Dry-Brushing for Dummies

Have the sins of the holiday season left you feeling sluggish? This simple, two-minute routine could be the cure.

dry-brushingAnyone else feeling stuck in a lethargic state of post-holiday let-down? Perhaps it was the Christmas cookies I inhaled by the half-dozen or the number of nights spent on my couch with a takeout pizza and Netflix as companions, whatever the reason(s), I’m definitely feeling more loaf-like than lithe this month.

Enter my obsession with dry-brushing, one of the easiest detoxifying measures I’ve ever dabbled in. If you’re unfamiliar, dry-brushing is an old-as-the-hills beauty routine, one that increases lymphatic drainage, reduces cellulite and improves skin’s texture and elasticity. Before I started my new scrub-down routine, I hit up Joanna Vargas, facialist to the stars and dry-brushing devotee, for advice on how to get started. Here are her top tips!

body-brushWhat to use: Sonia Kashuk Spa Body Brush ($7) “With natural boar bristles and a sleek design that won’t take up loads of space or clash with your bathroom decor, this brush is a total bargain.”

How to: “Using a bone-dry brush, start at the tops of the feet and sweep the brush upwards towards the heart, using long motions. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don’t forget the backs of your arms, back and tummy.”

When: “Try it before you get into the shower in the morning. With daily repetition, you will see a difference in your skin quality and cellulite in two weeks.”

What to avoid: “Don’t brush too hard. Skin should be stimulated but not irritated. And anyone with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis needs to be very cautious in the affected areas so as not to cause more sensitivity. Either skip those areas or if they cover larger areas of the body then perhaps skip this altogether.”

Follow up: “Post body-brush is a great time to moisturize. I like to follow with a nice body butter containing shea and cocoa butter, especially in the winter!”

Since starting my dry-brushing routine, I’ve noticed a decided uptick in my energy level, which has lead me to making better-for-me decisions like skipping my couch sessions for yoga class and swapping takeout for homemade soups and salads.

Do you have a go-to detox remedy for beating the post-holiday blahs? If so, tell us about ‘em!


Editor by day and the voice of High Plains Thrifter by night, Meghan McAndrews is known for her weekly nacho night get-togethers and ongoing commitment to bringing big hair back. In her free time, she can be found scouring church-basement rummage sales, cooking in her kitchen or daubing it up at the bingo hall.


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