The Advice Sisters - What is Dry Brushing and How Do You Do It?

March 16, 2021

Editor’s Note: I’ve heard so much about skincare dry brushing (of your skin, not your hair) that I really wondered what it is, how you do it, and why would you do it? To someone like me with sensitive skin, that dry brush looks like an instrument of torture! However, so many people are embracing dry brushing, I had to learn more about it and give it a try. Here’s what I learned:

What Exactly Is Dry Brushing?

Dry Brushing is a therapeutic treatment which means it is a treatment for the body that purportedly helps to heal and to restore health. If you like the idea, it could be another major tool in your beauty toolbox. However, dry brushing is not new. In fact, the practice has been around for centuries.

The practice of dry brushing is a way to cleanse the skin without removing the protective mantel of acids and oils. Therefore, it is a way to deal with dry skin and exfoliate it. It gently and effectively removes the top layer of dead skin cells and deeply cleanses the pores.

Other Claims:

As with so many things, dry brushing has been claimed to do everything from aid in digestion to tightening skin. It also supposedly reduces cellulite and stimulates circulation and cell renewal. For sure, it does remove dead skin and can soothe and tone. Removing dead skin cells and increasing circulation and cell renewal are definite must-haves. Also, if a person has skin irritations, psoriasis, eczema, or open wounds, they should avoid dry brushing.

However, if you just have sensitive skin because your skin reacts to certain products or ingredients, that is another story. Hemp is the best natural fiber to use on sensitive skin. The brush I tried from Ida Body care is Sisal. Therefore I was careful not to brush too hard.

But no matter the fiber, dry brushing can be done in a gentle way, not to harm the skin. The goal is to exfoliate, not irritate. Whatever brush you choose, if your skin is sensitive, go lightly with that bristle brush. Instead of brushing 4-5 times a week, maybe do it only 2 times a week and alternate with a GREAT sugar scrub (not salt)

Always moisturize and use SPF to protect the newly revealed layers of skin.

How to Dry Brush Properly:

Using dry brushing doesn’t mean scrubbing your skin in a random way. Here’s the right way to do it:
  1. Make sure your skin is dry before you start
  2. Start at the ankle and move your brush gently over your skin in long circulation strokes in the direction of your heart. 
  3. the diagram above will give you a basic idea of how and where to dry brush. 
  4. If your skin is getting too red or irritated, STOP! 
For a product demo on dry brushing: Ida Body Care 4 Steps for Beautiful, Hydrated Skin – YouTube

What to Use?

You want to use a natural stiff-bristled bath/shower brush, preferably with a long handle. Some bristles are stiffer than others, and it depends on your skin’s sensitivity and preference. The long handle helps you reach your back. Brushing the skin while it is dry allows you to exfoliate and increase blood circulation without robbing it of moisture, as the hot water in the shower can.

Ida Body Care:

With everything in beauty, good quality products that work for your skin are essential. I received Ida Body Care to try out dry brushing. It’s a vegan, cruelty-free body care line. It’s clean beauty and essential-oil based care. The company is the creation of Vicki Weaver Payne who started the body line in honor of her mother, Ida. The products are formulated specifically for dry, tired skin.

Vicky used her mother’s original body lotion formula using natural ingredients and essential oils to make the products. There are 18 natural ingredients and essential oils in Ida Body Care and 95% of all the ingredients are of natural origin.

Ida Body Care features four products: Dry Brush, Body Wash, Body Scrub, and Body Lotion.

Ida Body Care Products for Dry Brushing:

The ida products for a 4-step dry brushing system

I tested out dry brushing with products from ida skincare. The products feature a verbena scent from lemon verbena essential oil. Lovely!

Dry Brush: Dry brushing helps by gently exfoliating skin, deeply cleaning pores, stimulating capillaries, and improving circulation. Best followed by a shower or bath.

Body Wash: The Ida body wash has 13 natural and essential oils. Think Jojoba oil, Argan Kernel Oil, and Sweet Almond oil. Only natural and essential oils are used to make this gentle, creamy body wash. MSRP: $22.00 for 8 oz; and $12.00 for 4 oz.

Body Scrub: The Sugar Scrub is made with natural sugar and 12 essential oils including anti-aging powerhouses. Think avocado oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Apricot Kernel oil. It stimulates the skin, activating and cleansing it. Use a gentle circular motion. MSRP: $24.00 for 8 oz; and $12.50 for 4 oz.

Body Lotion: The softening body lotion has 18 natural and essential oils plus collagen protectors. Think Coconut oil, Shea Butter, and Sunflower Seed oil. MSRP: $24.00 for 8 oz; and $12.00 for 4 oz. After dry brushing and exfoliation, body lotion is a must. Also, cover your newly exposed skin with SPF if you’re going out in the sun.

Ida Body Care’s 4-Step Treatment is available in 8oz size for $80 and 4oz size for $50. For more information, visit:

The Bottom Line:
The sisal brush from ida body care is an affordable $10.00. However, when I first saw it I was actually wary of using it as it looked like it could irritate my skin. But, actually, it’s soft! Therefore, I enjoyed the experience of dry brushing and found it to be relaxing and fun. There are some health benefits, but mostly I thought it was a nice ritual that helped my skin absorb some much needed moisture apres shower. I would advise not to scrub hard, just use a light touch. If you want a lot of exfoliation the sugar scrub is the way to accomplish it.

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