The 12 Best Dry Brushes of 2023 for Soft, Smooth Skin

This ancient Ayurvedic practice is making a comeback.

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Best Dry Brushes

InStyle / Kristin Kempa

For those who exfoliate the old-fashioned way — with water, soap, and a washcloth — dry brushing sounds like an oxymoron. But the long and short-term benefits it offers piqued our interest. 

Dry brushing is a form of physical exfoliation. The technique, which involves using a brush with firm bristles to slough off dead skin in upward, circular motions, is known to reduce ingrown hairs and stimulate the lymphatic system, promoting lymphatic drainage. It’s also seriously invigorating.

Rhea Souhleris Grous, facialist and founder of La Suite Skincare at UnionDerm, explains that “dry brushing improves circulation, thereby encouraging the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, keeping it firm, fresh, and youthful.”

Reaping these rewards starts with using the right-sized brush — you’ll need one with firm bristles and an ergonomic design. To narrow down your tool selection, we factored in these considerations, conducted hours of research, and consulted four skincare experts so we could present you with the best dry brushes that’ll have you singing outside the shower.

Best Overall

Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush

Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush


What We Like: The long handle and firm cactus bristles allow you to exfoliate hard-to-reach areas of the body.

What We Don’t Like: The detachable brush is not sturdy. 

Any brand, especially a B Corp-certified one, touted by celebrities for its skin-saving serums and moisturizers, draws our eyes — and approval from dermatologists will keep them there. Three of the experts we consulted recommended the Elemis dry brush thanks to its cactus bristles, which quickly and efficiently exfoliate the body. They’re also fans of its thoughtful design.

The long handle allows you to reach all the way down to your lower back without needing to bend or contort yourself into an awkward pose. However, what sets it apart is the detachable head and canvas strap that gives your hands a snug grip while you work the brush around your body.

Although the bristles effortlessly shed dead skin, the head isn’t the sturdiest and can detach if you scrub too hard.

Price at time of publish: $45

Bristle Material: Cactus | Size:  5" x 15" x 16" | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget

EcoTools Dry Brush, Gentle Exfoliating Scrubber

EcoTools Dry Brush, Gentle Exfoliating Scrubber


What We Like: This highly-rated handheld brush is easy to hold, eco-friendly, and durable.

What We Don’t Like: The synthetic bristles may be too intense for sensitive skin.

We’d sacrifice a lot to restore the smooth skin we had as pre-teens, but our budget won’t. This drugstore pick, recommended by board certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, gives pricier options a run for their money. It sloughs off dead skin and revitalizes your entire body with a palm-sized brush that is easy to maneuver. 

Simply slip your hand through the eco-friendly bamboo handle and watch the synthetic bristles work magic: It clears clogged pores and buffs out rough skin on the double.

Anyone looking for a serious level of exfoliation will love this brush, but it could be a little rough on sensitive skin. 

Price at time of publish: $6

Bristle Material: Synthetic | Size: 4" x 1.75" x 5.38" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Lymphatic Drainage

Gilded Body the Marble Body Brush

Gilded Body Marble Body Brush

thirteen lune

What We Like: This sustainably designed brush is a long-lasting tool that looks beautiful and provides the right amount of pressure without feeling too harsh.

What We Don’t Like: The brush may shed.

Like the centuries-surviving sculptures you observe in a museum, this alluring body brush uses sturdy Carrara marble sourced in Italy — presenting you with a product that will last for years. 

Any of the six lovely colors (we’re fond of the balletcore pink) would look great in a bathroom shelfie, but it's the way it makes our skin feel — luxurious and radiant — after using it that we really love. 

Grous loves how the brush fits comfortably in your hand, while the brush’s heavy base and firm sisal bristles provide the right amount of pressure to renew a dull dermis. It also comes with a thick, solid strap to keep your grip firmly in place as you brush.

Although we adore the design, the bristles will inevitably shed, which is why Gilded offers an annual complimentary brush refresh to replace any lost along the way. 

Price at time of publish: $129

Bristle Material: Sisal | Size: 4.72" x 0.98" x 2.76" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best with Soft Bristles

Tata Harper Dry Body Bush

Dry Body Bush

Tata Harper Skincare

What We Like: The wooden knob and smooth material make this palm-sized brush easy to grasp. 

What We Don’t Like: It doesn’t provide intense exfoliation. 

Tata Harper is practically synonymous with glowing complexions (one of the reasons why our editors adore their products), so it’s unsurprising that Dr. Garshick recommends using their body brush when you want impossibly smooth skin.

We loved this tool from the very start. Its silky vegan bristles offered the right level of pressure to achieve soft skin. Instead of a super intense scrub, the brush feels gentle against the skin as it wakes up the body and improves blood circulation. 

The design features a door knob-style handle to ensure it won’t slip out of your grasp as you use it. Equally important is the brush’s size, which is large enough to cover large surface areas, like your thighs and stomach, but isn’t so big that you’ll have trouble reaching behind your knees or inside elbows.

Price at time of publish: $20

Bristle Material: Vegan fibers | Size: Not listed | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Vegan

Keys Soulcare Energizing Dry Body Brush

Energizing Dry Body Brush

Keys Soulcare 

What We Like: The Fair Trade Certified (FTC) brand makes its well-designed brush with sustainable practices and vegan bristles to deliver a revitalizing experience with each use.

What We Don’t Like: The bristles may be too soft for an intense exfoliation. 

This dry brush from Keys, as in Alicia Keys, is a dermatologist-tested product that we use as a mini relaxation moment on a busy day. We wouldn’t reach for it when we need the intensity of a pre-self-tan scrub, but the soft vegan bristles are ideal for waking up the senses in the morning or as a meditative ritual to wind down after a long day. 

Keys is an FTC brand, meaning it only develops products using clean ingredients and focuses on designing products via sustainable practices.

Of course, the elegant matte black base, canvas strap, and silver accessories are a selling point too, and we’re always happy to see it on our bathroom shelves.

 Price at time of publish: $22

Bristle Material: Vegan, plant-based materials  | Size: 5.5" x 3" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Hard-to-Reach Areas

goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush

goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush


What We Like: Between the angled shape and non-slip wooden handle, this dry brush is the ultimate tool for exfoliating every part of your body.

What We Don’t Like: The bristles could be too firm for sensitive skin.

Goop might make headlines for their eyebrow-raising product names, but whether it’s a first-rate exfoliator or moisturizing sunscreen, we think their more conventional products deserve our undivided attention. Namely: The forward-thinking and environmentally-minded design of this FSC-certified dry brush.

The helpful design features, including an easy-grip handle, curved design, and firm sisal bristles, lets you get into those hard-to-miss areas of your body (think: between your shoulder blades and the sides of your ankles). There’s even the thoughtful inclusion of a small woven loop to hang your brush after you’ve achieved baby-soft skin.

Although we wish the agave-plant bristles were a little softer for our sensitive skin, the material does deliver impressive results for those that can handle the slightly-rough texture. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Bristle Material: Sisal  | Size: 10.55" x 3.23" x 1.46" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Face

Tweezerman Dry Face Brush

Tweezerman Dry Face Brush


What We Like: Between the unique bristle design and soothing ingredients of green tea, this brush helps brighten, depuff, and exfoliate skin for an overall brighter complexion.

What We Don’t Like: Perfecting your technique takes a bit of time.

Searching for a dry brush that wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin wasn’t easy — until I found this one from Tweezerman. It uses green tea-infused bristles, a soothing and anti-inflammatory skincare ingredient, to help give skin a visibly brighter complexion.

With each upward brush stroke of the Lego-like bristle design, my face looks less puffy, and my eye bags look like I got 12 hours of perfectly restful sleep, and, do I dare I have the sculpted jawline and cheekbones of Emily Ratajkowski? On a less glamorous note, I also found that using the brush to scrub around the bridge of my nose helped rid me of uncomfortable sinus pressure.

As adorable as this pocket-size tool is, using it isn’t totally intuitive — we wish it had a long handle, so that the rectangular shape didn’t feel so awkward in our hands. However, once you nail the technique, the payoff is worth the learning curve.

Price at time of publish: $14

Bristle Material: Natural | Size: 1.10" x 2.50" x 5.13" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Glowing Skin

Kate McLeod The Body Routine Set

The Body Routine Set

Kate McLeod

What We Like: The kit includes everything you need for glowing skin, including the brand’s best-selling moisturizer bar and dry brush.

What We Don’t Like: The brush sheds.

A free tote bag with purchase is always a draw-in to any beauty set, but you won’t be disappointed with what’s inside this canvas makeup-up bag either. The brand’s highly-rated moisturizer bar and dry brush are a match made in skin-softening heaven. 

Using the brush’s notched handle, you’ll get a firm grip as you awaken your body with the combination of horse hair and sisal bristles (take note — this material may shed a little upon initial use). This bristle duo won’t cause irritation and are firm enough to satisfyingly shed dead skin. Even better, Kate McLeod is a Made Safe Certified and Climate Neutral brand, meaning it’s committed to using safer ingredients and less packaging, so you’ll get brighter skin and a healthier planet.  

After showering, use the brand’s moisturizing Body Stone to indulge your skin with its emollient-rich and holistic ingredients of cocoa butter, almond oil, and essential oils for a totally renewed feeling.

Price at time of publish: $66

Bristle Material: Horsehair and sisal | Size: Not listed | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Exfoliation

Bushbalm Nordic Dry Brush

Bushbalm Nordic Dry Brush


What We Like: The durable brush is made from plant-based bristle fibers that help prevent clogged pores, which can lead to ingrown hairs and other skin congestion. 

What We Don’t Like: The bristles shed a little with the first few uses. 

If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, you’re likely very familiar with the discomfort they bring into your life. And, though we understand exfoliating is key to preventing them, finding a tool that won’t irritate the skin further isn’t so straightforward. 

Board certified dermatologist Dr.Tiffany Clay recommends this sensitive-skin-friendly dry brush as a solution. It features bristles sourced from the anti-inflammatory agave plant — a material that is the right combination of gentle and firm to unclog pores easily. She’s also a fan of the short handle that allows you to effortlessly slough away dead skin cells in areas where ingrown hairs thrive, like your underarms or inner thighs. 

You can expect some shedding from the bristles, but this shouldn’t interfere with the brush’s ability to give you smoother, pain-free skin. 

Price at time of publish: $21

Bristle Material: Natural sisal fibers | Size: 5" x 15" x 16" | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Set

Belula Premium Dry Brushing Set

Belula Premium Dry Brushing Set


What We Like: Between a long-handle brush, face brush, and exfoliating gloves, this set includes everything you need to prep for a self-tan. 

What We Don’t Like: The brush can fall off the extended stick.

I think I might finally have a shot at winning the gold (or should I say bronze) medal in the Olympic Sport of self-tanning, thanks to this all-in-one set recommended by board certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara. You can thoroughly prep your skin with these tools: The long-handle brush leaves no dead skin cell unturned, a facial brush delicately primes your visage, and exfoliating gloves let you easily tackle those infamous areas of the body prone to exposing your fake tan, like in-between your fingers.

Even if your skin goals don’t include faking a beach vacation, we bet you’ll agree that its soft boar bristles, innovative design, and durability make it easy for dry brushing beginners, especially since it also comes with a set of very detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Although the detachable head isn’t the sturdiest, we think the affordable price makes up for this one con.

Price at time of publish: $25

Bristle Material: Boar hair | Size: 15" x 3.54" x 1.77" | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Sensitive Skin

Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush Soft

Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush Soft


What We Like: You can choose from a medium or soft brush, both of which can be used dry or in the shower. 

What We Don’t Like: The brush strap is too long.

We hear you — the thought of rubbing a dry brush on your already dry, tender skin sounds completely unappealing. However, exfoliation is essential to keeping your skin healthy, and Dr. Clay tells us that this Dr. Barbara Sturm body brush is the best option available for those with sensitive skin. 

Its natural bristles are much more forgiving on tender skin than synthetic ones, and you can even use it in the shower if you find brushing on dry skin is too abrasive. The brand also offers the brush in medium and soft-bristled versions, so you can pick the best one for your skin.

While we love this handheld option for reaching every crevice, one thing we would change is shortening the strap handle so we could get a better grip. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Bristle Material: Natural | Size: Not listed | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Cellulite

Esker Dry Brush

Esker Dry Brush


What We Like: The easy-grip twine handle and natural bristles make removing dead skin a breeze. 

What We Don’t Like: It’s not the most durable design. 

Listen, even though we don’t want to be left raw after exfoliation, sometimes shedding our lizard skin means bringing in the big guys — or, should we say, bristles. Recommended by Grous, the natural bristles on this Esker Dry Brush don’t feel scratchy, but they definitely get the job done, renewing wind-whipped winter skin and promising it’s ready for spring. This brush provides an intense exfoliation, which boosts circulation and increases the amount of blood flow in the area. This causes the skin to plump (temporarily), making cellulite and indentations appear less visible.

We also adore the look of the grass tree wood and hemp twine-wrapped handle — aesthetics aside, the material makes it easy to grasp and prevents slippage. We just wish it was slightly more durable, as the twine can unwrap over time. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Bristle Material: Natural | Size: 8" x 3" x 1.12" | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What to Keep in Mind


Dry brushing is supposed to be relaxing, not irritating, so you want a brush with firm bristles that don’t feel like sandpaper against your skin. “The bristles should be soft and soothing — anything prickly or harsh is a no-go,” says Dr. Gohara, who adds she’s a fan of the cactus bristles on the Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush

If you’re a beginner, Dr. Clay suggests using a brush with a softer and firmer side, like the Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush, to understand what your skin responds to best. And although dry brushes are good for all skin types, anyone with sensitive skin should stick to more gentle options, such as the soft vegan bristles on the Keys Soulcare Energizing Dry Body Brush.


Since dry brushing has many benefits, you’ll get the most out of your experience by choosing a brush designed for your skincare and wellness goals. Ones with angled shapes, like the goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush, or long handles, like the Belula Premium Dry Brushing Body Brush Set, are great for getting into crevices and hard-to-reach areas. If you’re looking for a full-body exfoliation, these two do the trick.

Alternatively, you might opt for a hand-held option, like the luxe-feeling Gilded Carrera Body Brush, when you’re seeking the meditative, self-care benefits of dry brushing. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you use a dry brush?

Don’t roll your eyes, but always dry brush on dry skin. Dr. Clay explains dry brushing is a physical exfoliation technique that gently scrapes the skin’s surface using firm bristles and long strokes. 

If you’re trying to stimulate lymphatic drainage, Grous suggests starting at your toes, working your way up in clockwise motions toward the heart — but don’t apply too much pressure. “You should feel light exfoliation and stimulation, but no scratching or irritation,” says Grous. 

Follow with a shower to rinse off dead skin, and for your smoothest results, apply a moisturizer after.

How often can you use a dry brush?

Dr. Clay recommends no more than two times a week since over-exfoliating can lead to dry skin and irritation. Knowing your skin type is also paramount here. “If you’re sensitive, it may even be best to do it once per month or every few weeks,” says Dr. Garshick.

For those with compromised skin, like eczema or “something short-term such as a sunburn or recent laser hair removal, I would avoid dry brushing,” says Dr. Clay. 

How do you clean a dry brush?

Since dry brushes accumulate a lot of dirt and, let’s just say, other gross stuff, it’s necessary to clean them often to avoid bacteria build-up and mildew. Depending on how often you use one, you may consider doing this around once a week. 

Most brands offer guidance for cleaning their specific product, but you can typically follow the similar steps you take with your makeup brushes. Scrub it with mild soap and warm water, taking care not to get the wood wet, and leave it to dry completely before using it again.

Why Shop with Us

Irene Richardson is a writer covering fashion and beauty trends. For this story, she researched dozens of dry brushes, read reviews, and consulted four experts in the skincare industry—board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Tiffany Clay, Dr. Mona Gohara, and Dr. Marisa Garshick.; and renowned facialist and esthetician Rhea Souhleris Grous.

InStyle uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Misra AK, Varma SK, Kumar R. Anti-inflammatory Effect of an Extract of Agave americana on Experimental Animals. Pharmacognosy Res. 2018;10(1):104-108. doi:10.4103/pr.pr_64_17

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