Dry Brushing -vs- Wet Exfoliation

Dry Exfoliation vs Wet Exfoliation

We're frequently asked by our customers if our salt and sugar scrubs should be used with or without water. We recommend using them with water as part of your shower or bathing ritual, but there is also the highly beneficial act of dry brushing the skin using a natural bristle brush that we also like to extol the virtues of, especially as part of your winter morning skincare routine! Wet and dry exfoliation methods are of course, not mutually exclusive, and can be done alongside each other.

There are some things to consider when opting for one method over the other or if you are interested in incorporating both into your skincare routine, so we've listed a few key points below.

Both methods of exfoliation primarily aid the removal of dead skin cells, encouraging new cell growth and stimulating the lymphatic system. Exfoliation, wet or dry, may also temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Deciding between wet exfoliation and dry brushing may depend upon your age, the climate you live in and the condition and sensitivity of your skin.


Dry brushing may be more comfortable for oilier skin as it can be too abrasive if you have excessively dry, sensitive or mature skin. Since water acts as a lubricant, exfoliating in the shower or bath with a salt or sugar scrub can reduce irritation for those with thin or easily-irritated skin. 

If you live in an arid climate and your skin tends to be insatiably thirsty but not particularly flaky, you may want to opt for regular wet exfoliation to help infuse moisture. If your skin can handle both, we like to recommend leading with dry brushing first to prep your skin before scrubbing in the shower or bath. Dry brushing flaky skin first can be more effective because water plumps the skin, making it harder to shed as many dead skin cells.

Dry brushing should make you feel invigorated and will gift you with a gentle glow afterwards. If your skin becomes red or inflamed during or after, you may be using a brush that's too harsh on your skin.

Massaging a product into your skin as part of your exfoliation ritual will have the added benefit of using ingredients that will not only exfoliate, but will also cleanse and moisturise your skin. Isla scrubs are made of all-natural ingredients that each possess therapeutic potency in their own right and we blend these with highly aromatic essentials oils and absolutes for a truly aromatherapeutic experience that dry brushing alone can't offer.