Much like jade rollers and Himalayan salt lamps, the trend of dry brushing has grown in popularity over recent years thanks to bloggers, models and health-conscious celebs. It’s another one of those much-touted procedures that flourish in the world of skin care, promising to smooth skin, improve health, and file your taxes. (OK, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.)
Dry brushing is a natural exfoliating technique where you brush dry skin using a specialty brush. Usually, a dry brush has firm, natural bristles designed to enhance blood flow and remove dead skin cells. Some fans of dry brushing also make loftier claims, saying it can reduce the appearance of cellulite, improve circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system.
It’s important to note that no major studies have supported the health benefits of dry brushing, even though you’ll find plenty of positive testimonials all over the internet. While it might not cure you of all your ailments (nor file your taxes), dry brushing does do an incredible job of sloughing off dead skin cells, and, as a result, leaving your skin silky smooth.
We recommend doing it in the shower before you turn on the water, allowing the tub to catch your dead skin cells. (Yes, it sounds gross, but bear with us.) When brushing, start at your feet, and brush (gently!) upward toward your heart. Try to use circular motions on more sensitive areas like your stomach and chest. When you’ve finished brushing your entire body, shower as usual, pat dry, and follow up with a rich, creamy moisturizer. Do this two to three times a week in place of an in-shower exfoliator.
There are plenty of dry brushes out there, even some for under $10. My personal favorite is the Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush ($19.95; amazon.com), but there are more great options you can grab to say hello to seriously soft skin.
Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush ($19.95; amazon.com)
With natural boar bristles, this body brush removes dead skin cells quickly and easily. It has a 4.6-star rating off more than 1,700 reviews, and it comes with shower gloves, a face sponge, a foot stone, and a tips and tricks e-book to kick-start your brushing routine.
Sephora Collection Dry Revive Body Brush ($14; sephora.com)
This brush has an ergonomic shape so it fits right in your palm, making it easy to dry brush comfortably with its boar hair bristles.
Dry Skin Body Brush ($7.95; amazon.com)
With a 4.5-star rating from over 3,300 reviews, this $8 dry brush has a handle to slide your hand in, plus it comes with a travel bag so you can take your dry brushing routine with you wherever you go.
G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush ($20; goop.com)
From Gwyneth Paltrow’s trendy health site Goop, this is a curved dry brush made from natural sisal fibers from agave. The short handle is a nice touch and helps to make this a versatile brush to start your days with a dry brush.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.