Why You Should Start Dry Brushing

You may have seen dry brushing listed as part of a salt scrub–type service on a spa menu, or heard about it through one of your girlfriends, but do you really know how it can benefit your skin? We thought it was worth taking a closer look.

What it is: A method of exfoliation using a dry brush that is often touted by spa professionals for its internal and external benefits. The brushes look like standard body brushes that you’d hang in your shower, but the bristles are typically more firm and made of cactus.

How it works: “Dry brushing involves using a brush to effectively remove dry, dead skin and help treatment creams and lotions better absorb,” says Greg Moses, general manager of BioElixia skin care. “The thighs and saddlebags are cellulite-prone areas, and dry brushing every other day will not only make the skin in those areas appear visibly firmer and smoother, but also boost circulation and promote a natural detoxification effect in the body.” Other benefits include visible improvement in skin tone and a reduction in clogged hair follicles that can often lead to skin conditions like keratosis pilaris.

What to do: Start at your feet and work your way up the backs of the legs to the neck using gentle, sweeping strokes in an upward motion. “Use it on dry skin prior to showering for five to 10 minutes—the goal is to feel invigorated, not sore,” says Moses. “With continued use, you will see less lumps and a more radiant glow to your skin.”

What to use: Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush ($23, net-a-porter.com); BioElixia Pure Cactus Bristle Dry Body Brush ($18, bioelixia.com); Elemis Skin Brush ($48, nordstrom.com)