Home Skincare How Often Should You Dry Brush?

How Often Should You Dry Brush?

by Gabbi

Exfoliation can bring new skin cells to the surface and create a radiant glow. Physical and chemical exfoliants will help eliminate dead skin to make way for soft skin. While most people may exfoliate the face, the body can often be neglected. 

Dry brushing is a unique approach to body exfoliation. It incorporates the use of a bristle brush to invigorate the skin. Also, there have been claims that dry brushing can reduce the appearance of cellulite, promote soft skin, and boost immunity.

This method of exfoliation may not be the most comfortable, but there has been a recent surge in dry brushing thanks to its potential benefits. It can make the skin feel raw or slightly sensitized because you’re brushing away dry skin.

So, how often should you dry brush? Because dry brushing can be harsh on the skin, it may be wise only to do it a few times a week. Some less sensitive people can do it daily, but over-exfoliation can also lead to unwanted effects.

Dry brushing can awaken your body’s senses and help bring new skin cells to the surface. However, what are the benefits of dry brushing, and how can you incorporate it into your beauty regimen?

What Is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a body exfoliation technique that incorporates a coarse or denser bristle brush (if you don’t already have one, this one on Amazon is perfect for dry brushing). The brush usually has natural fibers and is used to dry-exfoliate the skin. It’s also a kind of Ayurvedic medicine used in multiple cultures.

Most dry brushing is done in circular or sweeping motions before a shower on dry skin. Dry bristle brushes can be found in most beauty or health stores. However, this exfoliation method can be pretty harsh on the face and body.

Potential Benefits Of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is increasing in popularity thanks to its potential benefits. Some individuals claim that dry brushing can boost your immunity, reduce cellulite, or improve circulation. Unfortunately, not all of these claims are proven. 

Most of the results produced from dry brushing are from anecdotal evidence, but it can still refresh and revitalize the skin. Some expected benefits of dry brushing include exfoliation, massage, and increasing circulation.


Exfoliation is the number one benefit of dry brushing. It will sweep away dead skin cells sitting on the surface to promote glowing skin. Dry brushing is a form of physical exfoliation and applies light pressure to the skin to create a softer result.

The bristles of a dry brush are usually natural and coarse so that they can create a rugged effect on the skin. It’s best to follow up dry brushing with a shower.

Lymphatic Massage

Another reason why more people are gravitating towards dry brushing is its potential to reduce toxins. It’s unknown how effective dry brushing is at eliminating toxins from the body, but it can be a great form of lymphatic massage. 

There is anecdotal evidence that dry brushing may be able to reduce swelling and produce a more slim appearance. Regardless, dry brushing can still be a relaxing act of self-care and make an excellent massage.

Increase Circulation 

Most people assume that dry brushing can increase blood flow or circulation within the body. Increasing circulation in combination with lymphatic massage may potentially boost your immune system.

This may be possible temporarily, but there is still little evidence that these provide long-term results. Dry brushing can potentially create a relaxing experience, reduce stress and allow the body’s immunity to rise.

You may notice a flush of red on the skin after dry brushing that indicates increased circulation, but it’s usually temporary.

Reduce Cellulite 

Most potential benefits offer a temporary solution with little known about their long-term effects. Many claim that dry brushing can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Dry brushing may be able to reduce cellulite’s intensity at first, but little evidence points to dry brushing restructuring the fat and muscle under the skin. It may give a boosted and tightened appearance after your dry brush session. 

The Risks Of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing may not be for everyone. In addition, it can ignite various skin conditions or interfere with medical concerns. 

If you fall under either of these categories, please consult with your doctor before adding dry brushing to your routine.

Dry brushing can feel quite harsh and uncomfortable on the skin, especially since it’s done dry. Other dry brushing risks include increasing irritation, spreading wounds, or damaging the skin barrier.

Harsh On Sensitive Skin

Avoid dry brushing if your skin is particularly sensitive. Dry brushing uses a coarse, natural fiber brush to exfoliate the skin. Because the skin is dry, it can feel extraordinarily harsh and cause pain or soreness.

It’s possible that dry brushing can increase irritation and create an unwanted effect. You might notice that redness can appear on the skin right after dry brushing, but it should disappear with time. 

You might be able to work up a tolerance to dry brushing, but it won’t be worth applying pressure or force. 


Whether you have sensitive skin or not, dry brushing can cause discomfort.

Most people get used to the feeling of dry brushing and soon find the exfoliation relaxing. However, the bristles can initially feel rough and rugged, making the experience uncomfortable.

If you find dry brushing is causing discomfort, it’s best to stop or to limit how often you dry brush.

Ignite Skin Conditions 

Dry brushing won’t suit those who struggle or deal with specific skin conditions. For example, eczema and psoriasis can get further ignited with dry brushing. This exfoliation method is harsh and can even spread or worsen your skin condition. 

It’s wise to avoid applying pressure while dry brushing or this technique can add scratches or minor injuries to the skin, especially if you have a skin condition. You can also disrupt skin growths like moles with dry brushing.


Dry brushing can also potentially spread infection or viruses. It will be best to avoid dry brushing altogether if you have an open wound present on the body because the brush can spread this skin irritant. This can include warts or moles. 

Infection can increase rapidly if the dry brush isn’t sanitized or maintained. In addition, dry brushes can quickly pick up mold and mildew that can cause risks to the body or face. 

How Effective Is Dry Brushing? 

Dry brushing is an excellent method of physical exfoliation. It will eliminate dead skin cells from the surface, making way for softer skin. However, it is unclear how well dry brushing reduces cellulite, boosts immunity, or drains toxins from the body.

Most evidence towards these claims is anecdotal with little backed by science. However, dry brushing can still create a relaxing effect and may temporarily flush or tighten skin.

You may consult a doctor before dry brushing if you have a medical or skin concern.

When Is The Best Time To Dry Brush?

The ideal time to dry brush is right before a shower. Some people will dry brush first thing in the morning and shower afterward to get ready for the day. Others may decide to exfoliate at night to drain stress before sleep.

You can invigorate your senses with a cold shower after dry brushing. It’s usually best to dry brush before a shower to wash away dead skin cells. 

How Often Should You Dry Brush?

How often you dry brush can depend on your skin’s sensitivity levels. Because dry brushing feels harsh on the skin, it may take some time for your skin to adapt. It’s ideal to start dry brushing once a week to see how your skin reacts. 

If your skin can handle dry brushing, you may increase the number of times you dry brush. Dry brushing 3-5 times a week can help keep your skin soft and smooth. Also, you’ll want to avoid over-exfoliating with your dry brush.

Where Can You Dry Brush?

You can dry brush the body and the face. However, it’s more efficient to dry brush the face with softer bristles because the skin is more delicate and thin than our bodies. Also, you’ll want to apply extremely light pressure to avoid irritation.

Dry brushing is meant for the body and can be done on the legs, butt, back, arms, and chest. It may be wise to avoid any delicate areas to avoid pain and discomfort. Also, passing over an area once or twice is more than enough to exfoliate the skin.

Can You Over Exfoliate? 

Dry brushing is already a particularly harsh exfoliation method, so limiting its use is ideal. It can be easy to over-exfoliate your skin with a dry brush, mainly if you apply too much pressure on the skin. Dry brushing daily could potentially damage the skin.

Also, it may be challenging to reap the benefits of dry brushing like smooth skin or reduced stress if the skin feels raw from over-exfoliation.   

How To Dry Brush

Dry brushing is a simple practice almost anyone can incorporate into their routine. In addition, dry brushing will only take a few extra minutes, so you don’t have to worry about spending more time in the bathroom.

Start Bottom To Top 

First, you’ll want to start with dry skin. Dry brushing typically begins working from the feet upwards. So you can think about starting from the bottom to the top. Also, you’ll want to work from the outside in and create your strokes towards the heart.

You can also research proper dry brushing techniques of Ayurvedic medicine or drain towards the lymph nodes if you want to create the effect of lymphatic drainage. 

Circular Motions Or Light Strokes

Now, decide which brush pattern you will use on the body. The most common methods include sweeping the brush in circular motions across the body or continuous light strokes. Which one you choose is up to your preference.

The brush patterns will potentially boost circulation, and you may witness a flush occur on the skin. Also, these patterns will effortlessly sweep away dead skin cells.

Brush Towards The Heart

Brush towards the heart when in doubt. This will temporarily and potentially drain any lymph within the body to create the illusion of a slimmer appearance. In addition, it may be able to increase circulation before finishing your routine in the shower.

Also, apply light pressure while brushing to avoid any unnecessary skin irritation. It can also make the gliding or brushing process more bearable. 

If you’re more of a visual learner, take a look at this tutorial from Goop on YouTube.


It’s crucial to complete your dry brushing routine with a shower. Showers, especially cold ones, will provide their own health benefits to the body.

Also, a shower will create a relaxing atmosphere to help you gain the stress-reducing effect of dry brushing. The main reason why it’s crucial to shower after dry brushing is to wash away all the excess dead skin cells.

A quick rinse will reveal smoother and softer skin. 


How can you ensure your smooth dry brushing results last? You’ll want to feed the skin nourishment after an intense dry brush session. It’ll be beneficial to moisturize the skin after your shower to hydrate and soothe your skin post-brush (we love this lotion from CeraVe that melts into your skin).

Your moisturizer can also contain chemical exfoliants to promote a deeper exfoliation if you suffer from dry or rough skin. Regardless, a moisturizer will lock in hydration and give the skin a boost of nutrients. 

When Will You See Results?

How long will it take to see results from dry brushing? You may notice softer or smoother skin after dry brushing once or twice. Each time you dry brush, you see that the skin can look youthful and feel smoother.

It can take a few weeks to notice any long-term results from dry brushing. A safe timeline is to wait 28 days or one skin cycle and monitor any changes in your skin during dry brushing.

Tips For Dry Brushing

How else can you ensure a successful dry brushing session? Dry brushing may not be for everyone, so it’s crucial to proceed with caution and consult a doctor. You can also incorporate other dry brushing tips to make exfoliation easier to tolerate.

Stop immediately if you notice any negative or adverse reactions from dry brushing. Also, you’ll want to ensure your brush is clean and sanitized.

Stop If Pain Occurs 

While it may be expected for dry brushing to feel uncomfortable at first, it shouldn’t cause continuous pain or soreness. Most side effects like redness or discomfort disappear quickly after a shower.

If you have adverse reactions to dry brushing, stop exfoliating your skin and consult with a doctor.

Keep Your Brush Clean 

Another essential tip is to clean your dry brush after every use. You may use water and antibacterial soap and let the brush dry in an open space. A dirty bristle brush can be a breeding ground for bacteria and spread infections across the skin.

Dry brushes are pretty porous, so it can be easy for mold or mildew to appear on your brush. So keeping your brush clean and dry will ensure you always have a safe, dry brush exfoliation.


Dry brushing is an easy exfoliation technique that can be incorporated into your beauty regimen a few times a week. It may feel uncomfortable initially, but it can take time for your skin to adjust to dry brushing.

You can quickly eliminate dead skin cells to make way for glowing skin. Dry brushing won’t be ideal for those who have sensitive skin, skin conditions, or medical concerns, so always consult with a doctor beforehand. 

Will you try dry brushing? 

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