person brushing their leg

Detox This Holiday Season with At-Home Lymphatic Drainage Massage

It’s no secret that in Brazil, Body Joy is more than a concept: it’s a way of life. One way to achieve endless body confidence can lie in the palm of one’s hand. Lymphatic drainage massage is the latest wave of body care treatments to sweep the U.S. (and your IG feed.) One version of this exfoliating and stimulating treatment, dry brushing, has been a favorite of celebrities and Sol Babes alike.


What Is It?

Unlike our heart that pumps blood throughout our body, our lymphatic system relies on our body’s muscle action and movement to keep things flowing. Considered a major part of the immune system, lymph nodes are located all over the body but most identifiable in the neck, armpits, and groin areas.

According to masseuse to the stars, Flávia Lanini in Brazil, “every spa does some form of lymphatic massage and all women have these massages regularly. It’s like getting a manicure or a blowdry.” While you can’t replicate the slimming results that Lanini achieves with her clients, you can still enjoy some of the benefits by incorporating dry brushing into your routine.

Unfortunately, stagnant lymph flow can result in swelling or bloating, fatigue, and excess toxins within the body. Keeping a consistent dry brushing regimen can assist with promoting that system to detox naturally — and energize the body. Many of our Sol de Janeiro staffers have incorporated this easy-to-follow body treatment into their routines as an act of daily self-care.


What Do You Need?

Most experts recommend choosing a brush with natural bristles versus plastic or synthetic ones. Unfortunately, these can cause unwanted irritation to the skin. Remember, dry brushing is a body treatment only, however you can get the same draining, sculpting, and depuffing benefits with the Gua Sha method and tools. 

You can purchase a brush of your choice with or without a handle — totally your preference here. Some experts recommend adding a little oil to your brush, but others recommend brushing on dry skin.


How Do You Do It?

Dry brushing is best done before showering so you can rinse away dead skin cells. If you opt to do this in the morning, you can do quicker, more energizing strokes versus longer, more methodical strokes pre-bedtime. To start, aim to incorporate dry brushing a few times per week to see how your body responds before jumping into a daily cadence.

Two areas specifically to focus on are the abdomen (roughly 60-70% of our lymphatic tissue lives there) and the left armpit (it acts as one of the main lymphatic drainage hubs!) Keep the pressure consistent, but not so harsh that you are scraping or bruising the the skin. Overall, be very gentle or consider skipping this treatment if you have open cuts, sunburns, rashes, etc. 

Using firm but superficial strokes, start with the legs brushing upwards to the heart. Next, tackle the neck and arms brushing downwards toward the heart. Finally, save your stomach area for last, this is where you’ll want to spend the most time, about 60 to 90 seconds. But, this entire process should take 5 minutes or less. It’s truly rewarding but not super time-consuming.

Next, hop in the shower (or bath) and complete your routine with some Sol de Janeiro favorites like  Coco Cabana Moisturizing Body Cream Cleanser or  Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel for extra silky-smooth skin. Dry skin is never the goal. Lock-in much-needed moisture with our luxe, fragrance-free  Brazilian Nude Cream formulated with hydrating a Brazilian blend of Cupuaçu Butter, Açai Oil, and Coconut Oil. This fast-absorbing lotion leaves your skin feeling supple to the touch, but never, ever, greasy.


Personally, we love dry brushing multiple times per week to unwind and  treat ourselves to some well-deserved #BodyJoy.


Cover image by Becoming Alice