What is Dry Brushing and Why You Should Try It

what is dry brushing

While it may be a popular, celebrity favorite in recent years, the art of dry brushing has been around for centuries. But what, you may ask, actually is dry brushing and how does it benefit your skin? Introduced through Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing system founded in India, dry brushing reduces stress, improves blood flow, and helps detox the body.

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What the Experts Say…

“I love the glow from dry brushing! I believe it’s key to healthy skin because it takes away the dead skin and allows serum and lotions to really be absorbed, which increases their effectiveness. My pro tip is to start at your feet and massage with a medium pressure in an upward, circular motion — toward your heart, right before showering. That way you can rinse away those dead skin cells. Dry brushing also aids with lymphatic drainage, boosts circulation, and plumps the skin. Side note: It can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so SPF is a must! Also, dry brushing is not for those who have eczema, psoriasis, or other serious skin conditions, as it can exacerbate those issues.”
– Tammy Napoli, Owner of SkinHealth Studios and Founder of the The Elevated Aesthetician Program

“Dry brushing is a great technique to not only get lymph moving, but it also improves blood flow which detoxifies the body. Dry brushing is also effective at exfoliating dead skin, and is much more gentle than other exfoliating treatments.  Many other exfoliation techniques are done in the shower, where the hot water temperatures can actually increase irritation when exfoliating. When looking for a dry brush, natural, firm bristles are generally recommended as they provide the best results. But those with sensitive skin may want to avoid dry brushing. Long handled dry brushes are great for hard to reach areas such as the back and shoulders, while handheld palm dry brushes are great for limbs”.
–  Mallory Knight, Licensed Esthetician and founder of Knight & Day Skin Studio

“​​Dry Brushing is a powerful addition to any skincare and wellness routine. Topical dry brushing has incredible skin exfoliation benefits. The dry bristles exfoliate dry, dead skin cells revealing smoother looking skin. I love this type of exfoliation because oftentimes regular scrubs used in the shower don’t exfoliate well as the pressure from the water washes the exfoliating beads or granulars away too quickly. By brushing your skin pre-shower you are able to get a thorough skin exfoliation. In addition, a cleaner surface is the perfect environment for better product application such as moisturizers, oils and self-tanners.”
Shiri Sarfati, Licensed Esthetician

“Dry brushing can improve the overall health of your skin by increasing blood flow and oxygenation, which can promote cell renewal and collagen production. This helps reduce the appearance and signs of aging. It can also enhance deodorant effectiveness by removing buildup and promoting lymphatic drainage.”
–  Terri Smith of Freshen Up

woman using dry brush on skin

How To Get Started

1. Start at your feet and move up your body.

2. Brush your skin using wide, circular, clockwise motions.

3. Use light pressure in areas where your skin is thin and harder pressure on thicker skin, like the soles of your feet.

4. Brush your arms after you have brushed your feet, legs, and midsection.

“This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristle brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating the skin. You will notice less dry skin and much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after trying it.”
-​​ Dr. Enrizza Factor MD, Dermatologist at My Eczema Team

Now that you know what dry brushing is, and which techniques to try, here are a few recommendations to get you started:

OSEA Total Body Glow Trio: $98
Goop’s G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush: $25
Repêchage® Dry Body Brush w/ Cactus Bristle: $36
Natural Bristle Body Brush Set: $16
Cashmere Moon Vegan & Eco-Friendly Dry Brush: $24
Kate McLeod Brush: $26
Grace & Stella Bath Brush: $14.99

Ashley-Victoria Smith
Ashley-Victoria Smith
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Serial entrepreneur, celebrity publicist, published author, swimwear designer, and creative director. Currently resides in the Queen City with her two rescue fur babies indulging in coffee, a good book, and Marvel movies.

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