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Why & How to Dry Brush Your Body

Hayley Dawes
4 July 2023

The benefits of dry brushing are endless. It wakes your senses up like no other practice, feels absolutely amazing, and leaves you with silky-smooth skin and an all-over body glow. This is noticeable both instantly and in the long term. Dreem Distillery Founder Hayley uses her dry brush right before her morning shower.

While the practice of dry brushing the skin once or twice daily with a soft but firm brush is more common during a detox, regular users and fans report more benefits when it becomes a permanent habit.

A dry brush with a long handle allows you to get at hard-to-reach spots like the middle of your back; the smaller ones can fit in your hand perfectly.

Dry brushing is one of those rare things that feel just as good when you do them yourself as when someone else does them to you, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your self-care routine. Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning rather than before bed because they believe it has invigorating qualities.

Some people use the brush on its own; others put a bit of body oil on the brush before they use it. There’s no right or wrong way, however Dreem recommends to shower after skin brushing, then apply Among the Stars body oil to combat dry skin. It’s also great to do in conjunction with a sauna or steam, too.

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic medicine that has been around for centuries. It’s believed to have many health benefits and works by exfoliating the skin.

For dry brushing, you rub a brush with coarse, natural-fibre bristles over your body in a particular pattern. The idea is that the coarse fibres will help to remove dead skin and improve the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins through the pores.


Harsh exfoliation is never the point. Be sure not to press too hard or use a brush that’s too stiff – dedicate between 3 and 5 minutes to dry brushing when you can and follow these steps:

  • Start at your feet and dry brush upward toward the heart.
  • Brush your skin using wide, circular, clockwise motions.
  • Use light pressure in areas where your skin is thin and harder pressure on thicker skin, like the soles of your feet.
  • Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward.
  • Use firm, small strokes upward or work in a circular motion.
  • For the stomach, dry brush in a clockwise direction.
  • After dry brushing, take a cool shower to help remove the dry skin.
  • After your shower, dry off and then use a natural body oil to moisturise your skin. *TIP* Try Dreem Distillery Among the Stars body oil for ultimate skin hydration.

When you first start dry brushing, it’s best to begin with light brushing. As you get used to it, you can increase the pressure. 

NOTE: Avoid sensitive areas and anywhere the skin is broken – these include areas with rashes, wounds, cuts, and infections.

Brush Maintenance 

Make sure you rinse your brush after you have completed your brushing routine. Dry it in an open, sunny area to prevent mildew. Clean your brush once a week using soap and water. You should avoid sharing your brush with anyone. This can help prevent risk for infection. 


Dry skin brushing benefits can include stimulating the lymphatic system, exfoliating the skin, removing toxins, increasing circulation and energy, and reducing cellulite.

Removal of toxins:

The lymphatic system helps your body fight off infections. Fluids flow through the system and are filtered through the lymph nodes. If you’re unwell or exposed to a lot of toxins, the system may become backed up and clogged. That is why your lymph nodes often become swollen when you have a cold.

Dry brushing is thought to help the body release toxins through sweat. The course bristles on the brush stimulate the pores and open them up. This makes it easier for the body to sweat, which in turn reduces the amount of toxins flowing through the lymphatic system.

Exfoliated skin:

Dry brushing helps exfoliate away dull, dead skin cells on the surface to reveal smoother, softer skin.

Body-and-spirit-enlivening massage:

In Ayurveda, dry brushing is traditionally used to rid the body of ama (toxins built up in the body) and stimulate the lymphatic system. If you try dry brushing, you’re likely to agree that it feels fantastic and has a way of waking up your whole self – body and mind.

Similar to a massage, dry brushing may make you feel relaxed. To make the most of this benefit, practice dry brushing in a dark, quiet space.

Increased circulation and blood flow:

Dry brushing can help promote local circulation to invigorate and refresh the skin.


Cellulite is a condition that mostly affects women. Areas affected by cellulite have a rippled appearance. Massage has been shown to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some claim that dry brushing can reduce the appearance of cellulite because it has similar effects on the body as massage.

Board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, MD explains that dry brushing can help your skin appear tighter – but ultimately, it’s all temporary. “Having increased circulation from dry brushing will cause vasodilation (that’s when your capillaries widen, causing an increased amount of blood flow in the area),” she explains. “This will cause a temporary plumping up of the skin, making your cellulite appear less visible.”

Risks of Dry Brushing

In general, practice dry brushing (and all exfoliation) with caution, as overdoing it can cause irritation. If your skin skews extra sensitive or you have eczema, psoriasis, or other serious skin conditions, steer clear of dry brushing, as it can exacerbate your issues. 

Also, brushing too hard, too often can lead to irritated skin. While some redness is normal after dry brushing, skin abrasions aren’t the results to expect, so look out for any signs of these. Lastly, if you have an open wound on your skin, avoid the area to reduce the risk of introducing bacteria and infection.



  • Michele Green, MD

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