Yes, dry brushing is an extra step in your daily routine, but it’s one worth adding. The ancient Ayurvedic practice (which involves, 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 temporarily reducing the appearance of cellulite. And finally, it’s another way to carve out a nice moment of self-care. However, since there are all kinds of things to consider, from size to bristle type, you'll need to pick the right tool.
Meet the Expert
To make it easy for you, we did the work of rounding up the best dry brushes below.
Esker Dry Brush
Soft yet firm bristles
Easy to grip
Who else recommends it? Rank & Style and Women's Wear Daily both picked the Esker Dry Brush.
This brush is high-quality yet affordable and has what we think is the best 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.
Material: Natural bristles | Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 1.12 inches
Best Overall, Runner-Up
Pursoma Detox Beauty Body Brush
Good for larger areas of the body
Built-in loop for in-shower hanging
Ideal for anyone seeking a vegan alternative to natural bristles, this brush is made with ethically harvested jute fibers. We also like its unique U-shape, which features said fibers on both sides, making it great for quickly and easily running over larger areas of your body. Bonus points for a built-in loop for in-shower hanging.
Material: Jute fiber
EcoTools Dry Body Brush
Some may not like synthetic bristles
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.
Material: Synthetic | Dimensions: 4 x 1.75 x 5.38 inches
When dry brushing, it’s important to start from your feet and work your way up the body, moving in long, rhythmic strokes (this helps reap those lymphatic benefits).
Best for Sensitive Skin
Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush Soft
Easy to grip
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.
Belula Premium Dry Brushing Set
Works for face and body
Easy to grip
If you’re ready to fully jump on the dry brushing bandwagon, pick up this set. For less than $20, 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 handheld. The face brush has much softer bristles, ideal for use on the more delicate skin on your face. Rounding out the trio is a set of exfoliating gloves, great for using in the shower.
Material: Boar bristles | Dimensions: 14.96 x 3.4 x 1.77 inches
goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
Easy to grip
Made with biodegradable fibers
You better believe Gwyneth is all about 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 Vegan, Runner-Up
Saje In the Buff Natural Bristle Dry Brush
Easy to grip
Handle could be a bit longer
Another good choice for those who want to avoid animal-derived bristles, this brush touts bristles made from the leaves of sisal, an agave-like plant. The fluffy U-shape is great for larger areas like the stomach and legs, and the rope-wrapped wood handle is easy to hold and wards off warping.
Gilded Body the Marble Body Brush
Very aesthetically pleasing
Easy to grip
Comes in various colors
Marble makes it a bit heavy
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a super luxurious body brush, make it this one. It’s a favorite of Byrdie Senior 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 that you may want to display it as a piece of artwork in your bathroom. The streamlined oval shape and snug strap ensure it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand while natural bristles polish skin.
Best for Cellulite
C.S.M. Body Brush
Dual texture head
Doesn’t offer as much exfoliation as others
Listen, there’s no treatment or lotion you can use at home that will eliminate the look of cellulite. Still, dry brushing can help minimize the look of dimples as 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 round size and no-slip canvas hand strap.
Material: Boar bristles and rubber nodes | Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 2 inches
Best Long Handle
Cleanlogic Sport Wooden Handle Bath Dry Brush
Bristles infused with charcoal
Brush must be replaced after 30 uses
The extra-long handle on this brush makes it ideal for hard-to-reach spots like your back. The synthetic (cruelty-free, vegan) bristles are also infused with charcoal, a unique element that helps ward off the bacteria and other grime that can often build up in a dry brush, especially if you like to keep it in the shower. The wallet-friendly price is a nice plus, too.
Material: Charcoal-infused synthetic
Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush
Easy to grip
Bristles may feel scratchy for some
A wide, easy-to-grip handle makes this a great compact and hand-held option (not to mention great to use on smaller targeted spots like elbows and knees). But, it’s a good pick to use anywhere on your body since there’s also a detachable handle that easily pops on and off in case you also want to use it on your back. FYI, the cactus bristles are pretty stiff and firm, so go easy if you have sensitive skin. Pro tip: Make sure to store it outside of the shower to avoid warping.
Material: Cactus fibers | Dimensions: 5 x 15 x 16 inches
Best for Face
Primally Pure Facial Dry Brush
Unique option for face
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 to not tear, scratch, or irritate the more delicate skin on your face. This one fits the bill, with ultra-soft natural goat bristles that gently slough and massage skin in one fell swoop. As with your body, use it on dry skin, cleanse, then follow with a moisturizer.
Material: Goat hair bristles
Beauty By Earth Dry Body Brush
Easy to grip
This two-in-one brush functions as a three-in-one. Its natural boar bristles (which are cruelty-free) work equally well on wet and dry skin, while the other side of the brush features rubber massaging nubs. Use that side post-shower paired with a little body oil to relieve achy muscles in your back or legs.
Material: Boar bristles, rubber nubs | Size: 14.09 x 2.99 x 2.13 inches
Dry brushing is a simple step to add to your daily routine that can offer a whole host of benefits. The Esker Dry Brush is our overall favorite, an option made from natural bristles with a round head that works equally well on multiple parts of the body. For those who want a vegan option, the Pursoma Detox Beauty Body Brush and goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush are both good picks, touting plant-derived bristles. And while the Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush is a bit pricey, it is a nice handheld option that also has the unique feature of a detachable long handle.
What to Look for in a Dry Brush
Finding that ideal medium of bristles that are stiff yet soft might sound a lot like a self-care version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. But the variety of bristle types on the market—veering between synthetic and natural—offer a ton of options. You want to find bristles that are firm but don't feel scratchy on your skin.
Determine whether you want a dry brush with a long handle to target any hard-to-reach areas or if you'd prefer a more compact, hand-held option.
What does dry brushing do?
"Dry brushing improves skin appearance by removing the top layers of the skin through weakening the lipids that bond them together, thus removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin cells," says dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. Additionally, dry brushing can encourage lymphatic draining and help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Because your circulation is increased in the treated area, the skin temporarily plumps up, and the appearance of cellulite is also reduced after a dry brushing session, notes dermatologist Michele Green.
How should I dry brush my skin?
Start with completely dry, pre-shower skin, then move the brush in circular motions, beginning at the feet and working upward towards your heart, Alicia Zalka, MD recommends to Byrdie. Use slightly firm pressure but avoid areas where your skin is irritated or inflamed. After your shower, apply a layer of moisturizer to seal in your exfoliated skin.
How often should I dry brush?
Less is more if you're a dry brush newbie. Start dry brushing once or twice a week to see how your skin reacts, then increase to three times a week if needed.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She recently made dry brushing a regular part of her daily pre-shower routine and loves it. She has used (or is currently using) many of the options featured on this list.
Hoffmann KF. [Skin massage, skin brushing (Dry type), a means to maintain health]. Dtsch Zahnarztl Z. 1952;7(15):880-881.
de Godoy JMP, de Godoy ACP, Godoy M de FG. Considering the hypothesis of the pathophysiology of cellulite in its treatment. Dermatol Reports. 2017;9(2):7352.
This tool will help to smooth dry skin and improve blood circulation. Rank & Style. https://www.rankandstyle.com/top-10-list/best-dry-brushes
The 11 best body brushes for exfoliating. Women's Wear Daily. https://wwd.com/shop/shop-beauty/best-body-brushes-for-exfoliating-1234726926/