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What Is an Exfoliating Brush?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

An exfoliating brush is designed to help its user slough off layers of dry skin on her face or body. Depending on its intended use, an exfoliating brush might be large or small, have stiff or relatively flexible bristles, and can have a mechanical component. Many people use an exfoliating brush for cosmetic purposes as well as a tool in the alternative medicine practice of dry skin brushing. These brushes can be purchased from a variety of sources, including drugstores, cosmetic stores, and specialty health food and nutrition stores.

Many people find that their skin both looks and feels better when it is regularly stimulated to remove dead skin cells. When exfoliation is performed on the face, for example, a person's skin may take on a smoother appearance and may make him look younger than he did prior to the exfoliation. When performed on the body, unsightly patches of dead skin can be removed. Many women find that they are better able to get a close shave on body hair when they have freshly exfoliated skin. In addition, some body-care products, such as self tanners, may also perform better on skin that has recently undergone exfoliation and thus has a more even surface.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

For facial use, a person may choose between a mechanical or a non-mechanical exfoliating brush. Facial exfoliating brushes are typically small and may either have an extended handle or may be circular with a handle attached to the back of the brush. As facial skin is typically far more delicate than the skin on the body, these brushes are usually composed of fairly soft bristles. A mechanical exfoliating brush is typically battery powered and has one or more rotating brush heads that can be applied to the face in order to achieve a very thorough exfoliation.

Exfoliating brushes designed for the body often have long handles that enable the user to reach all areas of the body, including hard-to-reach places such as the back. In fact, these brushes may be easiest to find, as people have used them for generations as a way of washing their backs and shoulders. Smaller brushes are also on the market, however, and these circular brushes, with handles directly on their backs, can allow a user to apply more pressure to certain areas to achieve deeper exfoliation. Some users may find that owning several exfoliating brushes, each designed to exfoliate skin in different parts of their bodies, may be the best way to thoroughly and safely exfoliate their skin.

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Discussion Comments


A face exfoliating brush is a great way to get smooth healthy looking skin all over your face.

It is important to know how to exfoliate the face properly. You don't want to use anything that is too abrasive and you want to use just a little bit of pressure. Use a circular motion and scrub all over your face including the neck.

If you use a gentle exfoliant it deep cleans your skin and encourages your body to grow healthy new skin cells.


Which is better, exfoliating in the shower with the water, or using some kind of dry brush to exfoliate your skin in the open air? I have heard it recommended both ways.


I use an exfoliating body brush every day in the shower. I have a less abrasive face scrubber that I use daily. I think that exfoliating is just as important as washing or using moisturizer. You can't really get clean and refreshed without scrubbing all the stuff off your skin in the shower.

My skin has gotten much better since I started exfoliating regularly. I used to have very oily skin and was prone to breakouts on different parts of my body. But when I began exfoliating my pores cleared up dramatically and I got fewer pimples. My skin also seems to be less oily than it used to be.

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