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After a long winter, chances are one of the first things you want to do is show off a little leg in cute spring dresses. But after being cooped up in the dry air under heavy clothes for months, your skin from the neck down might be looking a little more dull and dry than you’d like. Just as you take care of your complexion, you need to show the rest of your skin some love—and that holds true year-round. Dry body brushing is one way to do so. We’re giving you the scoop on this exfoliating technique, so keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dry brushes including how using a body brush can benefit your skin and the best way to add dry brushing to your skin care routine.
As we mentioned, dry brushing is an exfoliating technique, the same way sugar scrubs and glycolic acid peels are exfoliation methods. Getting more specific, dry brushing is a mechanical exfoliation method (sometimes known as physical exfoliation) that involves rubbing a dry body brush (or a loofah if you have sensitive skin) across your skin to gently slough off dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Dry brushing is often part of spa treatments, so you may have already experienced it without giving it much thought!
As it turns out, dry brushing is sometimes part of spa treatments for good reason. Dead skin cells that have built up on the surface of your skin can leave it looking dull—which is where dry brushing can be beneficial. If your skin is sensitive and you’ve had trouble finding a body scrub that works for you, dry brushing can be a good option as you don’t need to pair the brush with any products.
While it’s true that dry brushing is a good option to consider if you’re sensitive to body scrubs and exfoliating body washes, your skin can still have a reaction to exfoliating of any kind. We recommend taking it slow and testing a patch of skin first to see how it responds before dry brushing all over. You’ll want to use the dry brush on dry, clean skin. Once you’ve determined it’s safe to proceed with dry brushing your entire body, start at your feet and work your way up to your chest. Move the body brush around in circular motions, making sure to be gentle. You don’t need to use a lot of force to slough your skin, the brush should do pretty much all of the work for you! You may want to pay special attention to areas that can be especially dry—like your elbows, feet, and knees.
The work doesn’t stop when you finish with your dry brush. Once you’re done, hop in the shower to rinse off. Then, apply a body lotion to damp skin to help lock in hydration.
Since you shouldn’t be dry brushing your face, use a face scrub in the shower to exfoliate your face and lips, too. We love the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub! After sloughing the skin above your neck, apply a moisturizer to your damp skin.
Editor’s note: You’ll also want to clean off your body brush! Give it a quick cleansing with a gentle soap and make sure it’s stored somewhere it can dry completely.
When it comes to exfoliating, there’s no right or wrong answer as to how often it should be done. Some people can tolerate daily exfoliation, while others may only need to do so once or twice a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds after dry brushing to determine what works best for you. It’s best to take your time to determine the best exfoliation schedule for your skin. Start with dry brushing just once a week and go from there.
And there you have it! As you now know, dry brushing is a spa-inspired exfoliating technique that can help loosen dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. Now that you know all about the benefits, consider adding dry body brushing to your skin care regimen. Exfoliation, FTW!
Next up: Dry brushing isn’t the only way to bring the spa to you. How about giving yourself a DIY facial? Follow our 7 Steps for a DIY Facial to totally pamper yourself!