What Is Dry Brushing & Should You Try It?

If you’ve seen creators raving about the benefits of dry brushing on social media, you’re likely curious about how it works and whether it’s really worth trying.

Dry brushing is a simple skin care technique you can add to your body care routine to help your skin look its best. It can help exfoliate your skin, improve circulation, and invigorate you for the day ahead.

Even better, dry brushing is easy – all you need to do is use a firm bristled brush to gently brush your skin. To help you try it and get the most benefit, we’ve put together some tips you can follow.

Read on to discover how you incorporate dry brushing to build your ideal skincare routine!

What Is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing has been around for centuries as part of Ayurveda, traditionally used to eliminate toxins (ama) in the body and stimulate the lymphatic system. The research has yet to be done to verify some of Ayurveda’s claims, but some dry brushing benefits are well-established – including removing dead skin cells and improving circulation.

All you need to dry brush is a stiff-bristled brush and a little time. Apply gentle pressure with the brush and brush your body. With just a few minutes a couple of times a week, you can help your skin look and feel healthier.

How to Dry Brush Your Skin in 3 Steps

The process of dry brushing your skin is straightforward enough that anyone can do it. However, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your body. There are some individuals who can find dry brushing too intense — for example, it might be too much for those with sensitive skin. It’s also best to avoid dry brushing problem skin areas such as psoriasis or eczema.

Take the following steps to dry brush your skin:

1. Start at Your Feet

Apply a dry brush with relatively firm bristles to your skin and rub in long slightly firm strokes. The goal is to gently remove skin cells and stimulate circulation, so avoid brushing so hard that it becomes painful. Move from your feet upwards. Always try to brush towards the heart.

When you get to your arms, brush from your hands up to your shoulders. For the chest, dry brush in a clockwise direction. And when you get to your stomach, brush downward.

Note that it’s normal to feel tingling and see some redness.

Close-up of a blonde, white woman in a towel using a dry brush on her upper arm.

2. Rinse with Warm Water

When you are done dry brushing, take a warm shower or bath to wash off any dead skin cells. You can choose whether to use a cleanser or not, but rinsing with warm water is an important part of the process to ensure full removal of the dead skin cells that have accumulated during dry brushing.

3. Moisturize

After drying off your body, apply your favorite body moisturizer, such as body butter. If you’re going to be outdoors, you’ll also want to use a mineral sunscreen that’s hydrating. A quality moisturizer helps you maximize the benefits of dry brushing.

How Often Should You Dry Brush?

There is no single answer to how often you should dry brush. Generally, a few times a week should suffice.

Some dermatologists recommend only dry brushing twice a week. Others say you can dry brush once a day if you are careful to avoid irritating your skin.

To determine how often you should dry brush, pay attention to your body’s response. If you notice your skin is already irritated, take a break and wait until your skin has healed.

Dry brushing should only be mildly abrasive to your skin and should not lead to significant discomfort. If you’re noticing discomfort upon repeated brushings, consider sticking to a less intense schedule.

3 Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing has been a favorite skincare technique in some parts of the world for centuries. And for good reason. There are some significant benefits that come from dry brushing that everyone can appreciate, such as:

Exfoliates Your Skin

For most people, this is the most notable benefit. No one wants uncomfortable dry patches on their skin. Dry brushing is very effective at removing dead skin cells and build-up on your skin, like oil and dirt.

By removing the dead skin cells, dry brushing encourages cell turnover, which makes skin smoother and improves its appearance. As long as you rinse off and moisturize afterward, your skin should have a nice, clean glow.

Close-up of a Black woman’s leg as she rubs her smooth skin with her hand.

Boosts Circulation

Many people report experiencing more radiant skin after adding dry brushing to their skincare routine. Maybe that’s because dry brushing can boost circulation.

When you dry brush, you may notice that your skin takes on a rosy hue that fades over the next hour or so. That color change is from increased blood flow to the skin, which is great for removing toxins and improving the health of the cells in the area.

It’s Self Care

You may notice it right away, or it may take some practice, but eventually, dry brushing tends to make you feel better. It can feel luxurious to brush your skin, knowing you’re getting rid of build-up and walking away renewed. Many people find it invigorating, which is why they do it in the morning.

Dry brushing is the best kind of self-care – easy, free, and healing.

Graphic featuring text that reads, “Dry brushing can get rid of cellulite”, with True or False below it. False is circled.

Are There Risks of Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing technique, when done right – not too much pressure and at the right frequency for your skin – is very safe. But it is a form of exfoliation, which can be easy to overdo if you’re not careful.

Brushing too hard, too long, or too frequently can all lead to skin irritation that could be uncomfortable. You might experience some irritation or abrasions, but as long as you’re paying attention to your skin’s reaction and being conscious of how much pressure you apply, you shouldn’t have to worry.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re considering picking up dry skin brushing is that it might not be right for you. For example, if you have certain skin conditions or open wounds.

Graphic of a table that outlines what circumstances dry brushing is and isn’t good for. For those who struggle with psoriasis, eczema, sensitive skin, or have open wounds or sunburned skin, it’s not recommended.

If you have psoriasis, eczema, or other significant skin conditions, you should avoid dry brushing those areas. Doing so can cause more irritation and could make the condition worse. And if you have an open wound, you want to avoid dry brushing that area until it’s fully healed. Not only would it be uncomfortable, but it could introduce bacteria.

For most people, dry brushing is safe and a great addition to your body skincare routine.

4 Tips for Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is not complicated, but it does take a little practice and can be uncomfortable if you aren’t careful. To ensure you have the best experience, it’s best to learn the basics and be gentle with yourself.

Here are some helpful tips for the best dry-brushing experience:

1. Get the Right Brush

Get a brush designed for dry brushing, preferably with a long handle. There are plenty of skin brushes to choose from that use the right stiffness of bristles and are made to reach areas like your back. Some brushes feature detachable handles, so you can brush most of your body with the brush head in your hand and then attach a handle to get your back.

Graphic with text that reads, “Dry Brush Care: Wash bristles with gentle soap; Rinse brush thoroughly; Hang to dry.” Each text element is paired with an icon that represents it.

2. Ease Into It

Start gently and pay attention to your body. Beginning a dry brushing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to get used to the feeling and learn what is comfortable and healthy for your skin and sensitivities.

When you first start dry brushing, take it easy, use gentle strokes, and take your time. After a few sessions, you will have a good idea of what works for you.

3. Avoid Injured Areas

Avoid brushing skin that is irritated, injured, or suffers from a skin condition such as eczema. Dry brushing is great for healthy skin. But it can make injured areas worse, so avoid applying the brush to such areas.

4. Practice Aftercare

Don’t forget the aftercare. Dry brushing is only one part of a healthy body skincare routine. Rinsing or removing dry skin, and properly moisturizing is also key.

Level Up Your Body Care Routine

Dry brushing is an excellent way to exfoliate your skin and improve circulation, and all it takes is a skin brush and a little practice. Ready to put dry brushing into practice? With the tips above, you should be able to pick it up with no problem.

If you need something protective and hydrating to use after dry brushing, we have you covered. At Colorescience, we offer high-quality moisturizing and mineral sunscreens that can round out your skincare routine to provide the healthiest possible skin. Try our completely sheer, no-white-cast SPF today to see how it can help protect and nourish your skin.