At this point, we're going to consider it safe to assume that you have probably heard a thing or two about the benefits of dry brushing your body. It's great for supporting healthy lymphatic system and exfoliating away skin dead skin cells making you appear brighter and smoother. And that's not to mention host of wellness celebrities and experts to swear by. But did you know that you should be dry brushing your face, too? You should.
Dry brushing your face, fully explained.
OK, don't go accosting your sensitive face skin with your coarse body brush just yet. A face dry brush is an entirely different tool. The bristles are ultrafine and soft. In fact, it looks and feels a lot like a stiff makeup brush. And instead of being vaguely torturous when you rub it across your skin, it feels good—like a very subtle massage. Research even shows this self massaging brush can even boost your mood1 from its self-soothing behaviors.
Like with your body, facial dry brushing can help to stimulate circulation, help reduce puffiness, slough away dead skin, and just generally make your skin appear healthier (farewell under-eye bags!). However, it has another good-skin benefit too: exfoliation. "Dry brushing is very useful for increasing circulation and exfoliating the skin," explains San Francisco–based cult aesthetician Kayla Franzblau. "It's a really affordable and easy way to keep skin free of congestion at home." Just as long as you're very, very gentle, she adds.
Facial dry brushing can replace those harsh exfoliation habits you've been meaning to kick. It's gentler than a Clarisonic and way better for the environment than all those exfoliating scrubs with little plastic beads. And it doesn't need to add another 10 minutes to your already lengthy nighttime beauty routine. Aestheticians recommend dry brushing only one or two times per week, for one or two minutes max. So build it into your Sunday self care ritual or make it a Saturday morning pre-brunch habit. Either way, it's an easy way to give your skin a little extra glow.
Facial Dry Brushing How-To
Step 1: Wash your face.
You want to make sure that you're starting with totally clean skin, that way you're not opening up all your pores only to clog them with makeup or other irritants.
Step 2: Start at the chin and work your way up.
Like with body dry brushing, you should always brush with gentle upward motions, away from the direction of your heart (to encourage circulation). Brush from your chin to your hairline on one side of the face, and then move to the other side. Light, gentle strokes will do the trick. This should not hurt.
Step 3: Give your neck and decolletage some love.
As any facialist will tell you, your neck is part of your face too. Repeat your gentle brush strokes up from your chest, across your neck to the bottom of your chin.
Step 4: Finish with a nutrient-rich oil or serum.
Step 5: Wash your brush.
Gently scrub your dry brush with warm water and a clean soap or makeup brush cleanser at least once a week. Set it out to dry so that it doesn't collect any mildew or bacteria. You can also lightly mist your brush with a tea tree solution (1 part tea tree oil, 2 parts water) to keep it clean in between washes.
Victoria Cairo is a former freelance travel, beauty, and lifestyle writer who received her degree from Princeton University. Her work has appeared in publications such as Vogue.com, Travel Leisure, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Glamour, Into the Gloss, Self, Teen Vogue, and Refinery29. She is based in New York City.