Feeling Sluggish? Try Dry Brushing (plus Brush Recommendations)

We feel sluggish for many reasons and dry brushing is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to help boost energy flow.

Our skin tells us a lot about how we are feeling. With 1/3 of circulating blood and as the interface between our inner and outer worlds, our skin reflects our balance. Taking note and taking care of our skin is an integral part of my own self-care. This includes choosing skincare products with awareness, tuning into our skin’s needs, and taking time to take care. This may be a bath or sauna, age-old rituals. Or another ancient practice – dry brushing.

I recently wrote about my mosquito “saga” and my exploration of homeopathic remedies, specific Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help, essential oils, the earth element, among other ideas. The article also speaks about boundaries and wei qi. I recently discovered Rock Rose or Cistus incanus tea for mosquitoes and viruses. Today’s brew is currently steeping and cooling as I write this article.

Read Mosquito Bites, Allergies, Wei Qi & Adaptation

Read A Look at Cistus Tea for Mosquitoes & Viruses

Why Dry Brushing?

Exfoliation

Probably the most commonly-known reason for dry brushing is sloughing off that old skin to help skin turnover and reveal healthy cells. This is especially popular as we move from winter to spring. Some people may also be dry brushing to minimize the appearance of cellulite and possibly prevent its formation through breaking up fat deposits. Thanks to photoshopping, we’ve been sold unrealistic beauty standards. However, if this is important to you (and no one should be shamed for their desires), try dry brushing and pairing it with Living Libations’ CelluLight Formula. I personally haven’t tried this; I’m just a big fan of everything I’ve tried. (I just got the Forager’s Balm as a mozzie repellant – fingers crossed!)

Lymphatic Drainage

The lymph system takes out viruses, toxins, bacteria, and other pathogens. It not having a pump is another reason movement is important for our health. Aside from walking, you can use a rebounder, which is what we have at home and we gently (and with great fun) bounce on it. I also dry brush to support lymphatic drainage.

Boost Circulation

Blood circulation means getting oxygen and nutrients to all the cells as well as removing wastes from them. Dry brushing improves skin microcirculation.

If you are feeling sluggish, dry brushing can help address some of the underlying factors. Do you already dry brush?

The How of Dry Brushing

  • choose the appropriate brush (softer for the face, the bristles you like – see some recommendations below); be gentle on sensitive areas
  • start from the soles of your feet and move upwards
  • use long smooth strokes on the body and circular motion around joints and the stomach
  • brush towards the heart
  • skip sensitive and inflamed skin and also areas with open wounds
  • take your time and enjoy the experience
  • tip from Living Libations : put a couple of drops of oil onto your palm and coat the bristles by gliding the brush across before dry brushing
  • shower and apply moisturizer
  • dry brush a couple times a week; take note of how your skin responds

Dry Brushes

Top: The Body Tool from de la heart

Bottom left to right: facial brush, bikini line brush, body brush, and Energy Brush.

The Dry Brushes I Use

I have several brushes; one for the face, delicate area, whole body, and a new tool that’s not a brush.

Facial Brush

I got my brushes for the face and body from Ajua of Eusibathtime. She makes vegan plant-based soaps, facial masks, and other skincare product. It so happened that she had in stock a few brushes. The bristle for my facial brush is the same – sisal – as the body’s. It’s just a lot softer and smaller. It feels wonderful for my face and neck. You can also use it on your décolleté. (I also do facial reflexology and gua sha.)

Dry Brushing for the Delicate Area

If you wax or shave, ingrown hair can be a problem. Gentle exfoliation with the right brush here can make the difference. I got my little sisal brush from Waxmi in Vancouver, Canada. You can also find it on the Merben website. It’s much softer than it looks!

Dry Brushing the Body

The first and more conventional one I have is a one most people are familiar with. A wooden handle with natural bristles. Mine is an 8″ round brush with a short beechwood handle. Some people prefer ones with a long handle.

The body brush I mostly use is the Energy Brush from Living Libations. Made of super fine bronze bristles with real copper and zinc, this brush has a negative ion charge. Think waterfalls and the ocean and you’ll feel why negatively charged ions are good for our wellbeing. Bronze bristles, you say? This brush seriously feels tinglingly great on my skin. I don’t use it every morning before my shower; when I do, what an invigorating way to start the day.

The Dry Brush that Is not A Brush

Simply called The Body Tool, this wood paddle with all the curves in the right places is a pleasure to use. Made 100% of pine wood, The Body Tool from De La Heart is a fantastic way to promote lymphatic drainage. Aside from clear instructions on their website, there are videos showing how to use it on different areas of the body.


Summer’s here and you may be paying more attention to your skin. Taking care of this amazing organ is a year-round self-care practice. It provides us with tremendous information about our inner world and how we meet with the outer. Dry brushing is an age-old ritual that comes from the Ayurvedic tradition and one that we can all benefit from. Maybe you are feeling sluggish – try dry brushing.