Dry Skin Brushing

A simple way to get things moving again.


Nature is doing its thing outside – budding and buzzing and flowing. But, after months of harsh weather and too much sitting around, you may be feeling sluggish and out of synch. Following the principle of inertia, you may need something to break winter’s pattern of inactivity and get things moving again. My favorite way to do this is … dry skin brushing!

Over the past few months, you’ve probably spent more time indoors ruminating and less time outdoors moving around. As a result, your natural process of sloughing off the old skin to make way for the new has slowed down and become less efficient. This can result in a pasty, patchy skin with sluggish pores. In order to refresh and reboot, you’ll need to give it a little extra rub and scrub to exfoliate the accumulated duff and get the circulation going. In the spirit of spring cleaning, why not add a few minutes of skin brushing to your bathing routine?

Did you know that your skin sloughs off a million dead cells every day? Dry skin brushing helps this natural process by both loosening the top layer of skin and brushing it away. It also helps the regeneration of new cells by stimulating your circulation. Here’s how it goes:

You’ll need a natural bristle brush. The general rule is a firmer brush & touch for your body and softer brush & touch for your face. Starting at your feet, work your way up your body, brushing in circular, up & down, and back & forth strokes. Don’t forget the back of your knees or under your chin. You can brush a little more vigorously on your arms, legs and back and a little more gently on your chest and belly. Use a softer brush or spa mask for your face. As you proceed, don’t let your mind wander. Keep your awareness on your body and center your thoughts and internal dialogue solely on loving thoughts and appreciation. If self-judgment or negative thinking happens to surface, just brush it all away with everything else. Now, take a shower or bath and wash the old stuff away.

Afterwards, notice how your skin feels. This is your circulation moving. Notice how your skin looks. The radiant, alive visage you see in the mirror reflects a healthy, functioning system. Notice how your general mood. Perhaps, that perky, alert feeling is the awakening of something new and intriguing. Radiant, resilient skin makes it feel easy to be seen and meet the future. I was reminded of this recently when a young friend commented on how good I looked and I thought to myself, “Yeah, dry skin brushing!”

But, skin brushing isn’t just skin deep. Metaphorically, this simple routine, gets it all moving- body, mind & spirit. You jettison the old thoughts and stale energy along with the old skin. You sweep aside the old emotional detritus and anchor awareness in present time. Doing this little bit of self-care with conscious intention delivers a regenerative message deep in the psyche. Along with the new skin, you’re inviting new ideas and possibilities. It turns out, this skin brushing isn’t just doing something positive for your body-self, it’s doing something for your whole self.

Of course, it would be lovely if I had year around commitment to being aware and taking care. Like many people, even though something is good for me, once I start feeling on top of it, I forget and just cruise on by even the simplest self-care practice. The lovely thing about dry skin brushing is that it’s always there in my tool box when I need it. Any time I’m feeling sluggish, stuck, or discouraged, just a little brush of the skin gets it all moving again- inspiration, enthusiasm, and the momentum to follow my bliss.


Dry skin brushes can be found at your local health food store or on the internet.

Reveal Your Glow. This book by skin expert Donna Steinmann, creator of Sweet Bee Magic, describes a simple dry brush and skin care routine and the science behind it. Reading it will change how you think about your skin and transform the way you look and feel.

Also, my upcoming book has a whole chapter on basic body care practices that will change the way you think about, relate to and live in your body.

A Guide to Body Wisdom: What Your Mind Needs to Know About Your Body. Available in June through Llewellyn Worldwide.