Dry Brushing Before a Sauna: Why and How to Do it?

Dry Brushing Before a Sauna: Why and How to Do it?

Ever heard of dry brushing before a sauna? Here is a complete guide on why so many people choose to do it and also what is the right way to do it.

Want to get even more benefits out of your sauna sessions? Dry brushing might be the missing piece! This guide shows how dry brushing, an ancient exfoliation technique, can unlock a more effective detox by boosting circulation and clearing clogged pores. We’ll cover the why, the how, and the what-not-to-do’s of dry brushing before a sauna, ensuring you experience ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. Let’s get glowing!

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is an ancient practice that involves using a natural-bristle brush to gently massage your skin in a specific pattern. The brush’s bristles help to exfoliate by removing dead skin cells, which can leave your skin feeling smoother and softer. This exfoliation process can also help to improve circulation, as the brushing stimulates blood flow to the surface of the skin. Enthusiasts of dry brushing also believe it can help to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for transporting waste products throughout the body. While the research on these benefits is ongoing, many people find dry brushing to be a relaxing and invigorating way to care for their skin.

Why do People Dry Brush Before a Sauna?

Sauna lovers swear by dry brushing as part of their pre-sauna ritual, and for good reason! Here’s how dry brushing enhances your sauna experience:

  • Unclogs Pores for Sweating Powerhouse: Dead skin cells can act like tiny plugs on your pores. During a sauna, your body temperature rises and sweating increases. Dry brushing removes these dead cells, allowing your pores to open fully and sweat freely. This translates to a more efficient release of toxins and impurities.

  • Boosts Lymphatic Drainage: The lymphatic system, your body’s waste disposal network, relies on muscle contractions and external pressure to move fluid. Dry brushing, with its strokes towards the lymph nodes, may help stimulate this drainage, potentially enhancing your body’s ability to eliminate toxins during the sauna’s heat.

  • Enhances Circulation for Deeper Detox: Dry brushing increases blood flow to the skin’s surface. This improved circulation can further boost your sweating response in the sauna. Bonus: it can also contribute to a feeling of warmth and relaxation, making your sauna experience even more enjoyable.

Dry Brushing Before a Sauna: Step By Step

Ready to wreck the benefits of dry brushing before your next sauna session? Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  1. Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a natural-bristled brush with soft bristles. Choose a brush with a long handle to easily reach all areas of your body.

  2. Prepare Your Skin: Make sure your skin is completely dry and free of any lotions or oils. Dry brushing works best on bare skin, so remove your clothes (or wear a towel strategically) before you begin.

  3. Start at Your Feet: Begin brushing with long, gentle strokes towards your heart. This direction helps promote lymphatic drainage. Focus on one foot at a time, brushing the soles, tops, and sides in an upward motion.

  4. Move Upward: Continue brushing upwards on your legs, using long strokes towards your groin area, where major lymph nodes are located.

  5. Brush Your Torso: For your abdomen and chest, use circular motions, working your way upwards towards your heart. Be gentle on these delicate areas.

  6. Don’t Forget Your Arms: Brush your arms using sweeping motions towards your armpits, another location of major lymph nodes.

  7. Back Brushing: This can be tricky to reach on your own. If you have a partner, enlist their help! Otherwise, consider using a long-handled brush with a detachable head for easier maneuvering. Use long strokes upwards towards your shoulders.

  8. Lighten Up on Sensitive Areas: For your neck and face, use a softer brush or a washcloth with very light pressure. Brush the neck with downward strokes and the face with gentle circular motions.

  9. Enjoy Your Sauna: After dry brushing, hop into your sauna and experience the enhanced detoxification and relaxation benefits!

  10. Clean Up: After your sauna session, rinse your brush with warm water and a mild soap to remove dead skin cells. Allow it to dry completely before storing.

What to Be Careful of if You’re Dry Brushing Before a Sauna?

While dry brushing offers many benefits before a sauna, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be Gentle: Dry brushing should feel invigorating, not abrasive. Use light to moderate pressure and avoid scrubbing your skin. Overdoing it can lead to irritation, especially in sensitive areas.


  • Skip the Broken Skin: If you have any open wounds, sunburn, rashes, or irritated skin, steer clear of dry brushing in those areas. Brushing these sensitive spots can worsen irritation and potentially lead to infection.


  • Know Your Limits: Certain skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, may not respond well to dry brushing. If you have any concerns, consult with a dermatologist before incorporating dry brushing into your routine.


  • Don’t Be Rough on Your Face: The skin on your face is much more delicate than the rest of your body. Avoid using the same brush you use for your body on your face. Choose a softer brush or washcloth and use very light pressure with gentle circular motions.


  • Listen to Your Body: If you experience any discomfort or irritation during dry brushing, stop immediately. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and adjust your technique or frequency if needed.

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