Dry brushing! What’s with all this hype about it? Is it really THAT good? If yes, how do I do it correctly? Can it really get rid of cellulite? More importantly, which is the best dry body brush?
If you’re like me and are interested in the previous questions (and more), stick around and let’s find out!
- Dry Brushing 101: The Essential Things
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Best Brush for Dry Brushing with My Top 13 Reviews
- Zen Me Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush
- Nowellife Dry Brushing Body Brush Set
- Mio Body Brush
- Rengöra Dry Brushing Body Brush
- Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush
- Fantasea Natural Bristle Body Brush
- C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing
- Dry Brushing Body Brush by SpaVerde
- Dry Skin Body Brush by Wholesome Beauty
- Merben Soft Texture Jute Body Brush with Cotton Cord Handle
- Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush
- Redecker Fine Bronze Wire/Horsehair Massage Brush
- The Organic Pharmacy Skin Brush
- Final Brushes of Thought
Dry Brushing 101: The Essential Things
What is Dry Brushing (And What It Isn’t)?
First things first – dry brushing is NOT the solution to all of our skin problems. I know you came here to see some evidence of dry brushing vanishing cellulite like a magical wand of wonder, however, you won’t find that here.
I’m sorry. Yes, I’m as devastated as you are. I too was hoping that I could dry brush away my cellulite for the spring/summer season.
However, there’s no scientific proof of dry brushing helping to fight cellulite. It may plump up the skin due to blood flow but it won’t make cellulite vanish as it is there due to fat and collagen bands in women, says Dr. Carolyn Jacobs.
Dry brushing essentially helps:
- Remove dead skin cells from your body (exfoliation),
- And exfoliation also helps unclog pores (which is essential for people with Keratosis Pilaris),
- Better absorb topical skin treatments once the upper layer of skin is removed (as stated by Dr. Lupo),
- Stimulate the lymphatic system (lymphatic drainage),
- Increase blood flow (which helps detoxify better).
All of this from a dry body brush? Yes, more on that later.
The way I see dry brushing – it’s a step to be included as your skincare routine for your whole body.
Most of us have a set facial routine or at least we try to moisturize every day, put a facial mask every now and then, and so on. But why isn’t it the case with the rest of our skin ON OUR WHOLE BODY?
What’s the Difference between Dry Brushing and Exfoliating?
So, if you’re used to exfoliating your skin with a loofah or an exfoliating glove, then let me tell you how it’s different from dry brushing.
With regular exfoliating, we usually understand that it is done once your skin is wet with warm/hot water.
Dry brushing is the complete opposite of regular in-the-shower exfoliation, as it involves exfoliating while your skin is dry.
The reason dry brushing is so popular is that once you exfoliate your skin while it’s dry you can remove a lot more of the dead skin cells.
But when the skin cells are wet with soaked up water then it’s more difficult for the dead skin cells to shed.
How Many Times a Week Should You Dry Brush Your Skin
You can brush daily
BUT when just starting out, perhaps it’s better to gradually increase the dry brushing days.
Start out with 2-3 times per week, giving your skin a chance to get used to the brushing. It’s like doing a patch test on your skin of a new product.
Same goes for the added pressure you’re pushing on the brush when dry brushing – start out with light strokes, gradually adapting your skin to a bit tougher strokes.
Where and When to Dry Brush Your Skin
Stand in the shower or bathtub (without pouring water over yourself, your skin needs to be dry).
Why specifically IN the shower/bathtub? You may not see actual big flakes of dead skin cells coming off, but when you brush off those dead skin cells they fall off on the shower’s floor, making it also easier to just wash it away.
So, do it when you’ve stepped IN the shower, just for your convenience.
Right before you take a shower. If you take a shower in the morning, even better. All that brushing will get your blood flowing, which will really wake you up.
If, however, you take a shower before you go to bed, then please be gentle and mindful when brushing your skin so to ensure calming the skin and prepping it for a good night’s sleep.
How to Do Dry Brushing
When I started out with dry brushing, I read a lot of articles and watched a lot of YouTube videos and, as always, there were different ways from different people, and of course, each swears by their way as the best way to dry brush.
Well, since dry brushing helps your lymphatic system to not hold the toxins, move the fatty acids from the digestive system, and overall run everything a bit smoother, then it should be obvious to understand how this system works, really.
A good and easily understandable video on the lymphatic system is this one: (if you have the time, please watch it)
Regarding the actual part of the day when it’s time for you to start brushing those dead skin cells away as well as get the lymphatic system moving, well another great video, which I strongly recommend seeing, is this one (the video has poor sound quality so turn up the volume):
I’ve watched the above video 3 times to really remember the techniques of dry brushing she advises to use.
However, if you’re in a rush or are just not able to watch the video at the moment, here’s a summary of the video:
- Start on the left side of the body, since the left side holds ¾ of the whole body’s toxins.
- If you don’t have time for the whole body, dry brush the 5 most important parts of the lymphatic system – both armpits, the groin, and the abdomen.
- The armpits are not the part you’re really thinking of, here it’s meant as the part where the arm meets the chest. So, just below your collar bones.
- Do both sides of your armpits in circular motions.
- The groin – the point where your leg meets the lower stomach, closer to the bikini line, you can feel your hip bone near it.
- Do both sides of the groin, also in a circular motion.
- Finally, since the abdomen has 60-70 % of the lymphatic tissue you should spend at least a minute of dry brushing your abdomen in circular motions, as well as go the opposite way of what you do for the whole body.
- Start from the right side and go to the left side because that’s how our intestines go. You’re making your digestive system work better as well.
For more specific use of a dry brush all over your body, I highly recommend watching the video from the doctor.
How to Clean a Dry Brush
With all the brushing off dead skin cells, some are bound to stay on the brush over time, so you definitely need to clean your brush at least once a week if you’re a frequent dry brusher.
All you need is an antibacterial solution, water and a bowl that fits the brush (without the handle)
An antibacterial solution can be antibacterial essential oils, my favorites include:
- Tea tree oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Grapefruit essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
More on other essential oils here.
Step by Step How to Clean Your Dry Brush
- Grab a wide enough bowl to fit the brush in.
- Pour warm water in the bowl.
- Add one of the essential oils you prefer most (I put 10 drops).
- Put the brush in the water – only the bristles, not the wooden part with which you hold the brush because wood and water don’t go well together. The bristles need to be facing downwards.
- Slowly move the brush in the water so to get everything out.
- Keep the brush in for 10 minutes.
- Pour out the water from the bowl, rinse it out.
- Pour new cold water into the bowl to rinse the brush out from the essential oil.
Dry Brushing Pros and Cons
There are lots of amazing benefits that you can get from dry brushing especially if you found the right body brush to do the job (like the ones recommended below), these are:
- Removes dead skin cells and leaves you with smoother more radiant skin.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Improves digestion.
- Aids in lymphatic drainage or removal of toxins from your body.
- Stimulates the nervous system which helps feel energizes afterward (says acupuncturist Jamie Starkey).
No matter how good these benefits are, people may also experience the following as a result of using the wrong body brush or doing the wrong dry brushing techniques:
- Redness and tiny scratches from using a stiff brush.
- Skin irritations and infection.
- Hives for people with sensitive skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Dry Brushing Not Wet?
In a nutshell, dry brushing does not require water or any sort of lubricant as it is made more effective that way. Water can be absorbed by the skin causing it to plump up and when it does, it makes it a tiny bit harder to exfoliate dead skin cells.
A quick note though, while dry brushing has a lot of benefits in our skin and general health, it is not advisable for everyone.
People with dry, sensitive, aging skin and those with skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis may be better off with regular wet exfoliation or totally hold off from any exfoliating treatment unless advised by their doctors.
Does Dry Brushing Help Cellulite?
Does lymphatic drainage massage work for cellulite?
Yes and No.
Yes, because a lymphatic massage for cellulite helps it work better by getting rid of all the toxins. So, naturally, your skin appears to have a glow and feel softer to the touch.
However, the no part is that cellulite appears due to the lack of muscle atrophy.
In other words, your muscles are not toned and “pumped”, which makes the fat cells become bigger and if you’re not dry brushing then that layer of skin also has toxic fluids, which makes the elastin fibers stretch out, which then gives the appearance of cellulite.
For reference, see the below picture:
Final conclusion – yes, dry brushing helps with getting rid of the toxic fluids, but to get the unhealthy fat cells smaller (and therefore minimize the appearance of cellulite), you’re going to have to do some exercises.
Does Body Brushing Help You Lose Weight?
This one’s similar to asking if cellulite massage benefits your skin with a reduction of the appearance of cellulite.
Again, Yes and No.
Don’t expect that you only need to try dry brushing and weight loss will follow.
Once again, because you’re brushing your skin which helps your blood flow better as well as get rid of excess oils and buildup in your skin, yes it may appear that you’ve lost some fat.
Can dry brushing alone help you lose weight? No, because you need to lead a healthy lifestyle accompanied by exercises.
Even daily longer walks can be considered as an appropriate movement for better results when combining it with dry brushing.
Does Dry Brushing Tighten Loose Skin?
Yes, this mom/personal trainer is proof for it.
But keep in mind, that dry brushing alone won’t be a miracle that cures all the things you want to be fixed, a planned diet and some exercise still needs to be considered for faster and more noticeable results.
I know the usual question around dry brushing is specifically regarding dry brushing pregnancy stretch marks, but women can also have them without having kids (like myself).
I’ve been using dry brushing for a little while but I’ve already noticed a little change.
Can I Dry Brush My Face?
Yes, you can. That includes also dry brushing face wrinkles and acne scars.
But if your next question is – can dry brushing cause breakouts? – then also yes, if you’ve planned on using your dry brush for the body.
You must buy a facial dry brush, as the bristles are much, much finer and softer. You don’t want unnecessary damage to your face by using a rough body dry brush.
A good source of how to brush your face here.
Also, note that a breakout during your first week of facial dry brushing may be normal due to the fact that your skin is pushing out excess oils and other debris. It should return to normal after the first week.
Start out with dry brushing your face once or twice weekly.
Does Dry Brushing Help Keratosis Pilaris?
YES, OH-PEANUT-BUTTER-AND-JELLY-SANDWICH, YES!
I have Keratosis Pilaris on the back of my arms and on my upper thighs.
The silky smoothness I’m experiencing makes me feel…. well… I might as well be an Egyptian goddess. (and not just me, this woman shares my enthusiasm)
Dry brushing for KP is almost revolutionary.
If you have KP like me I highly recommend trying dry brushing for fighting the so-called strawberry legs, chicken skin, and whatnot.
Best Brush for Dry Brushing with My Top 13 Reviews
Now let’s look at some of the best dry brush brands and what they’ve got in store for us.
Final Brushes of Thought
In the ending, I want to remind you to really re-think about the money of the brush. Sure you can buy a cheaper one, but if you read some reviews online and find that most people really suggest this brush, then please don’t look at the price of the brush.
Even if it’s 50$, it’s not a monthly purchase, and if it’s truly one of the best dry body brushes then it most likely won’t be a yearly purchase as well.