Simple Detox Series – Skin Brushing

Skin Brush with handle
Skin Brush with handle

Skin brushing is another easy tool you can use everyday to keep your body functioning at its best.  I keep it as part of my daily routine, doing it just before I shower.  For me it’s invigorating and brings a tingling feeling in my skin that really wakes me up!  Not to mention, my skin looks much better too!

As part of the ancient system of natural healing called Ayurveda, skin brushing is a cleansing philosophy focused on keeping the skin clean and active in the cleansing process.  The skin is your body’s largest organ and is responsible for eliminating up to one-third of all the body’s toxins.  If the process breaks down and the skin becomes ineffective in cleansing, more stress is placed on the other body organs that need to pick up the slack.

Skin Brushing Benefits

  • Stimulates the sweat and oil glands providing more moisture for the skin, keeping it looking fresh and young.
  • Lets the skin breathe and helps to clear the pores and removing dead skin cells.
  • Stimulates the internal functions of the body including blood circulation and distributing fat deposits, or breaking up cellulite.
  • Since the lymph system needs help in moving, it stimulates the flow of the lymphatic fluid that carries immune cells to where they’re needed and eliminates toxins more effectively.

How it’s Done

In general skin brushing should be done with a dry, soft bristle brush.  Use a natural brush, with soft bristles and avoid synthetic or nylon brushes that can be harsh on the skin.   Look for a long handle brush so that you can reach the back.  I use the Yerba Prima Tampico Skin brush with bristles made from vegetable fibers (see the picture above).

Do it early in the morning, just after waking but before showering.  Start brushing with light pressure, until you become used to the feeling, eventually using a little more force.  As for the motions, think of your lymphatic system.  In general it flows towards the heart, so you want to brush your body in the same motion.

Begin with the soles of the feet and brush upward to the top of the legs and groin.  Once you’ve finished the lower part of the body, move to the hands working your way up the arms towards the heart.  Next, move to the back, brushing from the lower back towards the heart and from the top of the back down to the heart.  For the abs, chest and neck, you can use a circular, clockwise motion to follow the direction of the colon.  The whole process can take anywhere from 2 – 5 minutes.

Your skin will probably turn a little red as well.  You may want to avoid the face if you skin is sensitive.  Also, try not to aggravate any other sensitive or injured areas.  Avoid them altogether or just use less pressure.  Make sure you cover as much area as possible.  The inner thighs and under your armpits contain the most lymph nodes, so pay particular attention to those areas.  Someone else might help you out as well for the hard to reach areas on the back.

Don’t Forget

Be sure to shower after to clean off the dead skin cells.  I like to brush in the shower before turning on the water.  That way any skin or hair can go down the shower drain and not all over your house!   Try to clean your brush on a regular basis as well.  It’s also a good idea not to share a brush.  So others in your family should get their own.


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