When we'd heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs. But the more we looked into it, the more benefits we learned this relatively simple routine had to offer. Not only does it buff away dead skin, but it's fantastic at boosting circulation and lymphatic drainage, and ultimately ridding the body of toxins. Your skin is your biggest organ, after all.
The method itself is incredibly easy and only takes minutes, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind, including the type of brush and the direction you move it. Below, four things you need to know about dry skin brushing, then keep scrolling for five of our favorite brush options in the gallery below.
How often: Dry skin brushing effectively opens up the pores on your skin. This is something you can -- and should -- be doing daily, even twice a day. Your skin should be dry, so the ideal time is in the shower before you turn on the water. Just a reminder, don't get the brush wet.
Direction: You should only brush towards the heart. Making long sweeps, avoid back and forth, scrubbing and circular motions. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. And, don't brush too hard: Skin should be stimulated and invigorated but not irritated or red.
Type of brush: The bristles should be natural, not synthetic, and preferably vegetable-derived. The bristles themselves should be somewhat stiff, though not too hard. Look for one that has an attachable handle for hard-to-reach spots, if necessary.
Benefits: In addition to sloughing away dry skin on areas like knees, elbows and ankles, body brushing promotes tighter skin, cell renewal and blood flow. This also helps the lymphatic system release toxins and aids in digestion and kidney function. You'll also notice a glowy, smooth complexion. We love it because it's one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective things we can do for promoting healthy skin.
- Use a dry body brush to get rid of dry skin flakes. Do this for a few minutes on your dry skin, before actually getting wet.
- Avoid using soap with detergents, especially in winter or in dry climates, as this may promote and aggravate dry skin.
- Apply a natural body scrub to exfoliate your skin choose one that contains a natural oil to moisturize.
- After your shower, apply a heavy natural body butter or natural moisturizing oil (not mineral oil or baby oil) to help seal in moisture.