Skin brushing is an age-old practice used to support whole body health through the skin. It supports the outer skin by helping remove dead skin cells and increase local circulation. This encourages lymph, a clear fluid, to move. Underneath the skin is an extensive network of small lymph vessels that moves fluid and immune cells throughout the body. Lymph vessels connect to lymph nodes which helps fight off microbes while supporting detoxification.
The act of brushing assists with exfoliating the skin to help leave it smooth and soft. This helps unclog pores to encourage sweating which can move toxins out of the body through the skin. In addition, the practice of skin brushing can be very relaxing. Some folks say it can help with cellulite, but there is currently no research supporting this claim. The practice of skin brushing is generally well-tolerated by most people; though,it is not recommended to skin brush over inflamed skin or open wounds due to a higher risk of infection.
Generally, skin brushing should be done over a hard floor so the removed skin cells are easier to clean up. The brush should have stiff but soft natural bristles; a long-handled brush can be helpful but is not required.
Brush movements should be in a circular motion with light pressure over thin skin and heavier pressure over thicker skin like the soles of your feet. Start at your feet and work up to your glutes, stomach, and back. Then repeat on your arms starting at the hands and working in. It’s important to always move towards the heart. Each area only needs a few strokes with the whole practice taking 5-10 minutes. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning and to wash the skin afterward.
Gordon, Ronni. (N.D). “The Benefits and Risks of Dry Brushing” Revised March 14, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-brushing
Cleveland Clinic. (N.D). “The Truth About Dry Brushing and What It Does for You”. Revised November 2, 2021. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-truth-about-dry-brushing-and-what-it-does-for-you/