Top 5 Dry Brushing Questions Answered

What is dry brushing?

Dry brushing is the ancient practice of brushing dry skin with a stiff bristled brush.

Several major cultures in the world practiced some form of it. If you can picture a Japanese geisha pressing a loofah over her patron’s back, a squaw sweeping a dried ear of corn over her legs, or a Greek soldier running a metal spatula over his skin, you’ve got the basic concept. One traditional material is boar bristle, which is what most dry brushes available today feature them. Some manufacturers offer vegan options that use cactus.

In the west, many of the top spas have adopted dry brushing as a treatment that runs $35 – $100.  

The good news is you don’t have to pay a bunch of money at a fancy spa because it can easily be done at home.   

And if you’re wondering what the “treatment” is exactly, it consists of using repetitive strokes to brush all major areas of the body. You can start wherever you want, but many people follow the basic flow of the lymphatic system, brushing each limb upwards towards the torso and then, towards the heart. We recommend a slightly different method that we feel is more science-backed.


Is dry brushing too harsh on the skin? Does it hurt?


If you get someone else to dry brush your skin, you have no control over the implement used or the pressure. Sidney has definitely gotten into situations that were questionably harsh by doing this (Roman baths on chilly winter days, anyone?)

But when you do it yourself, dry brushing should be a relatively gentle experience. First, you can choose your implement and how stiff it is. Some dry brushes have a stiffer profile than others so it’s important to find one that you feel is effective, while not being too harsh or painful. Second, you can control the pressure you use, adapting it to how you’re feeling on any given day.

Regardless, we are talking a stiff bristle going on dry skin so there is some degree of a harder sensation involved than say, if you use a sea sponge in the shower. Most people find that they enjoy the sensation because it enlivens and stimulates the skin for the entire day, kind of like you scratched that whole body itch you never knew you had. Still, it’s not for everyone because everyone has different thresholds of sensation and different perceptions of what’s “harsh.”

We know this which is why, when you purchase the Glow Utopia Ritual Dry Brush Set, you can try dry brushing on us, risk free for 90-days.


Does dry brushing really work?


Long story short: Dry brushing is an effective form of daily self-massage that provides the same health benefits of basic massage. It differs from massage in that it uses much stronger skin stimulation so it offers greater skin health benefits.

Benefits of dry brushing include: Cellulite treatment and smoothing, anti-aging treatment, skin bump removal, self-massage, support for lymphatic and circulatory systems, gentle exfoliation, holistic skin care, adrenal support, skin stimulation and brightening, natural detox support, reduction of puffiness and inflammation, protection of skin barrier, and soap-free cleansing.

It’s difficult to find scientific research among conventional medicine journals, and some conventional doctors might be quick to point that out. That said, many of them also concede that dry brushing offers the same proven health benefits as massage. In general, naturopaths and many integrative doctors recommend it.


Does dry brushing actually get rid of cellulite?


Let’s be honest.

Experts can’t even agree on what causes cellulite, much less on what prevents it. What’s clear is that it’s the result of a complex brew of gender, hormones, age, genes, and lifestyle. Dry brushing isn’t magic and the only ingredient listed above that it might change is lifestyle. Dry brushing works when it’s used regularly to support a healthier, cleaner lifestyle. Practiced this way, many users report that it smooths the appearance of cellulite, either temporarily or over time. Our set offers a massage brush targeted for fascia massage and cellulite.    


How do I start dry brushing?


There are many dry brushes and dry brush kits on the market. So, find one that you think you’ll like. Our set actually offers three targeted brushes for 3 different types of concerns.

Once you’ve found one you like, choose when practice your new routine. And don’t fence yourself in. Consider your real lifestyle, not the ideal advice. The most important thing is to do it regularly. Everything else is negotiable.

Choose your routine, and remember, this is something that’s supposed to make your life simpler, not harder! We started by watching video tutorials on Youtube. In fact, we recommended this science-based routine by Dr. Mindy Beck.


I’m busy! Will I actually have the time to dry brush?


When Sidney does the routine above, it takes 3-4 minutes. This “time” is negated by the much shorter shower she takes after dry brushing. She’s found that dry brushing generally eliminates the need for soap cleansing, something that massively helps protect and preserve the skin barrier (plus saving money on soaps!) In fact, we think one reason many ancient cultures practiced dry brushing was because of its natural cleansing ability. If you have 3-5 minutes a day, preferably before you shower or bathe, you have time.      

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Dry Brushing Questions Answered”

  1. Cynthia Lindeman

    Hi Lori,

    The combo/massage head should be used dry on dry skin since it has bristle on it. The nubs provide more of a massage effect. Customize your [pressure to give yourself the massage effect of benefit you want. This head has the stiffest, firmest sensation so it’s also for times when you want more stimulation than either of the other brushes will provide. Over time, both the bristle and nubs will soften due to use.

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