Three Things to Know About Using Dry Brushes for Your Body

Brush up your skincare routine with this ancient beauty secret.

Woman dry brushing skin.
Brush before your shower for best results.Getty Images

Dry brushing is a long-established Ayurvedic tradition that’s purported to detox the body through lymphatic drainage and improve overall well-being. The verdict is out on those claims, but one thing research has definitely proven: dry brushing makes skin softer and smoother through good, old-fashioned exfoliation. Here’s how to try it for yourself.

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Sturdy bristles and soft nodules for a relaxing routine.C.S.M.

The key to dry brushing is brushing firmly enough to slough off dead skin cells without brushing so hard that you irritate your skin. Experts recommend dry brushing once or twice per week. If you have sensitive skin or struggle with eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions, consult a dermatologist before giving it a try. If you have a temporary skin issue, like a sunburn, open wound, or breakout, you’ll want to avoid dry brushing until your skin heals.

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Ayurvedic practitioners recommend dry brushing in long strokes starting at the feet and moving upward, always stroking toward your heart, going over each area of your body two or three times, and brushing your belly in a clockwise motion. All of that is for you to decide, but for proven results, dry brush before a bath or shower, so you can wash off exfoliated skin.

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Like any beauty product, your dry brush needs special care to stay clean and remain effective. Every few weeks, you should wash it off with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Check the instructions on your brush to see what’s recommended. Soaking natural-fiber bristles too long can weaken them, so clean-up should consist of a quick dip and then air drying. When not in use, store your dry brush in a clean, dry area out of direct sunlight.

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