The Secrets of Healthy and Beautiful SkinThe Secrets of Healthy and Beautiful Skin

By Soeon Park, L.Ac.

One of the first things many of us notice when we meet someone new is the appearance of their complexion. I have been asked many times why Asian people tend to look 10 years younger than their true age.

Some say the reason is genetic, but it’s more than that. As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner who is Asian, I am happy to share the secrets of healthy, younger-looking skin.

In TCM, we believe that the texture and elasticity of skin can be improved by replenishing blood and Qi, activating circulation and nourishing yin. The skin is a barometer of the condition of our internal organs, and its condition is affected by every aspect of our life style, including diet, exercise and sleep. Therefore healthy skin is not only about looking good—it’s about staying healthy. Below are some of my tips for healthy and beautiful skin.

Pay attention to your diet. Avoid alcohol, refined sugar, caffeine, and processed and fatty foods to reduce the inflammatory process. Drink goji berry tea to replenish blood and Qi. Soy milk smoothies with walnuts and black sesame seeds can nourish the skin. Make your own vegetable juice with celery, tomato, pear and lemon juice if you have itchy skin, facial brown spots or acne.

Exercise increases blood flow and helps to nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to skin cells, and also carries away waste products such as free radicals. Beauty sleep during the golden time, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., is essential. This is the peak time for skin cells to regenerate and repair, resulting in clearer, brighter and healthier skin.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs enhance the body’s natural self-healing ability to attack the root cause of skin conditions. Acupuncture can release the flow of Qi and blood circulation at specific points, increasing oxygen and nutrients, which in turn increase production of collagen and elastin. Acupressure massage reduces muscle fatigue and increases elasticity, which in turn help to prevent sagging skin and wrinkle formation. Topical herbal facial masks can help lubricate and nourish specific areas.

Healthy and beautiful skin does not take too much effort to achieve—it can be yours with a little time, attention, good habits and commitment. I strongly encourage you to start treating your skin with these tips from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Why not approach the new year with a new glow?

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