Dry brushing is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that is thought to improve skin texture, encourage circulation, offer lymph support, and even just offer a moment of relaxation. It’s a favorite of beauty and well-being experts alike.
And one of the primary benefits of dry brushing is exfoliation. Dry brushes are a physical exfoliant, meaning the tool manually removes excess dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Dry brushes—depending on the type you choose; here are our favorites—can range from gentle fibers to more intense metal bristles. Typically, we recommend finding a softer option, like Bathing Culture’s Total Body Brush, so you don’t over-exfoliate your skin. Say it with me: Abrasive exfoliators do more harm than good.
And here’s my argument as to why dry brushes make for some the best exfoliators for your feet: they are strong enough for the area’s more durable skin, while not being too aggressive which can actually lead to thicker skin. “Your skin goes into defense mode and will think it needs to regrow in that area, usually thicker,” nail care expert and clean salon tenoverten co-founder Nadine Abramcyk once told us about foot care.
Now there’s certainly an art to dry brushing properly (we explain it here, don’t worry), and the very first place you start is your feet. However, this is often where I see people make a common mistake. Instead of dry brushing the feet themselves, they only start at the ankles. Take a scroll through TikTok, instagram, and other social media platforms and you’ll see this time and again. Considering you’re already exfoliating your body, you may as well tend to the feet too, no?
Oh, and one last note: Your nails need a bit of exfoliation too. (This is why manicurists buff nails at the salon!) Don’t forget to brush them while you are doing your routine—just be sure to be extra light and gentle with them, as you don’t want to scratch or damage the area.