Brush it Off

brush towards the heart

Brush your teeth, brush your hair, brush it off… Brush your skin? Yup. Every morning, before coffee. I promise, you’ll become addicted. Dry skin brushing is practiced in Ayurvedic healing as well as Japanese, Korean, American Indian, and Ancient Greek cultures. It’s also part of Scandinavian and Turkish sauna culture.

The first time I experienced the benefits of skin-sloughing was during a recent midnight Korean Spa excursion to Wi Spa in Los Angeles’ Koreatown with my brother and best friend. As the small-but-mighty grandma in a high-waisted black underwear set scrubbed me until I was pink, I looked at the table I was laying on and thought “Wow, she scrubbed so hard the cloth fell apart… until I realized that it was little bits of my skin!” This description may not be selling it, but I was so silky and shiny and clear. I felt so healthy… until I ate a massive amount of Korean food. But, my legs were still smooth. Then, I just felt completely amazing.

Just as you’re not going to the dentist everyday to brush your teeth, you don’t have to go to a spa to brush your skin. Brush at home. Even the moms at the Korean spa were scrubbing their own adorable little girls. It’s a thing.


More important than exfoliation, skin brushing has numerous benefits: stimulates your lymph nodes, which helps eliminate toxins and reduces cellulite; unclogs pores, which helps your skin eliminate waste; boosts circulation, and other health benefits. Honestly, it also feels amazing. Do it every day or at least try it with your next detox.

The brush to buy is a handmade Swedish brush crafted from oiled oak wood (from local forests in the southeast of Sweden) and horsehair, which is resilient and soft.  The brush’s manufacturer, Iris Hantverk, has been manufacturing its brushes since 1975. The company partners with the Swedish Blind Association, founded in 1889, who provides vocational training for visually impaired adults, training them in handicrafts, including brush-making. A team of 30 visually impaired craftsmen make the brushes at Iris Hantverk. The brush itself is beautiful and your skin will be too, inside and out.