guide to dry brushing

My New Year’s skincare resolution?

Exfoliating my body. Regularly.

I know, I say that every year. But this year I’ll actually do it.

How can I be so sure?

I’ve discovered a clever technique that makes body exfoliation faster and easier (and I’m all for making anything faster and easier). It’s called dry brushing.

What’s Dry Brushing?

I’m sure you’ve heard about dry brushing. It’s an old spa treatment that uses a natural bristles brush to slough off dead and dry skin cells in circular motions.

It’s usually done in the morning right before you shower. But, if you like to spend a few more minutes in bed or like to shower at the end of the day, you can do it at night too.

Related: How To Choose The Right Exfoliator For Your Skin Type


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Dry Brushing Benefits: How Does It Help Skin?

Dry brushing has the same benefits as exfoliation, obvs:

  • Makes skin softer and smoother
  • Gives skin a radiant glow
  • Enhances the penetration of body lotions
  • Gives you a gentle massage

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Exfoliate Skin

What Can’t Dry Brushing Do?

Nothing’s perfect, right? Here’s what dry brushing can’t do (don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise):

1. Dry Brushing Can’t Detoxify Skin

Lots of people are convinced that your skin helps you get rid of the toxins in your body. I wish! Yes, there’s the tiniest trace amount of toxins in sweat, but not enough to rid your body of all that bad stuff. It’s your liver and kidneys that get rid of harmful toxins. Dry brushing won’t affect those.

Related: Does Sweat Detoxify The Body?

2. Dry Brushing Can’t Treat Cellulite

Cellulite happens because of the way fat cells arrange themselves under the skin. Usually, it is arranged in large chambers that are separated from each other by columns of connective tissues.

If the connective tissue slackens with age (and, of course, it will) or the fat overflows these chambers (usually happens when you’re overweight), you end up with the familiar dimpled skin.

No amount of dry brushing can get rid of that. It just doesn’t work that way.

Related: Get Over It, Cellulite Is Normal

Does Dry Brushing Has Any Side Effects?

I’m not a huge fan of physical exfoliation. Do it too often or apply a bit too much pressure and you end up with red and irritated skin. That’s why I never dry brush more than twice a week.

If you want to try dry brushing, be as gentle as possible with that brush. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to stick to a loofah or washcloth instead.

One more thing. It goes without saying, I know, but if your skin is peeling or irritated, lay off dry brushing for a few days until it all goes back to normal.

Related: 3 Ways To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin

How Do You Dry Brush Skin?

Easy peasy:

  1. Pick a brush with natural bristles (synthetic ones won’t do here).
  2. Get in the shower – it’ll be easier to catch the falling skin there (dry brushing can be a bit messy and gross).
  3. Begin brushing at your feet.
  4. Using gentle circular motions, move the brush towards your heart (always brush towards your heart).
  5. When you reach the upper body, use a gentler touch.
  6. Brush over the same area a few times if you feel you need to.
  7. Wash the loosened skin off.
  8. Pat skin dry.
  9. Apply your fave body lotion.

How Do You Take Care Of Your Body Brush?

You need to clean that brush regularly, gorgeous. Soap and water once a week will do. Afterwards, leave it to dry in a sunny spot. And don’t use it when it’s damp. Wet bristles are a playing ground for bacteria, so let them dry!

What Are The Best Body Brushes For Dry Brushing?

  • Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush ($32.00): available at Feel UniqueNet A Porter and SpaceNK
  • Earth Therapeutics Far-Reaching Body Brush ($8.99): available at Ulta
  • The Body Shop Long-Handled Body Brush ($15.00): available at The Body Shop

The Bottom Line

Dry brushing is a fast and effective way to exfoliate your body. But, that’s all it does. And trust me, it’s a lot.