Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…

Is dry skin brushing healthy?

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Yes! Amazingly so. In my opinion is one of the easiest most useful everyday things you can do for your overall health. Let’s explore it a little..

What is dry skin brushing?

Dry skin brushing is the act of using a brush like this one made of medium strength bristles to ‘brush’ the skin. Using a combination of sweeping and rotating strokes on the skin you brush from your toes up to your chest, from your fingertips up to your chest, then your back up to your chest. The aim is to sweep towards the heart ie under the left breast. This sweeping motion moves Lymph through the Lymphatic System.

What is the Lymphatic System? 

Underneath your skin are muscles and ligaments, veins and arteries and under those are your internal organs – basic description there but you get the gist. Well right under the skin is a series of nodes, around 600-700 throughout the body, that resemble road junctions and roundabouts. These nodes are linked by tubes, like roads, and it is these roads, or tubes that traffic fluid known as lymph.

Lymph is a fluid that is formed by the collection of by-products from blood and cell substances. It starts off as a clear fluid that transports important nutrients to the cells of a tissue. In return it collects bacteria to be processed and excreted and becomes more thick and coloured as it travels back towards the heart collecting more waste. As the Lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it through the body, it relies on movement ie exercise, massage and brushing.

Lymphatic system image

Why is dry skin brushing helpful?

The bacteria and toxins that are collected as the lymph slowly moves along the body need to be processed so the body can excrete them. To get these toxins moving faster out of the body we sweep them through the Lymphatic System up towards the heart so that they can be gently re-circulated, and therefore processed, faster and more efficiently.

The heart then filters the fluid that has entered the blood and the Lymph nodes process the remaining toxins. Toxins travel through the bloodstream into the detoxifying organs of the Liver, the Spleen, the Kidneys, the Gastrointestinal System and the Skin. All of these organs have their own particular job to assist with the detoxification process. The faster and more efficiently the toxins can be transported to the detoxifying organs the less circulating toxins we have. Additionally there is some fluid that is not re-circulated through the blood but processed by the Lymphatic System itself or within its own cells – called lymphocytes. The more movement the Lymph nodes see the more their action is encouraged – it is a sort of self perpetuating immune system. Additionally dry skin brushing removes dead skin cells leaving the skin clear of debris to absorb oxygen and other nutrients.

Does dry skin brushing detoxify?

Essentially yes, it helps to eliminate and process toxins or waste in the body. These toxins can be as a result of food, alcohol, drugs, chemical and environmental toxins and also ones that naturally occur within our systems – yet still need to be removed.

Benefits of dry skin brushing:

  • Improve skin conditions – acne, hives, dry skin, sensitive skin, cellulite
  • Increase energy – fatigue, lethargy, tiredness
  • Strengthen immunity – recurring colds, flu and sore throat
  • Balance the hormones – PMT, heavy or irregular periods, skin flare-ups, menopausal symptoms
  • Improve general wellbeing
  • Increase muscle tone
  • Release fatty deposits under the skin
  • Stimulate circulation

Guide to dry skin brushing:

1. Use your brush first thing in the morning. In the beginning it may feel odd or a little sensitive so take it easy but after a couple of days you can use firmer strokes.

2. Start at the feet, moving up the lower section of the legs, the upper legs, the buttocks. Then move to your hands sweeping up the arms towards the heart. Follow this with the back. Complete the movement with the abdomen and the chest. Avoid your face!

3. The best time frame is a couple of minutes but you will see benefits if you do this every day or every second day – whenever you can or whenever you remember.

Dry skin brush image

4. Shower afterward to wash off the dead skin cells. You should feel invigorated!


Enjoy and please feel free to share your experiences or questions with me 🙂

*All of the above symptoms can be caused by other conditions so it is always best to apply this knowledge to your personal health and experience. Consult a health practitioner to rule out any disease or serious illness.

Author: EmmaNutrition

Emma Wight-Boycott MSc mBANT is a natural health expert with a passion for simplifying the science. Emma works with post natal mums, weekend runners and those with digestive issues to find the source of their health issues and rediscover their health mojo.

One thought on “Is dry skin brushing healthy?

  1. Pingback: Why you should ditch your beauty products! | Emma Nutrition

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