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The Truth About Dry Brushing


Exfoliation is the name of the game in the modern skincare world - from chemical exfoliants to physical exfoliants - there are a variety of ways to rid your skin of the unwanted dead skin cells. Before we get into dry brushing as an exfoliant, let's talk about what exfoliation is. 

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead corneocyte (the outermost layer of the epidermis) buildup by chemical or physical means [1]. Exfoliation stimulates cell turnover and creates a more polished, radiant appearance [1]. 


Dry brushing is a form of physical exfoliation performed by a dry brush with stiff bristles and is recommended directly before a shower for optimal results. Dry brushing is similarly compared to a body massage and claims to rid your skin barrier from dry and flaking skin, as well as detoxify and help digestion [2]. 

Dry brushing benefits [2,3]: 

  • Gentler than scrubbing in the shower: hot water inflames the skin and strips away the natural oils that moisturize the skin. Dry brushing allows for exfoliation without the harsh stripping
  • Gives the skin aradiant glow: the removal of dead skin cells often gives the skin brighter and more youthful appearance
  • Stimulates the nervous system: much like a massage, you may feel invigorated afterdry brushing. This is aboost to the nervous system
  • Detoxifies the skin: by unclogging the skin, you are allowing for dirt and toxins to leave the body, easier. Dry brushing also promoteblood flow, and helps with lymph drainage (check out our article on lymphatic drainage here.) [4]


Now, dry brushing has great benefits but it is not beneficial for everyone.Here are some situations where you should not consider dry brushing [2,3]:

  • For your face: The skin on your face is generally more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body. It is recommended that you use another method of exfoliation, like a gentle physical or chemical exfoliant on the facial skin. 
  • On broken skin: Because of the firm bristles, dry brushing is not recommended on broken or cracked skin as it could lead to further abrasions and the spread of bacteria to the wound, risking infection. 
  • On problem skin: It is not recommended to dry brush over moles, warts, or other skin conditions. We recommend you consult those concerns with your dermatologist before dry brushing over them for irritation sake. 
  • On sensitive skin: Although gentle dry brushing can be achieved on sensitive skin, do not continue dry brushing if your skin becomes irritated, red or painful. 

Dry Brushing is a great way to both feel good and look good by invigorating your body and boosting your skin's appearance. If your skin is suited well to dry brushing, it can be a great addition to your self care or exfoliation routine. 


  1. Rodan K, Fields K, Majewski G, Falla T. Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016 Dec 14;4(12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp):e1152. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000001152. PMID: 28018771; PMCID: PMC5172479.