Does Dry Brushing Actually Help Cellulite?

There are a plethora of peeps who swear dry brushing can help cellulite. But theres actually no scientific evidence to support brushing your skin with dry bristles will banish those rimples and dimples.

If you dont like the look of your skin, just remember: cellulite is an incredibly common and normal part of being human. And while you cant just get rid of it with dry brushing, the practice may offer other skin benefits.

What is dry brushing exactly?

Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic traditional medicine technique where you use a natural bristle brush to gently exfoliate and massage your skin in circular motions. Its usually done before hopping in the shower on dry skin, hence the name.

Folks often use dry brushing as part of an at-home spa or self-care routine. And fans of the practice boast it can exfoliate dead skin cells, boost circulation, reduce toxins, and the biggie reduce cellulite.

Now that all sounds amazing, and although it might have some of those benefits, theres no real evidence that it has any cellulite-busting powers.

Can dry brushing help cellulite?

No, dry brushing isnt a magic bullet for cellulite, but it may reduce the look of cellulite temporarily by increasing blood flow and plumping the skin. To understand why it doesnt work, it might help to know WTF cellulite actually is.

Doctors dont really know what causes cellulite (there are a lot of theories). But it forms from fat pushing through fibrous connective tissue below the skin. Basically, fat cells push up against the skin, tough bits of connective tissue pull down, and fat kinda pushes through the netting of the collagen strands. This leaves a dimpled effect.

So, because cellulite is this tug-of-war between your fat and connective tissue, dry brushing cant help the situation long-term. It just cant relax the connective tethers under your skin.

But before you abandon the dry brush in your shopping cart, there are other benefits that might help your skin.

Are there any benefits of dry brushing?

Although dry brushing will do zip for your cellulite, it may benefit your skin in other ways thanks to its exfoliating powers. Exfoliating with a dry brush may help:

  • shift dead skin cells and make your skin feel softer
  • prevent ingrown hairs by clearing away skin cells
  • diminish keratosis pilaris those pesky little red or brown bumps show up on the backs of your arms

Dry brushing cant stimulate your lymphatic system and rid the body of toxins either, but it may help boost circulation like an invigorating massage. This can give your skin a temporarily flushed and smooth appearance. But its really an illusion.

That said, dry brushing can be an enjoyable experience, and it may help you feel more relaxed or invigorated. And who doesnt love a good body exfoliation?

How do you dry brush?

If you want to give dry brushing a go, the first step is to find yourself a soft, natural-bristle brush. You can find sisal, boar, or cactus options. Avoid anything too harsh that might irritate your skin and leave angry marks.

Here are the steps:

  1. Start with a clean, dry brush.
  2. Begin at your feet and work upward to the thighs, hips, butt cheeks, torso, then arms. Brush from hands to pits. Use a long- handled brush to reach your back or invite a good friend over!
  3. Brush your skin using a wide, circular motion or gentle upward strokes.
  4. Vary the pressure according to the area. For example, go lightly where the skins thin and use more pressure on thicker skin.
  5. Avoid any sensitive areas like broken skin, sunburn, or open wounds. And avoid your face, breasts, and nips.
  6. Finish with a relaxing shower to wash away the dead skin cells.
  7. Then apply lotion or oil (coconut oil FTW!) to moisturize your skin.

Be careful not to get too carried away and dry brush too often or too hard. This can damage your skin.

Is dry brushing harmful?

Some peeps should give dry brushing a miss. Avoid dry brushing if you have areas with:

Broken skin. Dry brushing could cause micro-tears in the skin, which leaves you prone to infections. So if you have acne, dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis, skip it.

Moles or growths. You could inflame or damage skin growths and moles so they become more noticeable.

Warts. Because viruses cause warts, you could spread them to other areas while dry brushing.

What does help cellulite?

Theres no way to banish cellulite, but there are some things that may help its appearance temporarily. If you want smoother skin, youll need to keep up with treatments and it will cost you some serious cash. Lets take a look.

Radiofrequency (RF) treatments

RF treatments involve heating the tissues in targeted areas, sometimes with massage or suction thrown in for good measure.

Researchers in a 2019 review noted folks who had 8 to 16 treatments over several weeks saw a significant cellulite reduction. But theres no way of knowing how long the results last, and it can cause bruising.

Laser therapy

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some laser treatments can blast away cellulite.

Cellulaze treatment involves having a fine laser fiber inserted underneath the skin. The laser then zaps the connective tissue and breaks them up, which may reduce the appearance of cellulite for a year or longer.


Subcision involves a doctor using a special needle or blade to release the fibrous bands of connective tissue that cause the appearance of cellulite.

Cellfina is a treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and its considered a safe and effective cellulite treatment. A 2017 study showed that it resulted in smoother skin and a diminished appearance of cellulite that lasted at least 3 years.

Electromagnetic shockwave therapy (ESWT)

ESWT stuns your connective tissue into submission, making it looser but stronger. In a 2019 study, 27 female participants received 6 to 10 sessions of ESWT. Everyone was happy to report significantly improved skin smoothness and cellulite reduction. Plus, the results remained at the 3-month follow-up.


Does dry brushing help cellulite? Nope, not really. But it does have a smoothing, exfoliating action that can spruce up your skin.

There are very few risks involved for most peeps, so If you fancy giving it a try, buy yoself a brush and go for it!

But, if you have a skin condition, like warts, eczema, or acne, its best avoid or check with your dermatologist before jumping in.