Dry Brushing 101: How To Pamper Yourself With A Horse Brush

by Christina Antus
Pezibear / Pixabay

I recently read an article on Goop about dry brushing. If you’re not familiar with Goop, it’s a favorite go-to for unconventional and outrageously expensive advice on fashion, health, and beauty regimens — like steaming your vagina, bee venom facials, and prepping for an Ironman by drinking raw, organic kombucha (whatever that is). And hey, if paying $250 to get stung in the face by bees is your thing, I’ve got four large lavender bushes in my yard. I’ll do it for you for 25 bucks.

Anyway, the article touts dry brushing as a technique valued by people who appreciate a more natural approach to exfoliating versus just letting your dead skin cells fall off when it’s their time. This hip, cool way to have softer skin and clearer pores is also supposed to give you more energy by boosting circulation.

Just brush, brush, brush to stimulate your lymph nodes so you can sweep, sweep, sweep away dead cells onto your floor where you’ll have to actually sweep them up. If you dry brush correctly, you’ll have the energy and rejuvenation to whip that broom around like a badass mother sweeper.

I live in a much different world from Goopers, so to me this is a lot of hooey. First off, any average Joan who has time to brush herself every morning also has a slew of toddlers ambushing her bathroom, kicking dead skin cells all over the place. It’s not practical. Also, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that we just don’t care. If the human body needed brushing for maintenance, we would all have been born with a stiff bristle brush, like a Barbie accessory.

Here’s what dry brushing is “supposed” to do:

Reduce Appearance of Cellulite

I don’t know about you, but I was under the impression that cellulite is fat pockets under the skin that we get after having kids and saying “yes” one too many times to Taco Bell runs combined with late night rendezvous with gelato and cupcakes. If exercise or even a laser can’t get rid of cellulite, I’m thinking a stiff-bristle brush isn’t going to do shit.

*Note that this article does not say that it removes actual cellulite — you can also routinely wear pants to “reduce” the “appearance” of cellulite.

Encourage Healing of Tired or Overworked Muscles

I won’t be the first to tell you that when you start working out after a lifetime of not working out, the only thing that’s going to make your muscles feel better is dying — not brushing yourself.

Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

Lymph nodes are responsible for keeping you healthy. The theory is, dry brushing stimulates your lymphatic system like a Tootsie Pop stimulates a 3-year-old. Just a few licks and everything in your “house” will be obliterated.

Stress Relief

The idea behind this is probably that you’ll feel calm and relaxed after you chisel off a few layers of skin out of anger or frustration. And maybe it works, but it’s not as satisfying as diving face-first into a tub of cookies and cream. Seriously, those cellulite fat pockets aren’t going to create themselves, folks.

Improve Digestion and Kidney Function

I did some loose research — and by “loose,” I Googled it, read the notes in the first result, and went to find some Cheez-Its). From what I understand, dry brushing massages your lymph nodes, which somehow helps shed excess water as well as toxins, because the human body is simply one gigantic toxin that houses little tiny toxins.

Nothing ever really says how this works. The best answer I could find was this: “One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more.” Sounds like a crappy infomercial slogan if you ask me.

It’s Invigorating

I just don’t believe that the same item you use to groom a horse (and that’s exactly what this is) has healing benefits that overwhelm you with so much positive emotion all you will want to do is brush yourself from sun up to sun down. Let’s face it, that’s what addiction is. Instead of shooting up heroin, you’re walking around high off endorphins you got from overstimulating your lymph nodes with a long-handled equine brush.

Interested in trying it? Just follow these eight easy steps:

Step 1: Remove your clothes.

If you don’t, this becomes a really time-consuming lint-rolling activity.

Step 2: Begin brushing.

Start at your feet and move up in long sweeping motions, or circular motions if you want to let you freak flag fly. Remember to always brush toward your heart because the lymphatic system drains into your chest, and there’s no better organ to contaminate with toxins than your heart.

Step 3: Brush several times in each area, overlapping as you go.

You can never brush too much because a brushed body is a clean body, and a clean body is a happy body. Also, your skin will become less sensitive the more you dry brush. It’s like breastfeeding — the more you do it, the tougher your skin gets until you have nipples strong enough to crush a freight train coming at you at 95 miles per hour.

Step 4: Rinse off.

Nobody likes to stand behind someone at the bank covered in their own loose dander.

Step 5: Pat dry skin.

Because of overlapping, your skin will hurt too much to rub it with the towel. If you have a fan, maybe use that, or just sit and let the air dry you naturally. After all, I’m sure towels are also full of toxins, and you’re now completely toxin free.

Step 6: Pamper your skin.

If you have essential oils or coconut oil, now is a good time to use it on your skin — or aloe, because skin-burn.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 1–6 daily.

It takes 30 days to see any results from this — that’s right, one month to develop an entire organ of skin that’s one big callus.

Step 8: Make healthy choices to keep your body happy.

Remember, twice a day is recommended for best results, dedicating at least three to five minutes to brushing — or until you’re ready to consciously uncouple from the act. I know, three to five minutes of just brushing on top of showering and sweeping seems like a commitment, but really, it’s not so much. After all, what is time when it comes to our health? Just squeeze this in between steaming your vagina and shopping for raw, organic kombucha.

For $200, you can buy the entire detox system which consists of honey (leftover from your venom facial) and vagina water (which is probably some homeopathic treatment for back acne). If you go with Goop, you’ll only need $800 more to get all the authentic spa-worthy essentials.

Or if you’re looking for something a little more economical, you can drop by my house and stick your head in some lavender bushes — 25 bucks.