From how to do it to the benefits you might reap, consider this your ultimate guide to the popular self-care technique.

By Sara Dickinson
July 27, 2020
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Getty / Victoria Bee Photography

Dry brushing is an exfoliation technique with a wide range of benefits, from reducing cellulite to eliminating toxins via lymphatic drainage. The process itself involves one key tool: a brush with firm bristles that is designed to remove dead skin cells. To learn more, we tapped Christina Salcedas, the Global Brand Educator for Aromatherapy Associates. We asked her to help us understand why we should try dry brushing and how we can do it at home.

Dry brushing is often associated with removing cellulite; evidence on this is limited but the practice has a slew of other benefits, notes Salcedas. "Body brushing encourages the renewal of new healthy cells, aids in lymphatic drainage, stimulates blood circulation, and it ensures products used afterward are more readily absorbed as it removes the top layer of skin cells," she says.

To get the most out of body brushing, be sure to invest in the correct tool—a brush with firm bristles, like the Aromatherapy Associates' Revive Body Brush ($32, amazon.com), which is made from natural agave cactus bristles, is critical. Once you find the right one, Salcedas recommends incorporating dry brushing into your daily routine before you bathe. If you have sensitive skin, however, start slow—begin by brushing once per week.

As for how to actually use your dry brush? "Sweep it gently over dry skin all the way up the body towards the heart, using long and short strokes, covering the whole body," Salcedas explains. "You can start on the lower legs, work up to the thighs, then your abdomen, arms, décolleté, and then as much of your back as possible using the self-hug position."

She suggests administering about five strokes per each part of your body or brushing until you start to see erythema, which is redness caused by increased blood flow. When you're done, hop in a bath or shower and then moisturize with a nourishing body oil or cream. Christina recommends Aromatherapy Associates' Rose Body Cream ($60, net-a-porter.com), which is packed with rose oil, evening primrose oil, and shea butter.

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