Fall is bittersweet for many people, as the beautiful changing season is dampened by the fact that dry, dull, itchy skin is on its way.
Thankfully, fall and winter do not have to mean skin troubles! Chinese medicine practitioners have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to maintaining beautiful skin all year long – and we’re sharing them with you! Here we’ll cover why taking extra care of your skin during this time of year is crucial and the best Chinese medicine secrets to help you get glowing, radiant, healthy skin this fall!
The Fall Season and Skincare
Living in tune with the seasons doesn’t stop with what you put on your plate and the clothes you wear. With each change in season, our skin has different needs and tendencies. This is obvious when it comes to needing sunscreen in summer or heavier night cream in winter. But why do we need to make changes in fall?
Fall is perhaps the most important seasonal transition of the year when it comes to our health. In fall, we are exposed to wind, sun, and dryness. For many of our California neighbors, we are also currently exposed to smoke from the fires. Our energy starts to turn inward, our activity levels dwindle, and the stress ramps up as we wrap up the year.
When we embrace fall, we are offered a chance to restore and rejuvenate our health before the more challenging winter. But few of us take advantage of this time to rest and reset – both when it comes to skin health and our overall health. The result? We actually stress our skin and bodies more by not slowing down, offering extra care, and working to prevent those issues that pop up in the colder months (like allergies, dryness, hives, flaking, colds, and flus).
So, how can we best approach fall and the oncoming winter to ensure our skin stays healthy and radiant? We look to the time-tested secrets of Chinese medicine, of course!
Fall Skin Secrets: What to Eat
You are what you eat – and no medical system lives up to this teaching quite like Chinese medicine! When it comes to our skin, healthy, nutritious food is essential to make sure we’re giving the skin the nutrients it needs while also preventing any unnecessary inflammation or build-up. In fall, we’re going to want to eat foods that are nourishing, moisturizing, and easy on the digestive system while we transition into winter. Here are some healthy, seasonal foods that heal the skin:
• Sweet potatoes
• Beans and lentils, especially mung beans
• Squash and pumpkin
• Green leafy vegetables
• Red grapes
• Goji berries
• Nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds
• Healthy, fatty fish like salmon
• Green tea (swap those pumpkin spice lattes for matcha!)
Fall Beauty Congee
Congee is an extremely simple way to warm up your digestion and give your skin a healthy boost. The method is simple – add 1 part grain to 6 parts water and your chosen ingredients in a crockpot and let it cook on low overnight. You’ll have a warm bowl to wake up in the morning!
Add to the pot:
1 cup rice (or quinoa, barley, or stone-ground oats)
6-8 cups water
2 TBSP dried goji berries
2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
4 Chinese red dates
2 TSP cinnamon
1 TBSP raw honey
Fall Skin Secrets: What to Use
Beauty starts within, but what we put on the outside still matters! Here are a few ancient and modern tips for healthy fall skin:
Try a DIY natural mask.
Fall skin needs great circulation and nourishment. Get the best of both world with an easy at-home mask:
Turmeric Almond Fall Mask
You might already have the makings for the perfect fall mask right in your kitchen cabinet! For this simple mask, just mix the ingredients together and apply to a clean face. Wash off with an old cloth (turmeric stains!) and moisturize with Laurel Skin Hydrating Elixir I or II.
1 TSP turmeric powder
1 TBSP almond milk
1 TSP honey
2-3 drops almond, neem, or rosehip oil
Protect with nature.
Use natural products that don’t contain any harsh irritating chemicals. We love Laurel Skin because their products are completely plant-based and packed with antioxidants.
Detox the Liver with a Castor Oil Pack.
Just like in biomedicine, Chinese medicine sees the Liver as a major organ of detoxification for the body and skin. Fall is a great time to give the Liver a restorative break with a gently cleansing castor oil pack.
Get glamorous with pearl powder.
Pearl powder, or zhen zhu mu, is a Chinese beauty secret that is used both internally and externally. Want to try it for yourself? Contact us to find out more about using pearl powder at home!
Fall Skin Secrets: What to Do
Consistency is everything when it comes to beautiful and healthy skin. A daily skincare ritual is the best way to keep our skin healthy through the seasons and as we age. But there are other daily habits that can have a major impact on the health of our skin. Here are some Chinese medicine secrets for beautiful skin each day.
• Boost your Kidneys with qi gong.
In Chinese medicine, the Kidneys are our deepest resource of energy and vitality. When they’re worn out, we’ll see it as dry, tired skin and dark undereye circles. Kidneys also correspond with the season of winter, and they can become overly taxed during this time. So, to give our Kidney system the rest and rejuvenation it needs to stay healthy (and keep our skin glowing!) let’s power up with a simple qigong exercise!
• Calm your skin with a cleansing breath.
The fall season is associated with the metal element and the Lungs. The Lungs are also associated with the skin, as both of these organs create a protective barrier between us and the outside world. To help keep your skin calm, clear, and nurtured during fall, practice daily breathwork exercises to help encourage healthy Lungs and radiant skin!
• Get regular acupuncture and a personalized Chinese herbal formula.
When it comes to keeping skin healthy through fall and winter, acupuncture and herbs help to nourish and moisturize stressed skin, encourage healthy detoxification and circulation, and prevent skin issues like eczema, itching, redness, dryness, and irritation.
While acupuncture is no secret, the power of keeping up with consistent treatment remains unknown to many. In this way, Chinese medicine is very similar to exercise. You may feel better after one session, but true, noticeable change only comes after a regular routine. Fall is the perfect time to start your cosmetic acupuncture journey and open the doors to healthier, younger-looking skin!
Fall for Beautiful Skin
You deserve to feel beautiful all year long. Whether you’re someone who dreads the colder months in anticipation of dry and cracked skin, or you’re simply curious about the best ways to protect your skin year-round, Chinese medicine has the answers (and the secrets!).
At The Beauty Within, we use acupuncture, herbs, quality products, and more lifestyle tips like these to keep our patients’ skin healthy and youthful through the seasons. Our treatments also help to keep the body resistant to seasonal stress, illnesses, and other health issues.