The best exfoliating brush

Ana Sanchez

In addition to exfoliating the skin, they can reduce ingrown hairs, help diminish cellulite, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine. Removing the buildup of dead skin cells on the outermost layer of your skin improves its texture and appearance. While most exfoliating products focus on the face, exfoliating brushes are primarily designed for your body. They’re used to physically brush off dead skin — a technique also called “dry brushing” — to reveal youthful-looking, brighter skin.  

While not pricey, you need a special brush to exfoliate. To learn more about these brushes, read our buying guide. At the end, we’ve also included our product recommendations, like our top choice from ZEN ME, which has a long handle that easily detaches from the brush head for your convenience.

Considerations when choosing exfoliating brushes

Skin type

Before you purchase an exfoliating brush, consider your skin type. Oily, normal, and combination skin can benefit from the physical exfoliation that a brush provides. However, if you have dry or sensitive skin, exfoliating brushes may be too harsh for your skin and cause irritation. For any skin type, use an exfoliating brush gently and infrequently at first to see if your skin can tolerate it.

Dry brushing

While many exfoliating brushes can be used wet, which reduces the irritation the stiff bristles can cause, most are designed for “dry brushing.” This wellness trend claims to add health benefits besides exfoliation. When following specific patterns, dry brushing can aid in lymphatic drainage, helping the body detoxify, and reduce cellulite. If anything, the dry brushing method prevents you from over-exfoliating one specific area.


An important consideration when selecting an exfoliating brush is its bristle material. Bristles should be stiff enough to remove dead skin cells but not so coarse that they damage the skin. Natural bristles, either boar’s hair or sisal fibers, are best. Sisal bristles are plant-based, derived from a cactus, and are a vegan option. Synthetic bristles are best avoided.


Exfoliating brushes come with a variety of handles — or no handle at all. Long-handled brushes allow you to reach your back but offer less control. Brushes with no handles feature a strap to secure the brush in the palm of your hand and offer controlled pressure for areas like feet and legs. You might also like a hairbrush-length handle as a happy medium between the two. Handles are typically constructed from wood or plant materials.



Some exfoliating brushes include massage nodules to add relaxation and massage-like pressure to the exfoliating process. These rubber nodules may also help diminish the appearance of cellulite when following a special brushing pattern.

Detachable head

If you want both a long handle for harder-to-reach places and the benefits of a handheld brush, you can have the best of both worlds with a brush head that detaches from a long handle. These detachable models tend to be pricier, however.

Motorized brush

Much like an electric toothbrush, electronic dry brushes require little elbow grease and provide more powerful brushing action with their motorized, rotating heads. They have different speeds and can be used wet or dry. Be aware that this feature is pricey and may be too intense for sensitive skin.


Most exfoliating brushes cost between $10 and $20. Motorized or luxury dry brushes can cost upwards of $35.


Q. Can I use my exfoliating brush every day?

A. We recommend using an exfoliating brush up to three times a week. If you have dry or sensitive skin, once or twice a week may be enough. Signs that you’re over-exfoliating include irritation and redness. Your brush should never cause cuts or scrapes.

Q. How do I clean my exfoliating brush?

A. Because your brush will accumulate dead skin cells, we recommend rinsing it off with water after each use and allowing it to air dry. For a more thorough clean, wash your brush with mild soap and warm water weekly.

Exfoliating brushes we recommend

Best of the best: ZEN ME Premium Dry Brush

Our take: A top-notch detachable dry brush featuring medium-firm boar bristles.

What we like: The 14-inch handle is constructed from sustainably harvested wood. Curved handle helps with reach. Strap-on design allows for control and firmer pressure. 

What we dislike: Handle sometimes detaches when you don’t want it to.

Best bang for your buck: C.S.M. Exfoliating Body Brush

Our take: For softer bristles, this affordable strap-on brush targets cellulite, too.

What we like: Works wet or dry. Massage nodules in combination with soft, natural bristles provide a relaxing experience. Good value. 

What we dislike: Bristles shed and aren’t as stiff as some users prefer for exfoliating purposes.

Choice 3: Touch Me Natural Sisal Spa Dry Brush

Our take: A highly popular dry brush for wellness benefits and effective exfoliation.

What we like: Sisal brush and jute handle are plant-based. Doughnut-shaped head ideal for elbows, knees, and heels. Handle shape and length are easy to maneuver.

What we dislike: Sisal bristles are too rough for some acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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