This time of year, when the earth is renewing the leaves on the trees and flowers in the ground, is the perfect time of year to think about your skin. It, too, cycles through periods of growth and is in a constant state of renewal. It’s often very vulnerable in the winter – the skin’s protective water layer is more quickly and easily lost when air is cold and dry. As we begin to shift into spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to take care of my skin through this seasonal transition.
Skin problems can be aggravated by environmental conditions; but, they can also emerge because of diet, lifestyle, and hormonal imbalances that impact your energy (Qi) and blood. Additionally, your mental health can change the condition of your skin. For instance, when you’re stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which can cause a range of effects including the appearance of acne and wrinkles.
Holistic medicine and treatments can be effective ways to protect and heal your skin. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes herbs that can treat a number of conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Herbal remedies usually contain properties that are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, which can reduce internal heat, soothe itching, and prevent skin excretions. Some examples include Rhubarb (Da Huang), Sophora (Ku Shen), Phellodendron (Huang Bai), Skullcap (Haung Qi), Honeysuckle and Forsythia (Yin Qiao San). In general, herbs are not used alone; a certified herbalist combines 6-12 herbs into a formula. Remember to consult a holistic doctor to determine which herbs may be best for your skin.
Acupuncture is also an effective way to treat skin problems. With acupuncture, you are activating the body’s immune and endocrine systems by stimulating points to increase production of endorphins. Yoga is another way to help balance the body and release endorphins that support holistic wellness from the inside out.
And, as is the case with many ailments, maintaining a healthy diet can be an easy and effective way to prevent or mitigate skin problems. To keep my skin healthy, I try to avoid alcohol, shellfish, fried foods, spicy or highly processed foods, caffeine, and tropical fruits. Instead, I treat myself to a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, drink lots of water, and incorporate things into my diet that help maintain a balanced body and digestive system - green tea, mint leaves, mung beans, aduki beans, Job's Tears, pearly barley, flax seeds, pears, and lean meats.
I love taking care of skin, and am excited to announce that Cornerstone Healing will be launching a new skin therapy department in May! We will be introducing an organic facial service, and start carrying eco-friendly and natural beauty products that you can incorporate into your own skincare regiment. We hope you’ll stop by!
Let’s start this new season with skin that’s glowing and radiant!