Dry Brushing

Godfrey’s Guide: More Chocolate to Feel Great About

Jean Godfrey-June is our beauty editor, but her enthusiasms are many. This is a new column she’s trying out…

Every person at goop HQ is into dry brushing; I, however, did not get it. Anything with a whiff of “this might or might not get rid of cellulite” makes me feel…like Sisyphus.

So I didn’t believe. I didn’t have time in the mornings anyway (the best time to dry-brush is pre-shower).

But I have done a full 180, and here’s why:

  • The cat that started it all.

  • The cat that started it all.

We’d bought a cat brush when we’d gotten a cat, but never used it (he took perfectly good care of himself—as a cat tends to). The cat was decidedly unsocial; besides a dogged devotion to my children (Siberian forest cats are known for their dog-like affections), he was not-so-into me, terrified of outsiders, and something of a cat cliché in that he particularly loathed men.

Years later, the brush reappeared, in the way that things in a house sometimes mysteriously surface. “Why aren’t you brushing the poor cat?” demanded my handsome friend J. (of whom the cat was flattened-ear, scuttling-away-furtively terrified).

I gave it a whirl—and the cat could not have been happier. He rolled, he stretched, he exalted. If I even picked up the brush, he trotted over. So I made it a daily thing; almost overnight, his grudging tolerance of me evolved into grudging affection.

But it wasn’t just his attitude toward me—previously a dim eye at best—that changed. He started bounding up stairs, friskily playing games with all he encountered (including the previously much-feared J.), and sitting by, unperturbed when strangers appeared, abandoning his instant disappearing act. He was—and remains—markedly more energized, happier, visibly loving life.

    SKIN BRUSH goop, $15
    SKIN BRUSH goop, $15

It was clearly time to get myself the long-handled, straight-out-of-a-Nordic-spa dry brush from Organic Pharmacy—I had always admired the visual—I wanted what the cat was having. Energy, friskiness, loving life? I followed the directions (in the story I had written but not taken the advice of), every day pre-shower.

Dry brushing feels incredible, number one. It scratches an itch you didn’t know you had, wakes up every nerve ending in the nicest possible way. The cat-like effects I’ve felt—clarity, energy, happiness—could of course be chalked up to the psychosomatic, given my expectations. Whatever the reason, however, I can’t recommend the practice enough. It feels good, gives me a moment of checking in with myself in a non-in-my-head-way, it keeps my skin glowy and lightly exfoliated, makes me enjoy the subsequent shower (I use Get Happy Bodywash from Plant Brooklyn) and follow it with the gorgeously-scented Balmyard Romantic Call body oil while my skin is still wet) about six trillion times more than usual.

It also hangs in my bathroom looking fantastic and somehow virtuous—and if it even faintly discourages some incipient cellulite, I say, bring it.

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