Natural skincare is a growing industry in America, but for many other cultures, natural health and beauty have always been the standard. This is particularly true for the people of the Orient. The practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in particular, is known for its holistic and natural approach towards health, healing, and beauty.
One thing you will notice about the beauty products recommended by TCM practitioners is that they are comprised of herbs, which are 100% organic, containing no harsh or synthetic ingredients. Because of this, they are generally gentler on the skin. On the other hand, Western products often contain many chemicals that are known carcinogens, which are abrasive and in worse cases, toxic to the skin. Here we reveal some of our favorite ancient Chinese beauty secrets.
The Chinese Medicine Difference
Something else that really sets Chinese Medicine apart is the core philosophy that true beauty is cultivated from within.
Practitioners of TCM have a profound understanding of human physiology. Therefore, herbal products are only one piece of the beauty puzzle. The products you use will only take you so far in improving your skin because ultimately, your skin is an organ that is strongly connected to the health of other organs. So, if your diet is of poor quality, if you are stressed, or if you are lacking sleep, these factors can counter the effects of the herbs.
You might notice that people of the Orient have different eating habits than most Westerners. Their diets are rich in a variety of “beauty foods”, such as seaweed, potatoes, fermented vegetables, quality seafood, bone broths, fish stocks, gelatinous cuts of meat, and herbal teas.
These foods help with fighting free radical damage to the skin and promote the production of collagen to inhibit wrinkle formation. Collectively, these foods support a healthy gut, which is incredibly important for good skin. Gut irritation can lead to hormonal imbalances and inflammation, which damage the skin.
Face Mapping: A TCM Secret for Beautiful Skin
One of the most fascinating theories of Chinese Medicine is the concept of Face Mapping. The basic principle is that our face (and skin specifically) is directly connected to our inner physiology through a series of feedback loops or meridians.
The Chinese have already known what science is recently discovering, which is that our skin has receptor sites for things like inflammation and stress. So, when our internal organs are compromised by stress and inflammation, this can show up on our skin and face.
Chinese Face Mapping goes into the details of how certain health imbalances within the body can cause specific external problems, like acne, to specific parts of our face. To learn more about what your face is telling you about your health, be sure to read this earlier post.
A few quick Face Mapping tips:
This part of the face represents the small intestines and nervous system, which are connected. In general, the nervous system rules the digestive system. Stress directly slows digestive function. When digestion is sluggish this can result in the poor breaking down of food, which can lead to an increased amount of bacterial endotoxin in the small intestines (SIBO).
According to TCM, strong forehead wrinkles and forehead acne can be indicative of small intestinal issues and stress. To manage this, step one is to reduce your mental and emotional stress levels. You can also focus on eating easier to digest, whole foods, eliminating most grains, junk foods, and alcohol.
This part of the face represents the bladder/kidney system, which is also ruled by stress. The adrenals are part of the kidney system, which produces our sex and stress hormones. When we are overworked, under-slept, our kidneys go into overdrive and produce too much stress hormones. This can lead to hormonal imbalances, an overactive bladder, dehydration, inflammation and can problems in this area of the face can arise. Adaptogenic “Jing” herbs, like He Shou Wu, are great kidney tonics that can help. Find some of the best adaptogens in our Revitalize supplement.
We all know what dark under eyes and eye bags indicate…no sleep! According to Face Mapping, the eyes and areas around the skins represent the kidney system and liver system. Burnout, fatigue, excess cortisol, a junk food diet, dehydration and any sort of stress can lead to problems in this area. Likewise, good sleep, a positive mental attitude, hydration and a healthy diet can dramatically improve our energy levels and brighten up the whole eye area.
This condition is marked by visible wrinkles around the sides of the eyes and indicates a lot of oxidative stress. This area of the face is said to be governed by the liver. The liver metabolizes stress hormones and when healthy, oxidative stress is minimal. In general, strong wrinkles indicates a lot of oxidative stress and that the liver needs help. You can support your liver by detoxifying your diet and life. Also, bitter herbs like Schizandra and Reishi are great liver tonics. Keep in mind; the liver’s primary sources of fuel are glycogen and nitrogen, so be sure to eat enough healthy carbohydrates and proteins so it has the energy to detoxify.
Health and beauty are deeply connected. If what you wish for is radiant skin, healthy hair, and physical beauty that glows, an equally important goal would be to achieve a high level of health, in mind, body, and spirit. A holistic, organic, and non-toxic approach to health is a great place to start. Eating a wholesome, nourishing diet is another great starting point. And reducing total stress, and caring for your internal organs just as much as you do your skin, will make for an infallible path to radiant beauty.
The Natural Path to Perfect Skin
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