on natural Phytoceramides. Heshelow lived in Paris for 16 years, where she observed wonderful skin care practices and attitudes.

Reader Discussion: 38 Comments

  1. Francis Lockwood

    I can’t explain why but dry brushing always gives me a natural energy boost. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night but it is great in the morning. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy. Either way, dry brushing is part of my morning routine.

  2. Jenny Permel

    I am obsessed with dry brushing and have been doing it for years! I try to turn every one I know on to it because it really is life changing. This was a super helpful post with tons of good info for convincing the skeptics to try it out! More people need to be doing this and this post will totally get the word out there!

    • Kathy Heshelow

      Thanks Jenny! I am obsessed with Skin Brushing too, and am so glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. Chiara Hill

    I’m glad you wrote this article. I don’t think many people know about dry skin brushing and its benefits. My doctor suggested it to me about 2 years due to detox issues. This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathy Heshelow

      Thanks so much Chiara! I am trying to spread the word to more people about the fantastic practice of Skin Brushing, and am so glad you found it helpful!!

  4. Sarah Ubitel

    Super interesting that this technique goes all the way back to the ancient Greek/Roman days. I remember my parents doing this when I was a kid and thinking it was silly. I’m gonna try it out, hope it doesn’t hurt, I’m kinda sensitive ; )

  5. Lulia Jan

    Thanks so much for this! I started dry brushing about a year ago and I LOVE it. As a holiday gift, I made up a nice little gift basket for my mom with a dry brush, homemade body scrubs, body washes, body butters, oils, etc. because her skin gets so dry in the winter. She absolutely LOVES it too! My skin and body thanks me each time I do it:)

    • Kathy Heshelow

      Fantastic! So glad you have discovered Skin Brushing – and shared it with your mom! 🙂

  6. Issabbell Symon

    I have dry brushed in the past and have been thinking that I should add that back into my routine. Thanks for the reminder. I sometimes get knots under my arms, possibly do to detox issues, that generally happen when other Fibro symptoms also seem to be getting worse.I will also say, that though it does give a surge of energy, sometimes it is helpful for me to get up and dry brush on nights when I am really struggling with actually falling asleep, especially when my legs are feeling restless. I think because it helps with circulation issues

    • Kathy Heshelow

      Absolutely – skin brushing does help with circulation… and it is a form of detox. Best of wishes!

  7. Pasty Clin

    I agree with your all points but personally I think exfoliation is best treatment you can give. Try organic scrub, which will easily remove dry n dead cell, scrub which will open clogged pores and making clean glow naturally.

    • Kathy Heshelow

      Hi Patty! Thanks for your post. I love exfoliation as well, as it is super for the skin. But Skin Brushing actually goes a step further by helping move the lymphatic system, boost circulation and help with a host of things holistically. No reason not to do both 🙂

  8. Monika Smith

    Great article!! Advantage offered by skin brushing is the stimulation of the nervous system. Stimulated nerves activate muscle fibers and improve muscle tone. This is particularly beneficial to people who have lost weight and are looking to tighten up sagging skin. Thanks for sharing this article.

    • Jannie Zoot

      For sure that’s a good point 🙂
      I’ll tell my friend about that, she had lost weight after giving birth and she tries to make her skin look better. Do you think that will help?

  9. Naincy Winget

    Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.And in my experience, dry body brushing first thing in the morning can actually set up a perfect day! By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, starting with a healthy breakfast

    • KZ Evans

      Start the day right. Have a fresh breakfast then have a good bath scrub. All the stress will surely go away and you will definitely have good vibes all day. I so love it!

  10. Elia Scott

    I used to use a dry skin brush everyday before a shower. I really liked it. I’m not sure why I stopped. The handle detached from the brush and it was easy to use – only needed it for the back. The only place I couldn’t brush was the tummy.

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