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The Revival of Body Brushing | Time-Tested Skincare for Wellness

As we wind down this year and look ahead toward the next, refocusing on what makes us well means reviewing and pruning habits. Often we find that skin care and wellness walk hand in hand, and that simplicity tends to produce the best results, both in health and practicality.  This year we’ve worked on simple and natural habits for lip care, makeup removal, face treatments, mental health with nightly routines and midday walks, and bathing rituals, all lovingly embellished with natural, clean ingredients straight from the earth. 

Removing what doesn’t serve us, and even harms us before embarking on this new year is exactly what’s embodied in the regular practice of body brushing, a ritual that has been time tested through the ages, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, where skin care routines have become the stuff of revered legend. 

A Brief Look at the Diverse Cultural Ritual

The practice, also called dry brushing, has had a rich history in various cultures across continents for centuries.

  • Ancient Egyptians used various tools including brushes made from natural fibers
  • Ayurvedic traditional medicine in India included dry brushing to stimulate the lymphatic system to promote overall well-being
  • Scandinavian traditions, particularly in Finland and Sweden, have practiced sauna rituals that include body brushing or birch twig tapping, stimulating the skin’s circulation
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes the balance of energy and the flow of Qi in the body. Similar to dry brushing, Gua Sha involves scraping the skin with a tool to promote circulation and energy balance.
  • Native Americans practiced dry brushing to cleanse and stimulate skin often in conjunction with sweat lodge ceremonies for purification
  • European spa traditions have included body brushing as part of spa treatments for exfoliation to promote skin health and circulation

The Process

  • Choose a brush with a long handle for better reach and natural bristles such as plant fibers. Bristles should be firm but not too harsh to avoid irritating skin.
  • Brush the body before shower or bath
  • Start at the feet and brush upward toward the heart using long, upward strokes and circular motions on the joints. Use clockwise motions over the abdomen mirroring the natural flow of lymphatic drainage.
  • Use lighter pressure on areas with thinner skin and stronger pressure on tougher skin like the soles of the feet. If you’re new to the ritual, begin with lighter pressure until more accustomed.
  • Avoid brushing over injured or sensitive skin areas, including the face
  • Rinse your brush after your routine and clean with soap and water once per week
  • Shower or bathe and follow with gentle toweling and moisturizing Ellovi body butter to seal in hydration

Benefits of Body Brushing

  • Exfoliation removes dead skin cells for smoother and softer skin, promoting cell regeneration
  • Improved stimulation and circulation promotes skin health and boosts energy
  • Soothing practice for the body directs attention to sensation that can be grounding and meditative
  • Reduced appearance of cellulite
  • Lymphatic system support that results in the removal of toxins from the body. This integral function filters the fluids that flow through the body, helping to fight infections. When we are sick or exposed to toxins, we may see inflammation, or feel pain or fatigue resulting from a potential block in the lymphatic system. The coarse bristles in dry brushing stimulate and open pores supporting the removal of any clogs and keeping the body in top shape to fight pathogens.
  • Note: Those with skin conditions should consult with a healthcare professional prior to starting body brushing

In this new year, we continue the work of finding easy and thoroughly time-tested strategies to support well-being on all fronts, sharing our experiences as we go. Our skin is the first defense against environmental ill-doers, working in close tandem with our interior world. With natural, clean plant-based ingredients, we set in motion tangible goals for wellness, leading our loved ones by example and keeping the torch lit for industry. 


At Ellovi we believe skin health is deeply connected to overall health and well-being. Our mission is to offer wellness using pure ingredients with safe and transparent methods. Self care is not just a luxury and it cannot wait. We’re here to remind you to invest in your health from head to toe, inside and out. 

Team Ellovi 🌺

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