8 Incredible Benefits of Dry Brushing Your Skin

Updated: Apr. 07, 2021

This ancient technique not only makes your skin glow, it has the power to transform your insides, too. Read on to learn how.


What exactly is dry brushing?

Dry brushing is an ancient practice that has recently gained widespread attention and grown in popularity — you’ll find it on luxury spa menus. Requiring only a handheld brush made of natural, firm bristles, dry brushing is the practice of clearing off dead skin cells by sweeping over one’s skin with gentle, circular motions. Technique is equally important as the brush you chose: you should always use long strokes in the direction of your heart, meaning from hands to shoulders, knees to groin, belly to chest, and so on. Read on to learn the eight transformative benefits of dry brushing.



This is one of the most obvious and appreciated effects of dry brushing. When swept across the surface of your body, the brush’s tough bristles will remove any dry, dead skin cells. Exfoliation results can be seen immediately, with noticeably smoother skin after just one use. Check out these other benefits of exfoliation.


Unclog pores

By removing dead skin cells, grease, and dirt, dry brushing unclogs pores and allows them to breathe. This is especially beneficial for those with acne on their chest, backs, or buttocks. You shouldn’t dry brush your face, however, as the stiff bristles can be irritating to the more gentle skin. Find out 10 more secrets to fight back acne.

iStock/Blaj Gabriel

Reduce cellulite

Dry skin brushing works to soften the connections that hold fat deposits together below the skin. This may reduce the appearance of bumpy cellulite along the skin. Check out these other cellulite-reducing tips.


Boost circulation

The heat generated by dry brushing improves blood flow throughout your skin, which may encourage the elimination of metabolic waste.


Stimulate the lymphatic system

Your lymphatic system is responsible for removing cellular waste in a process called lymphatic drainage. When the lymphatic system has stalled or is not functioning correctly, lymphatic congestion occurs and can lead to disease and inflammation. By leading the brush to lymph drainage points, you may help your body naturally release toxins and extra water. Learn what else a lymphatic drainage massage can do for your whole body.


Speed digestion

Dry brushing is far from a skin-deep practice. Some experts believe that the benefits go much further than just providing glowing skin, as massaging the lymph nodes may help the body remove excess toxins and water, therefore improving digestion. (Related: Check out these home remedies for constipation.)

iStock/Damir Cudic

Relieve stress

Dry brushing involves slowly and gently drawing circles along the skin, and many consider this aspect meditative. By creating friction, dry brushing also warms the body. Happening simultaneously, the repeated motion and heat eases muscle tension, calms, relaxes, and ultimately relieves stress.

iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Increase energy

Skin is comprised of densely packed nerve endings and stimulating these nerves through dry brushing will leave you with a rush of invigorating energy. Many dry brushers find themselves addicted to dry brushing’s euphoric sensation. Dry brush in the morning to get a rush of energy for your day. (Related: Feeling tired? Check out these 25 natural energy boosters.)

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest