What Is Drying Brushing and What Are the Skin Benefits—Expert Tips

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And while it may be the hardest benefit to measure, Garcia adds that many people find the sensation of dry brushing to be very relaxing. “Taking a few minutes each day to pamper yourself with this self-care ritual may help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being,” she says.

What do you need to dry brush?

Garcia says any brush made with natural bristle—you’ll find options made with boar bristles, goat hair, sisal, and more—works best. Dr. Mraz doesn’t have any particular preference as long as the bristles are soft. We like the Lather Body Brush and the Goop Ultimate Dry Brush, both of which are made with flexible, sisal bristles (which is just plain fun to say).


Lather Sisal Body Brush


Goop Ultimate Dry Brush

In addition to a soft, natural-bristle brush, all you really need is a little self-control. “When you give people brushes of all sorts, they think it’s a scrub brush—like you’re cleaning pots and pans,” Dr. Grossman says. “But this is your skin, and you need to be gentle. You’re not supposed to be red or scratched after.”

According to Wilson you only need five minutes to complete a dry-brushing treatment. Here’s what she says to do:

  • Begin at the feet and work your way up and around the body.
  • Use a light touch and only perform a few strokes per area.
  • Brush toward the heart and finish your strokes at lymph node drainage sites like the armpits or groin areas. (But don’t use the brush directly on genitals.)

Dr. Grossman recommends rubbing in a light, circular motion before hopping into the shower, taking it easy on your chest, and avoiding your face completely. “You can be a little tougher on your knees, elbows, ankles, and the tops of your feet, where the skin is thicker.”

What should you do after dry brushing?

When you’re ready to shower, Dr. Grossman recommends cleansing with a mild body wash like the Allure Best of Beauty Award-winning Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash. However, you may want to skip any other means of exfoliation, like a body scrub or anti-acne wash, as Dr. Grossman warns it may leave your skin stinging. “You’re removing that surface layer [when you dry brush], which temporarily makes your skin more sensitive,” she says.


Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash


Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream

All of our experts recommend following up a post-dry-brush shower with a rich yet gentle body lotion or body oil to really soak in hydration. “Take advantage of the exfoliation that will help with the absorption,” Garcia says. We’re fans of the Best of Beauty Award-winning Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream for especially dry skin.

Who shouldn’t try dry brushing?

As Dr. Grossman mentioned, dry brushing can make skin more sensitive, so skin that’s already sensitive to begin with may want to avoid the treatment. This includes those with eczema or psoriasis, Dr. Mraz says. “Psoriasis can Koebnerize, which means ‘cause injury that can lead to the skin condition worsening,’” she says.

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