Dry Brushing + Charcoal...My Go-To Head-to-Toe Detox (and its incredible benefits during pregnancy too!)
I'm officially 34 weeks with my built-in weight vest and am REALLLYYYY starting to feel it. I'm more like my 3 year old than an adult - in need of a nap and getting dressed is a complete struggle/balancing act...especially the putting my gym shoes on situation. And as much as I try to get Brooks to pick up all of his hot wheels scattered across our floor at the end of the day, many nights we miss a few...and this momma is A-okay with letting them hang out on the floor for the sake of not having to bend down to get them.
Tyler would tell you I complain a lot (it's true), but I’m just ready to MEET this baby already!! He/she still has some growing to do, but the anticipation of finally holding this little one in my arms is something I think about every damn second of my day. Every kick, every time I’m short of breath, everything reminds me of this moment and what it will be like.
Today I’m sharing a little wellness practice that isn’t new, but something I’ve personally discovered during my pregnancy and am so surprised by how much I love my new(er) morning ritual. About 6 months ago I started dry brushing. In the beginning I thought it was all about exfoliating your skin, but I got to reading and of course learned there were so many other benefits to practicing this full-body detox on the daily - even more so during pregnancy.
So let’s start with the basics for those of you who may not know what dry brushing is all about. The basic concept is taking a coarse, dry brush and brushing your skin in a particular pattern. (I’ll elaborate on the “how to dry brush” in a minute).
Dry brushing your skin once or twice daily can help detox your body as it stimulates your lymphatic system - the system responsible for eliminating waste, helping your body rid itself of toxins and increase circulation or energy.
Other benefits experienced by those who dry brush daily include exfoliation, cellulite reduction, stress relief, improved digestion and kidney function - plus during pregnancy it can help with water retention, warding off stretch marks and tightening your skin.
Since starting this practice about 6 months ago, I have found that dry brushing regularly has kept my skin glowy and lightly exfoliated + the energy I get right after I do this is incredible! Sometimes when I hit that afternoon lull, (and since I have to limit my caffeine) I’ll reach for my dry brush and BAM...another bit of energy has come into my afternoon.
For a full body detox I reach for my charcoal cleansing bar and charcoal mask to draw out the impurities for a facial detox while I’m dry brushing - letting my mask do its job in keeping my skin clear and bright.
How to dry brush your skin:
Use a natural bristle brush.
Start on dry skin before bathing.
Start at the feet/ankles and brush in long circular movements up toward the heart.
Always brush to the center of the body.
On stomach and armpits use a circular clockwise brushing motion.
Brush softly at first and eventually work up to firmer pressure.
After dry brushing, shower (cool water or alternating cool and hot is best)
If needed, moisturize after showering. I use my Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion.
Repeat daily or as needed.
Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities.
Some people add a bit of body oil onto their brush before they use it. If done this way you’ll want to shower before skin brushing if you’re using an oil on the brush to maximize the benefits. If not, shower after skin brushing, then apply body oil and or lotion.
While I’m sometimes a skeptic when it comes to certain beauty rituals - this was one I had to try first hand to see for myself. And for some reason I can’t recommend this practice enough + if it discourages a little cellulite in the process, I say it’s worth trying ;-)