Dry Brushing: A Quick Guide and FAQs

One of the best ways to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin has to be dry brushing. It is believed to have multiple benefits and health claims too, such as providing help for flaky winter skin, increased circulation, detoxify, digestion, and improving the appearance of cellulite. 

It’s all these claims but how true are they? According to dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, “Some are true, but definitely not all.”

What is dry brushing?

Dry brushing is using a dry brush with firm and natural bristles and use it to gently massage dry skin in an upward motion. This process claims to brighten the skin and shed off dead skin. In addition, moisturizer is said to be more effective with with this method.

Before starting your dry brushing process, make sure that the skin is completely dry. It’s also done best before showering and massaged with slight firm pressure. 

The Benefits of Dry Brushing

While dry brushing is not the magic technique to attain perfect and flawless skin, it does have its own benefits that you might want to take advantage of. 

Improve circulation

Typically, after dry brushing, your skin will turn to a reddish color. No need to fret! This is not due to irritation and is a cause for concern. The skin redness is just a bit of inflammation and more on increased circulation since your body is pushing more blood to the dry-brushed areas. 

Exfoliates dead skin

Similar to all exfoliating methods, dry brushing all sheds dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This results to faster cell regeneration and more glowing and smooth skin. 

Plumps the skin

A lot of people have noticed lessened cellulite after the brushing process This is due to temporary plumping effects on the skin. 


Dry Brushing FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions on dry brushing that you should know about! 

Is dry brushing good for the skin?

Dry brushing is an excellent exfoliation method for dry and flaky winter skin. It unclogs pores and detoxifies skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph drainage. Similar to how a massage works, it also stimulates your nervous system and gives the same revitalizing energy as a massage would. 

What brush to use for dry brushing?

To fully utilize the benefits of dry brushing, the best brush to use would be a natural stiff-bristled brush with a long handle. Still, this is up to your preference and skin sensitivity since there are brushes that have stiffer bristles. The purpose of the long handle is for places that are hard to reach, like the back. 

Can I dry brush if I have a skin condition?

Generally, the bristles need to be firm for it to be effective. This is a challenge for those with sensitive skin. A good alternative to this would be a plain and dry washcloth. This can still provide similar results but if you see redness, swelling, or inflammation, it is advised that you immediately stop. 

There are certain skin conditions where dry brushing is not recommended and it is suggested that you study and look at your skin first and determine places to avoid like spots, bumps, or skin abnormalities. 

Keep in mind to never brush over moles, warts, or any raised bumps. In addition, don’t use this method on broken skin, including cuts, scrapes, lesions, sores, or burned and sunburned skin. Also, avoid dry brushing your face since the skin on the face is more sensitive than the rest of the body. 

If you have any hesitation, it’s safest to consult your dermatologist. 

How often should I dry brush?

Dry brushing is a total body exfoliation, it can leave your skin feeling a bit raw so how often should you dry brush is completely up to you and the sensitivity and strength of your skin. As a general rule, it is recommended that you don’t dry brush more than two times per week. 

How to dry brush?

Using a natural bristled brush, start with your feet or ankles and work upward in long strokes on the limbs. Then use circular motions on the torso and back. 

On the areas such as abdomen, breasts, and neck, apply light pressure since these areas are more sensitive. The best time to dry brush is before showering.