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Yes, dry brushing is an extra step in your daily routine, but it’s one worth adding. The ancient Ayurvedic practice (which involves simply, you guessed it, brushing your body with a special brush) offers a host of benefits.
One, it’s an excellent method of physical exfoliation, effectively buffing off dead skin cells, no messy scrub required. Two, it stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes lymphatic drainage, which helps with things like puffiness and potentially improving the look of cellulite. (It’s also why people say dry brushing is so detoxifying.) And finally, it’s another way to carve out a nice moment of self-care that anyone and everyone can benefit from. However, since there are all kinds of things to consider, from size to bristle type, you'll need to pick the right tool.
To make it easy for you, we did the work of rounding up the best dry brushes, below.
Best Overall: Esker Dry Brush
This brush is high-quality yet affordable and has what we think is the perfect bristle texture. The tips of the natural bristles are soft to the touch yet firmer underneath, for an effective brushing that doesn’t scratch your skin. We also appreciate that the grass wood handle comes wrapped in hemp twine for easy gripping.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Pursoma Detox Beauty Body Brush
Ideal for anyone seeking a vegan alternative to natural bristles, this brush is made with ethically harvested jute fibers instead. We also like its unique U-shape, which features said fibers on both sides, great for quickly and easily running over larger areas of your body. Bonus points for a built-in loop for in-shower hanging.
Best Budget: EcoTools Dry Body Brush
Reap all the benefits of dry brushing without breaking the bank. The hand-held, palm-size brush has synthetic bristles (a boon for vegans), set in a renewable bamboo base, making this an excellent eco-friendly pick as well.
When dry brushing, it’s important to start from your feet and work your way up the body, moving in long, rhythmic stroke (this in order to reap those lymphatic benefits).
Best for Sensitive Skin: Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush Soft
Team Byrdie loves pretty much any and every product this German aesthetic doctor launches, and this dry brush is no exception. It’s especially choice for those with easily irritated or sensitive skin. While the bristles on many other brushes can be too harsh, these are extra soft and gentle.
Best Dual-Sided: Made By Yoke Ayurveda Apothecary Dual Massage and Dry Brush
This two-in-one brush actually functions as a three-in-one. Its vegan synthetic bristles work equally well on wet and dry skin, while the other side of the brush features wooden massaging nubs. Use that side post-shower, paired with a little body oil, to relieve achy muscles in your back or legs.
Best Hand-Held: Primally Pure Dry Brush
A wide, easy-to-grip handle makes this a perfect compact and hand-held option (not to mention great to use on smaller targeted spots like elbows and knees). It features a handle made of sustainable wood and firm, natural boar bristles. Pro tip: Make sure to store it outside of the shower to avoid warping.
Best Long Handle: Metene Shower Brush
This Amazon favorite earns rave reviews for its extra-long handle (more than 17 inches) that makes it perfect for hard-to-reach spots like your back. It’s also two-sided; one side touts softer, synthetic bristles (which are great for using with body wash as more of a loofah) while the other side has harder, stiffer natural bristles that are ideal for dry brushing. To that point, this is a great option to use both wet or dry.
Best Vegan: goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
You better believe Gwyneth is all about the dry brushing. Her take on the tool is completely vegan, using sisal fibers derived from the agave plant in place of natural bristles. Its wood handle is FSC-certified (meaning it comes from responsibly sourced and managed forests), and we also appreciate the slightly curved angle of the head, which makes it easy to hit hard-to-reach spots.
Best Set: Belula Premium Dry Brushing Set
If you’re ready to fully jump on the dry brushing bandwagon, pick up this set. For less than twenty dollars, you get both a long-handled body brush and a smaller face brush. The former boasts wild boar bristles and a detachable handle (the brush head also has a hand strap) if you prefer to use it as a hand-held. The face brush has much softer bristles, perfect for using on the more delicate skin on your face. Rounding out the trio is a set of exfoliating gloves, great for using in the shower.
Best Splurge: Gilded Body the Marble Body Brush
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a super luxurious body brush, make it this one. It’s a favorite of Byrdie associate editor Holly Rhue and majorly ups the dry brushing game. Rather than the standard wooden or bamboo handle, it’s made of beautiful marble. Available in six colors, it’s so gorgeous you’ll legitimately want to display it as a piece of artwork in your bathroom. The streamlined oval shape and snug strap ensures it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, while natural bristles polish skin to perfection.
Best for Face: Aveda Tulasara Radiant Facial Brush
While dry brushing for the face may not be as popular as for the body, it is a thing, offering many of the same benefits (like increased circulation, effective exfoliation, and lymphatic drainage). The big caveat here is ensuring you use a brush with super-gentle bristles so as to not tear, scratch, or irritate the more delicate skin on your face. This one fits the bill. Ultra-soft nylon bristles are arranged in rounded beaks, gently buffing and massaging skin in one fell swoop. As with your body, use it on dry skin, cleanse, then follow with a moisturizer.
Best for Cellulite: C.S.M. Body Brush
Listen, there’s no treatment or lotion you can use at home that will completely eliminate the look of cellulite. Still, dry brushing can help at least minimize the look of dimples, so long as you’re doing it regularly. If that’s your goal, use this brush on your booty and legs. Nestled in among the natural bristles are small, flexible massaging nubs so you get even more bang for your buck—massage is another way to help promote lymphatic drainage and ultimately get skin looking smoother. Bonus points for the perfect round size and no-slip canvas hand strap.