Focus on Spa Therapies: Dry Brushing

“Dry Brushing” is an ancient therapy that stimulates the skin. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin with a soft-but-firm natural-bristle brush and a long wood handle for hard-to-reach places. Often a component in body treatments that include massage and hydrotherapy, dry brushing is also encouraged by wellness practitioners as an essential home care practice.

The Greeks, Japanese, and American Aboriginals understood the value of exfoliating the skin. The Comanche tribe, for example, scrubbed their skin with sand from Texas river bottoms. Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Heart tells us that over time, your pores can get clogged with dead skin cells, pollutants and cosmetics. This causes the liver and kidneys to work really hard to get rid of impurities.

The increasing popularity of dry brushing seems natural given its numerous benefits. “Gentle dry brushing will slough off dead, dry skin, improving its appearance and allowing it to hydrate more efficiently when moisturizer is applied afterward,” says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.

Dry brushing’s stimulating effects have multiple health benefits:

  • Exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Increases nerve function throughout the skin organ.
  • Clears pores so that the body can perspire freely. Clogged pores prevent the body from detoxifying.
  • Stimulates oil glands to increase the skin's health, suppleness and elasticity
  • Detoxifying: helps the body eliminate cellular waste
  • Re-distributes fat deposits; reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Allows for better absorption of therapeutic products
  • Aids in lymphatic drainage
  • May improve metabolism

Five Steps to Dry Brushing

Step 1: Beginning at your feet, brush with long and light but brisk strokes, working your way towards the heart.

Step 2: Brush each arm, starting with the palm, brushing inward towards your heart.

Step 3: Gently brush the chest and tummy area in a circular motion.

Step 4: Brush the neck area by starting at the back of the neck and stroking with the brush towards the front (avoid your face).

Step 5: Finish by using the handle to get your back.

Looking for one-step exfoliation in the shower? Try Body Bliss Sugar and Salt Scrubs from the Chakra Balance Collection. HEARTFUL Organic Geranium & Rose Sudsy Sugar Scrub, SENSUOUS - Organic Grapefruit & Jasmine Silken Sugar Scrub, RADIANT Organic Lemon & Amber Jojoba Sugar Scrub and VITAL Organic Ginger & Rosemary Sudsy Sea Salt Scrub provide many of the same benefits as dry brushing, with the added therapeutic benefits of essential oils.